Holiday Music

As I write this blog entry, I realize that it was about a year ago that I joined this wonderful Music Teachers Helper community. My first article here was “Time to plan the Holiday Recital” – it is that time of the year again!

Over the years, I have come across a great variety of holiday music for students. My favorites include: Music for Little Mozarts Little Mozarts Perform the Nutcracker, Famous and Fun Christmas by Carol Matz, Christmas Jazz, Rags & Blues by Martha Mier, and Especially Popular Christmas by Dennis Alexander – all of which feature fantastic arrangements of some of the most popular holiday classics. They are carefully graded to suit different student levels, musically appealing, and provide a good deal of pedagogical merits.

While I always enjoy teaching holiday music to my students and playing the teacher duet parts, every now and then I want to play those beautiful, familiar tunes, too! There are countless Christmas songbooks out there, but most of them are collections for voice/guitar/piano. I am not a big fan of these fakebook-style anthologies – the piano part is usually not very pianistically written, either it is too simple and boring, or it is awkward with big leaps and stretches. I want pianistic, musical solos that sound sophisticated, have a bit of an improvisational nature, do not sound juvenile, and are “showy” enough to play for friends and family! This year, I have found three books that fit the bill! Read full story at

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