When I look back on my childhood, carols were a big part of Christmas and it’s been sad to see a decline in their use in schools and the community generally over the last decade.
In fact, while most students know the newer ‘pop-carols’ which are blasted through shopping centres at this time of year, some students don’t seem to know the classics like “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” (one of my personal favourites) or “Once in Royal David’s City.”
If you’re after more free help with teaching piano lead sheets, check out my article How to Create a Piano Lead Sheet from Any Song
With fewer schools singing carols (if they get students to sing at all) and fewer families attending church, there’s no surprise in the demise of Christmas carols.
So today’s post and FREE download (read through to the end) is designed to help you buck this trend, support the continued knowledge of carols, and have some fun teaching Christmas carols without the books.
This time of the year can also bring with it (especially in Australia), declining engagement in lessons: recitals and exams are over, school is winding-up for the long summer holidays and teachers are looking for easy wins with students (and winding-down their own teaching).
That’s why a lead sheet/chord-based style of playing is ideal for students at this time: by combining simple melodies in the RH with chords in the LH, they can be playing some of these great tunes within a 30-minute lesson.
This is also a great opportunity to encourage students to sing and accompany themselves while playing, again, using the lead sheets we’re providing today. Similarly, if anyone else in the studio or family plays an instrument, they can follow-along, maybe even on Christmas Day!
So here’s what we’ve put together for you in today’s free download.
Get access to six popular and easy-to-learn Christmas carols in lead sheet form. This includes a notated right hand, chord symbols above and lyrics so that you, or your student, can sing along.
We’ve arranged them from easiest to hardest. They’re organized so that most students will be able to learn at least one in a single lesson.
Any chord symbols in brackets are optional. They are chords that can be added later on when the student is confident with the song and needs an extra challenge. They are not essential for playing the carol.
If you’re an Inner Circle member, no need to enter your email, you can find this download now in your Resource Library.
For everyone else, please enter your details below:
We hope you find this download useful, so you can teach Christmas carols in your studio in a fresh, enjoyable format, without the extra books.
Have a very Merry Christmas!
Tim Topham is the founder and director of TopMusic. Tim hosts the popular TopCast show, blogs regularly at topmusic.co and speaks at local and international conferences on topics such as pedagogy, business, marketing and entrepreneurship. Tim has been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher Magazine, California Music Teacher and EPTA Piano Professional. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.