Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Music Tip - Christmas Music

Now is the time (actually two weeks ago was the time--but I forgot to write this post).  So if you haven’t started, you better start RIGHT NOW!  What am I talking about?  Why Christmas music, of course--that is, having your children practice and play Christmas music on their instrument (piano, violin, banjo—whatever!)

I love to have my piano students practice Christmas music and it seems that they are much more willing to practice when it’s Christmas music, too.  I like to give them songs that are just a little easier than their usual reading songs.  I want them to be able to learn a song in one week’s time, not have to take several weeks to master it.  That way they can learn several songs during the season and enjoy playing them for recitals, or family or for grandma when she comes to visit.

I like to use Christmas songs as a good remedial sight reading exercise or a boost to a child’s reading self esteem.  Put a lower level song in front of them and challenge them to play it perfectly or with only a couple of mistakes.  Then help them realize how much they have learned in the past few months.

You can use primer level songs to reinforce or teach new notes.  Have your student say the name of the notes out loud while playing their piece.

This is my favorite site to get free folk and classical sheet music and they have lots of Christmas sheet music as well.

For my beginning Suzuki students who don’t know how to read music yet, I write out Jingle Bells for them in this format (EEE EEE EGCDE……).  It helps reinforce the names of the piano keys and they LOVE to play the song. Sometimes it helps to write the "Gs" a little bit higher  and the "Cs" and "Ds" a little bit lower to help them visualize where the keys are.

Don't forget to use lots of fun holiday stickers to reinforce practicing. 

Enjoy the season! Remember the reason!

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