After hearing Mannheim Steamroller’s first Christmas album (quite a while ago), I have been a huge fan of creative arrangements of holiday music. From “Jingle Bells”, to “Deck the Halls” to “Carol of the Bells”, most people from any religious preference recognize and seem to enjoy the tunes of the season. These familiar melodies attract students, and, when coupled with wonderful arrangements offered by current composers, the combination provides great tools for propelling budding pianists to new levels of playing. Below is a list of ideas for utilizing the tunes and spirit of the season to enhance student’s learning experience and progress. Yes, I know a little late for this December–but now there is plenty of time to plan ahead for next year!
So many books/series include a CD that most students choose their holiday recital piece by listening to various options–usually in October (early, I know!) Every CD I own has been imported to iTunes and then moved to my iPod. Thanks to one cable, the iPod conveniently hooks to my Clavinova and high quality speakers allow students to select a favorite piece and begin to prepare early to guarantee a successful performance.
Make a List and Check it Twice
As students move closer to the performance date, they are welcomed to try out their pieces on “Bella”–my Yamaha C6 residing in my upstairs living room (instead of the piano in the studio). While there, we review the 5 p’s of performing: [···]