A Jazzy Christmas Time
arranged Richard Kershaw
Some very cool carol stylings, from a laid-back Deck the Halls to a driving rock Star in Their Eyes (We Three Kings of Orient Are).
These are witty arrangements for Grade 5 & 6 students.
Christmas Treasures Volumes 1&2
arranged Kevin Costley, Timothy Brown, Edwin McLean, Melody Bober, Kevin Olson, Robert Schultz, Elizabeth W. Greenleaf
A 2 volume compilation of wonderful arrangements, from early beginner standard (Jingle Bells) through to Grade 5 or 6 at the end of the second volume.
Includes a spectacular arrangement of The Twelve Days of Christmas you’ll want to assign to all your Grade 5 or 6 students!
More Christmas Piano Solos Level 5
arranged Phillip Keveren, Mona Rejino, Fred Kern, Carol Klose
More lovely arrangements from the Hal Leonard Student Piano Library team. From Jesu Joy and O Little Town of Bethlehem to We Need a Little Christmas and I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas and beyond, these are perfect for Grade 3 and 4 students.
Bach around the Christmas Tree
arranged Carol Klose
Subtitled 18 Classic Christmas Carols in the Styles of the Great Composers, this is a unique collection cleverly matching carols to the styles of classical masters. Brilliant stuff from Carol Klose – students learn about musical style while gaining a repertoire of carols that will delight.
For students Grades 2 to 5
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.
This week I’ve had a lot of fun playing through some of the books in the ChordTime® series.
The ChordTime® books are part of the PreTime® to BigTime® series by Nancy and Randall Faber, authors of Piano Adventures®. So, as you can well imagine the arrangements are AWESOME and sit really nicely under the fingers – making them ideal for small hands and perfect teaching material!
I was lucky enough to tour around Australia with Randall recently and heard him describing the series as “adding a little spice” to a students repertoire.
It occurred to me that these might be a perfect edition for your 40 Piece Challenge students.
ChordTime® books are roughly a Preliminary grade level – so they might just be ideal “learn one piece a week” books for your Grade 2-3 students.
Get the students to choose the type of music they love to listen to, or ask the parents to choose something they want to hear!
Remember that your students taste in music might be wildly different to yours.
When I was growing up I only ever remember listening to commercial radio at home, but then an older sibling gave me an Ella & Louis tape and I discovered jazz. I had another sibling involved in amatuer musical theatre, we attended church each week, I played in a Concert Band at school and a Community Brass Band so in actual fact my musical soundworld was rich and varied.
Had I discovered ChordTime® Jazz & Blues back then I would have been in 7th heaven!
In the ChordTime® series there are:
Children’s Songs: In a Cabin in the Woods, Mama Paquita, Catch a Falling Star, Ding-Dong!, The Witch is Dead, Rubber Duckie, New River Train, Pizza
Time!, Tingalayo, Happy Birthday to You, I Can’t Spell Hippopotamus, Oh! Susanna, Teddy Bears Picnic. FF1041
Christmas: Silent Night • Joy to the World • Jingle Bells • When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter • Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer • The Night Before Christmas Song • A Holly Jolly Christmas • Good King Wenceslas • Away in a Manger • Jolly Old Saint Nicholas • Deck the Hall • The Twelve Days of Christmas. FF1005
Classics: Aria (from the Peasant Cantata) by J.S. Bach • La Donna e Mobile (from the opera Rigoletto) by Verdi • Largo (from the opera Die Fliedermaus) by J. Strauss, Jr. • The Little Man in the Woods (from the opera Hansel and Gretel) by Humperdinck • March Militaire by Shubert • Overture (from the opera William Tell) by Rossini • Pizzicato Polka by J. Strauss, Jr. & J. Strauss • Polvetzian Dance No. 17 (from the opera Prince Igor) by Borodin • Roses from the South by J. Strauss, Jr. • The Rage Over the Lost Penny by Beethoven • Theme from “The Surprise” Symphony by Haydn • Theme from Trumpet Concerto in Eb by Haydn • Trepak (from the ballet The Nutcracker) by Tchaikovsky FF1020
Favorites: Skip to My Lou • The Mexican Clapping Song • Rise and Shine • The Great Meat Pie • Long, Long Ago • The Duke of York • Three Blind Mice • Everybody Loves Saturday Night • Down by the Riverside • Auld Lang Syne • Where Has My Little Dog Gone? • Hot Cross Buns • Turkey in the Straw FF1014
Hymns: Give Me Oil in My Lamp • This Is My Father’s World • Come Bless the Lord • Hallelujah, Praise the Lord • We Gather Together • He Leadeth Me • Lord, I Want to Be a Christian • Children of The Heavenly Father • Kum Ba Yah • Go, Tell It on the Mountain • He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands • I’ve Got Peace Like a River • Battle Hymn of the Republic • Praise to the Lord, The Almighty • Amazing Grace • O Worship the King • Jesus Loves the Little Children • This Train • Blest Be the Tie that Binds. 1003
Jazz & Blues: Ain’t Misbehavin’ • Baby Face • Dill Pickle Stomp • Do Wah Diddy Diddy • God Bless’ The Child • Left Hand Louisian’ • Ol’ Man River • Tea For Two • Tuxedo Junction • Watermelon Man • When The Saints Go Rockin’ In • Where Is Love? • Whistle Stop Blues FF1046
Jewish Favorites: My Draydl • Hanukah • Maoz Tzur • Hanukah Cradle Blessings • Artza Aleenu • Tumbalalaika • Seeman Tov • Hatikvah • Hinay Mah Tov • Shabbat Shalom • Hayvaynu Shalom A’layhem • Havah Nageela. FF1192
Popular: Angel Of Music • Can You Feel The Love Tonight • Circle Of Life • Do Re-Mi • (Meet) The Flintstones • Heart And Soul • Lean On Me • She Loves You • Star Wars (Main Theme) • The Entertainer • We’re All In This Together FF1004
Ragtime & Marches: Alexander March • Alexander’s Ragtime Band • Astronaut March • Colonel Bogey March • Dalmatian Rag • Raincoat Rag • The Caisson Song • The Entertainer • The Marines’ Hymn (Halls of Montezuma) • The Stars and Stripes Forever • The thunderer • You’re a Grand Old Flag. FF1133
Rock ‘n Roll: Chantilly Lace • Come Sail Away • Crazy Little Thing Called Love • In The Midnight Hour • Long Tall Texan • Lost In The Fifties Tonight (In The Still Of The Nite) • Mr. Tambourine Man • Rock Around The Clock • Surfin’ Safari • Wipe Out • Witch Doctor • Yesterday • You Really Got Me FF1021
There really is something for everyone and they’re as cheap as chips to boot!
Here are some super cool things that you might not know about the ChordTime® books:
1. Each piece includes a Practice Chart. Students can shade in a star for each day of practice.
2. There is a Study Time section at the end of each piece – for extension teaching ideas.
3. Many of the pieces include warm-up exercises such as this: