Thanks for taking my poll about what to post next. Since most voted to go ahead and start Christmas material now, I’m posting Away In a Manger. Of course some of you may want it in pre-reading form and I’ll be glad to post that if I get some requests.
Originally I had a lot of finger numbers in this piece because my student had some learning problems and the fingering made it so much more helpful. We want our students to enjoy Christmas music and not dread working on it. I took out the extra finger numbers because it is easier for a teacher to add needed ones than to white out the extra.
If you are a new teacher, don’t be scared away by the dotted quarter like I used to be if I had not introduced it formally. Just tell them to play it like they sing it and not worry about counting. If you’re a “by the book, everything has to be counted” kind of teacher, you probably won’t be reading this anyway. This blog is more for teachers who think outside the box. New teachers, just be creative and have them tap the rhythm on the fall board, or a drum, or jump the rhythm, while you sing with them. They will get it! And if they also dot the 2nd and 3rd measure, let them do it. Trust me, it will not ruin them to Beethoven in the future or keep them from being drum major in the band. The main thing is we want them to enjoy Christmas music because they discover they CAN do it. Besides, good little musicians are going to put in the dotted rhythm anyway. When they tell me they don’t understand it, I tell them not to worry, they will one day. Then I say or do something silly and we go on from there. You will have plenty of other pieces where you can be the rhythm police and get out the foam board rhythm pizza.
I’m going to set up a new category called Holiday Music to make it easier to find all the Thanksgiving and Christmas music I hope to post. I have a turkey worksheet to post, also.