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.
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.
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!
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.
[Ed. All of this music has been moved and can be found here. Scroll down to select what you want.]
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.
Deck the Halls
Jolly Old St. Nicholas
We Wish You a Merry Christmas Pre-reading
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
Joy to the World Pre-reading
Early Elementary, on the staff with big notes and no hands together
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!)