One of the most downloaded free resources here on Piano Pantry is 147 Tunes to Harmonize: Traditional, Popular, and Christmas.
Due to the popularity of this download as well as the recent release of my new book Christmas by Ear: 8 Tunes to Harmonize, I thought now was a perfect time to share with you a FREE handy quick reference guide of Christmas tunes to harmonize!
Each of the 20 tunes included are well-known traditional ones that are in the public domain.
Often, students are happy to play only a portion of a favorite tune. While many Christmas tunes have a little more complicated harmonizations, sometimes the opening portion or the chords are more simplified. For this reason, a few are listed twice.
For example, you can harmonize the open two phrases of Deck the Halls using only tonic and dominant. Many’s students might get a kick out of being able to play even a few phrases of favorite tunes by ear without having to learn the whole thing!
Here are a couple of quick ideas on how you could use it:
- Pull it out when students forget their materials or haven’t practiced enough on their pieces.
- Practice harmonizing these tunes on your own to develop your own ear!
- Have students choose one piece off the list that they’re not learning as part of their Christmas repertoire and have them work on playing chords while they sing! One of my favorite first steps with students is to play root position chords in the RH and either chord roots or root octaves in the LH.