A White and Blue Christmas
Found in: Reading
I’m thinking about ordering the White and Blue Christmas book for a group that is now through the reading process, and I’m wondering if anyone who has the book can give me some information about the pieces. My students want to play Christmas songs with a melody – in other words, they have done the Accompaniment style of Christmas songs the last couple of years and want to play arrangements that will allow other people to know what song they are playing without someone singing along. Is this the right book for that purpose?
Laurie Richards, Nebraska
Yes, this is the book you want. The great thing is that there are some simple-to-read pieces and also more challenging, blues-y arrangements. There’s a little something for everyone. More advanced students can also be challenged to create a different arrangement of the simple pieces. I love the book and use it with all of my readers.
Kym N., California
Does the music have the chords besides music scores?
Laurie Richards, Nebraska
Kym, no the book does not include chord symbols. I sometimes use this as a project for more advanced students – to try to fill in the chord symbols.
Julia B., Canada
I have started using the White and Blue Christmas book with my readers also. I love this book! As Laurie already mentioned, there is a good variety of pieces which means I can have students learn 2 or 3 easy ones this year, and then more difficult ones in subsequent years. Some of them are really gorgeous. I had a parent purchase one just because she heard me play Silent Night Blues.
I find that there are so many tools and strategies buried in these pieces — chords, broken chords, patterns, anchors, pivots, steps of sound — you name it! It’s like the kids are finding “hidden treasure” when they start reverse engineering them. It’s a great way to reinforce the powerful strategies covered in the foundations and helps students understand why they are so important.
I am currently using it alongside TFMM to reinforce the process of reverse engineering. Yesterday I had a group working on Good King Wenceslas. I had them take the first line and process it as though they had to teach it “playing-based” to a group of Foundation 3 students. It helped them get the notes off of the page and see what was really happening on their fingers and on the piano. Great experience for them, and it’s nice to have some Christmas pieces to add to their permanent repertoire.
Kevin M., California
I love the White and Blue Christmas book. The Silent Night Blues was the first bluesy Christmas song I learned, and I can’t wait to play it every year. Of course students who are reading just love this song as well. Jingle Bells is great too, You can have the Alberti Bass conversation from “Sonata in C” The book has something for everyone, from Beginning to advanced (the Jazzy “first Noel”) is also a favorite of mine.