Category Archives: Christmas

Ornament Moves

Ornament Moves Steps and Skips

Ornament Moves Steps and Skips

Today’s post is a Christmas worksheet to review steps and skips. In addition to printing this, it works well downloaded on a tablet because all the student has to do is check the correct answer.

If you print this, I suggest you make one copy and either laminate it or put it in a page protector. That way you can use a dry erase pen and re-use the worksheet with each student.

If you are a teacher who laminates worksheets, here is a great hint I learned from another piano teacher recently!

If the ink stays on the worksheet very long, it becomes hard to erase.  All you need to do is wipe it with a cleaning pad such as the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or a similar product. You do not need to wet the cleaning pad. This works great for all those hard to erase laminated worksheets and labels.

However, please do not try this on your  white boards, because I’m sure it will ruin them. Limit using the pad to your homemade material that can be reprinted if there is any damage.

[Disclosure: I am not affiliated with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in any way, and only recommend it because it is a handy tip.]



Filed under Christmas, Steps and Skips, Worksheets

Carol of the Bells – Easy Piano Trio

Carol of the Bells Piano Trio

Carol of the Bells Piano Trio $7.99

3 versions of the score, 18 pages including cover page

Every year I write a piano trio (3 students at one piano) for my students to practice in advance and then play together at our Christmas group lesson. It has to be very easy to learn and simple to put together because there is no rehearsal! I usually have more than 3 students in a group, so I drag in keyboards as necessary. If there are beginning students who are not able to learn a part, I give them a percussion instrument to play along, and we practice that in advance, too. I added finger cymbals to Carol of the Bells. I want every student to feel comfortable. Since I started this tradition, my students have told me how much they enjoy it and look forward to it each year!

Today I am adding my trio arrangement of Carol of the Bells (18 pages $7.99) to the store section of my website. For the next week it will be on sale for $5.99. This is a studio license, so a single teacher may print unlimited copies each year.

There are 3 different varieties of scores included because that is what I need when I teach a trio, and I thought it would help you, too. There is the typical piano trio score, a teacher’s (conductor’s) score, and individual parts for each player to take home and practice. It adds up to 18 pages.

This trio is for 5 hands! The bass part uses only the left hand. Of course, you might want to modify that, and feel free to do so. This is a good part to give to a parent or an older student who is happy to sight read it.

I wanted this piano ensemble to sound as close to the original choral music as possible, so I found the original, public domain, choral score in Russian, and transcribed it for piano. The original Russian lyrics are not about Christmas at all, but is a New Year’s song!

I had two age groups work on this last year, an elementary group and a middle school group. I assigned it about a month before the group lesson time, and practiced it at their lesson with me playing the other parts. They loved it so much that they wanted to play it over and over at the group lesson!  I have a diverse group of students, and this was music that all my students were comfortable playing.



Filed under Christmas, Late Elementary Music

Jingle Bells Duet with Rhythm Instruments

Christmas Rhythm Instruments

Jingle Bells Duet With Rhythm Instruments


Does anyone remember this arrangement I made for my students a few years ago? There is an early intermediate piano part, an easy one hand duet, and parts for 4 rhythm instruments.

What is new in this PDF is that I added individual scores for the rhythm instruments. I received many requests for that and I’m finally getting around to it! All the pages are combined into one PDF and you can print what you need.

If you are having group lessons this week or next, there is still time to print this out for your students. The rhythm instrument parts are for beginners and no practice is necessary.

The piano part also stands alone as a piano solo without the duet or the rhythm instruments. Or you can use the piano part out of a Christmas book.

The easy duet part can also be played on an electric bass, a keyboard, melody bells or any other tuned instrument that sounds good with your piano.

What I like about this arrangement is that there is something for everyone, so if you happen to have group lessons with all levels, every student will have something to do.

I also thought this would be fun for a musical family to play when they get together for the holidays. If you don’t have any rhythm instruments, improvise with whatever you have around the house! Here is a set of rhythm instruments from my Amazon affiliate site that has free shipping now.  I use my set of rhythm instruments frequently in my teaching, but especially around the Christmas holidays!


Filed under Christmas, Group lesson ideas, Holiday Music

Reindeer Tracks – A Christmas Board Game

Reindeer Tracks

Reindeer Tracks

So many teachers ask me about games for older students. Here is a Christmas game board you can use with any level. You choose the cards you want to use. Students draw a card, answer the question, and roll a die to determine how many spaces to move.

Below are a few suggestions for flash cards that are on my site. Or you can get cards from some of the other great sites on the web, or even writing your own vocabulary cards.

Advancing Students

Ledger Line Flash Cards – There are enough ledger lines in this set to make it sufficiently challenging for advancing students.

Key Signature Cards – You will need key signature cards without the answer on the back, so here are some.

Rhythm Pattern Cards Set of 3 – There are several levels listed here. Set 3 is the hardest. Take a look at all the levels and download the ones you want. This has been a very popular printable!

Elementary Students and Beginning Students

Grand Staff Flash Cards – These just have notes on the grand staff.

Interval Flash Cards – There are 4 pages of intervals from unison to octave.

Individual Rhythm Flash Cards – Actually, there are rhythms of all levels in these cards. They are smaller than the Rhythm Pattern Cards above, so use the ones you like. These might be easier to manage with a game board.

Keyboard Flash Cards – These have hearts on them, but they *are* keyboard flash cards. I need to make some generic keyboard flash cards. All the ones I’ve made have designs on them.

I hope your students of all levels enjoy this game!




Filed under Christmas