Category Archives: Christmas

O Come, All Ye Faithful in Primer and Pre-reading


One of my students learned O Come, All Ye Faithful in school and wanted to play it. It wasn’t in his Christmas book, so I wrote one out for him.

This is one of the first Christmas Carols I learned. I was so excited because of the dynamic changes in the refrain. I wasn’t taking piano then, so this was the first time I was aware of gradually getting louder in each phrase. I can’t explain how thrilled I was to learn that music could do that! Sometimes as a teacher I forget that what is old-hat to me is a novel idea to my students.

There are two arrangements to choose from. One is pre-reading and the other is on-the-staff and only uses 8 notes. One thing interesting about this carol is that there are no thirds (skipping notes) in the right hand and only one skip on the left. That makes it a lot easier.  Yes, I used dotted quarter notes in the staff version, but it’s easy to teach by rote. If they know this carol, they are going to play the dotted rhythms anyway so they might as well see what they are playing. Also, when they find this rhythm in other music they won’t be afraid of it.

O Come, All Ye Faithful – Pre-reading

O Come, All Ye Faithful – Early Elementary  [The primer version originally had the middle C in measure 14 in the wrong hand. I fixed it and reposted it. Thank you to the kind teacher who let me know!]


Filed under Christmas, Holiday Music

Some More Beginning Christmas Music


I’ve been busy and added some more beginning level Christmas music to my big list of Christmas arrangements in my last post.

Today’s group are for beginners who know just a few notes on the staff.

Up on the Housetop – Beginning level, on the staff

Jolly Old St. Nicholas – Beginning level, on the staff

Deck the Halls – Beginning level, on the staff

We Three Kings – Beginning level, on the staff.





Filed under Christmas, Holiday Music

Christmas Music


Today I am posting some Christmas music I’ve arranged for my students over the years. I’m listing it here to share with you.

I’ll try to group it by level. But when it comes to arranging Christmas music, I don’t always stay true to the levels used in method books.  That is not a problem with my students.

Here’s some advice for beginning teachers. Give your students Christmas music that is easier than in their method books, so they can learn several tunes each week. After a few years of lessons, they will know many carols and songs.

You are my editors, so let me know right away if you see any mistakes or bad links.

I will add some more arrangements after I polish them up, so check back. Suggestions are welcome, but I cannot arrange music under copyright, such as Frosty, Frozen, or Rudolph. :)

[Ed. More beginning level Christmas music has been added here.]

Pre-reading-no staff

Jingle Bells

Deck the Halls

Jolly Old St. Nicholas

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Away in a Manger-UK melody (a lovely melody by Kirkpatrick that is not well-used in the US, but more common in Canada and the UK)

We Three Kings

Good King Wenceslas

Early Elementary, on the staff with big notes and no hands together

Jingle Bells

Away in a Manger (traditional US version)

We Three Kings (primer level in middle C position)


We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Silent Night (Teach the dotted note by rote. They can do it!)

Away in a Manger (Kirkpatrick UK version)

Twelve Days of Christmas - 5 pages

Later Elementary

Silent Night

Jolly Old St. Nicholas

Deck the Halls




Filed under Christmas

Christmas Lights

Musical Christmas Lights Musical Christmas Lights

Musical Christmas Lights is an update of my old Christmas game. This is a bingo-type game for students who can identify notes up to sixteenth notes. The remainder of the symbols are from beginning to about level 2.

I remade it using a lot less ink. I also remade all the graphics so they looked fresher, and added a fermata to the game! For teachers who have to use black ink only printers, I made a black and white version.

Before you print, be aware that you don’t need to print both the color and black and white versions. If you don’t know how to select individual pages to print, please check out my FAQ.


  • Musical Christmas Lights printable
  • Calling cards for the teacher
  • 20 bingo chips for each Christmas tree printable used (I use the Magnetic Wand and Bingo Chips from Amazon).
  • Crayons or colored pencils for the black and white version

Directions for color version

  • Print only the colored Christmas trees. Use as many individual cards as you need. If you have more than 6 students, group some on the same card.
  • Print and cut out the teacher calling cards.
  • Optional: Do not cut out the calling cards. Simply print and call out the symbols and put a check by the ones you have called.
  • To help children find the symbols quickly, call the color and the symbol, such as “Red, quarter note.”
  • The student covers the symbol on his card.
  • The first student who covers all the symbols wins.

Directions for black and white version

  • Print the black and white cards and the teacher calling card page.
  • With the printable open on your computer monitor to the teacher calling card page, use it as a guide to label the color of each symbol on your black and white version of the teacher calling cards.
  • Color the lights on the cards using the teacher calling cards as the guide to the colors.
  • For a classroom, make a copy for each student. Tell the students or write on your whiteboard the color each symbol should be colored.
  • Play the game using the directions for the color version, or create your own rules.


To review basic music vocabulary and symbols.


Filed under Christmas, Games, Group lesson ideas, Holiday Activities and Worksheets