One of my students learned O Come, All Ye Faithful in school and wanted to play it. It wasn’t in his Christmas book, so I wrote one out for him.
This is one of the first Christmas Carols I learned. I was so excited because of the dynamic changes in the refrain. I wasn’t taking piano then, so this was the first time I was aware of gradually getting louder in each phrase. I can’t explain how thrilled I was to learn that music could do that! Sometimes as a teacher I forget that what is old-hat to me is a novel idea to my students.
There are two arrangements to choose from. One is pre-reading and the other is on-the-staff and only uses 8 notes. One thing interesting about this carol is that there are no thirds (skipping notes) in the right hand and only one skip on the left. That makes it a lot easier. Yes, I used dotted quarter notes in the staff version, but it’s easy to teach by rote. If they know this carol, they are going to play the dotted rhythms anyway so they might as well see what they are playing. Also, when they find this rhythm in other music they won’t be afraid of it.