Yes, we realise it is only September, but realistically now is the time to be considering options for Christmas Concerts.
In a perfect world you would be able to select a book that you know is going to be really fantastic.
Great pieces, great arrangements.
Last year we charged Sydney Piano Teacher and Composer, Anita Milne with the responsibility of playing through hundreds of publications so, you didn’t have to!
Over the next couple of weeks we will be featuring Anita’s top picks, as well as a few new publications that are sure to become favourite collections in your studio.
Anita writes: “The moment I mention “Christmas Recital Under the Stars” or suggest “a winter Christmas recital” my students’ eyes light up as if something magical is about to happen. For each of the next 6 lessons I give my students a new Christmas Carol Quick Study. Students have 2 or 3 weeks to learn each carol before performing the carol in their lesson for assessment (I give a mark out of 10!). Besides improving their reading skills students come to the end of this process with 6 Christmas carols they can play for and with their families at the end of the year – plenty for an at-home carols by candlelight! This year I’ve played through a nearly metre-high stack of Christmas carol arrangements and chosen my absolute favourites.”
Here are her top pics for beginners
FOR BEGINNER PIANO STUDENTS:
From the Hal Leonard Student Piano Library
arranged Phillip Keveren, Fred Kern, Jennifer Linn, Carol Klose, Mona Rejino
A fabulous arrangement of Angels We Have Heard on High (who doesn’t love the Gloria in Excelsis?) plus plenty more (Silver Bells, Let it Snow!, Auld Lang Syne) for 1st or 2nd year beginners.
More Christmas Piano Solos Level 4
arranged Phillip Keveren, Mona Rejino, Fred Kern, Jennifer Linn, Carol Klose
Lovely Grade 1 and Grade 2-standard arrangements of carols both old (O Come, O Come, Emmanuel) and new (Believe, from The Polar Express).
From Piano Adventures
arranged Nancy and Randall Faber
Great first-reading Christmas carol collections, with fantastic teacher duet parts.
Each book comes with a musical Advent calendar!
Christmas for All Time Book 1 (Adult Piano Adventures)
arranged Nancy and Randall Faber
Starting with arrangements at a Book 2 method level and then presenting Christmas carols in the key of C Major and then in the key of G Major, this collection has an emphasis on primary chord accompaniments and acts as a consolidation of already-learned piano skills.
With 32 selections, this is an omnibus for the Christmas-carol playing beginner!
From Succeeding at the Piano
arranged Timothy Brown, Kevin Costley, Mary Leaf, Kevin Olson
The most beautiful and imaginative pre-reading Christmas book ever!
Merry Christmas Book Grade 2b
arranged Timothy Brown, Kevin Costley, Mary Leaf, Edwin McLean, Kevin Olson
Everything you could possibly want from a Christmas carol book: brilliant arrangements for students who aren’t quite at AMEB Preliminary standard yet interspersed with beautifully illustrated (Christmas-themed!) reading activities.
An extra bonus: these are arrangements the family can sing to!
From Edwin McLean and Kevin Olson
arranged Edwin McLean and Kevin Olson
Thirteen well-arranged Christmas carols (with great accompaniments) come with a matching CD as well as listening activities at the back.