Tag Archives: Beginning Christmas Piano Music

The Happy Christmas Comes Once More – Det Kimer Nu Til Julefest

O Fir Tree Dark, O Fir Tree Dear

The Happy Christmas Comes Once More

Det Kimer Nu Til Julefest

This beautiful Danish Christmas carol has such a sweet, folk song sounding melody and easy words for children, that I’ve often wondered why it is not more common in the US.

Once reason might be that maybe there weren’t as many Danish people in English-speaking countries to spread it around. It is very popular in Denmark and you can watch some performances on YouTube. Here is one with orchestra and young singers:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCd-zIAcx6A

Another reason might be the various texts that use this melody. The tune is found on Christmas recordings by Bing Crosby with words titled O Fir Tree Dark, O Fir Tree Dear. The lyrics are about the Christmas tree, and “the lovely Christmas story tell.”

There are other translations of the original Danish carol, sometimes translated “The Bells of Christmas Chime Once More.” Bells are mentioned in the first line in the original Danish words, and you can hear the bells in the YouTube video above.

When I decided to arrange an easy version of this lovely carol as part of my collection of elementary Christmas music for children, it was really hard to decide which words I should use with the tune. I chose this version because it is found in more hymnals and is easy for children to understand.

I arranged it in the key of C with the starting right hand thumb on D. There is one tricky spot where the hand moves and the second finger crosses over. And, of course, there is the dotted quarter note which you will have to teach by rote. You can use the London Bridge method I’ve mentioned previously.

If you don’t know this carol, look it up. It’s in public domain, so you can find versions with the lovely, sentimental 4-part harmony, which is so heartwarming at Christmas. If you have time, leave a comment if you know this carol, and by what title. Does it bring back memories? I’m curious!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Christmas, Sheet Music

Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas

 The Twelve Days of Christmas

Whenever I update my music or graphics for my own students, I like to share them with you. This has been on my website a long time, but when I was just about to print it out for a student, I decided I wanted to update the picture of the partridge. While I was at it, I spaced out the measures so it would be easier to read.

I tried to make this music look appropriate for all ages, so you can use this with beginning adults as well as children.

It is very easy  to improvise a duet with this song, since you can harmonize it with 4 chords while the student plays an octave higher.

Click on the link  or the  picture to download.

Filed under Christmas, Elementary Music

Silent Night

Silent Night Elementary

Silent Night

Silent Night is one of the harder carols because of the shift in position and the dotted rhythms. But a motivated student can get it.

After the younger student has learned it and If the student has an older sibling waiting, I will  show the older student the chords and try a duet.  By the end of Level 2 of most method books, student can play the I IV V chords in F.

Meanwhile, I gave this version of Silent Night  to a very cute little guy who is a primer student, but knows all his notes. His eyes got real big when he told me he couldn’t play it because the notes had those “weird little things on it” and he maintained this was way too hard for him. Do you remember when music looked way to hard for you?

A bright spot in my lessons this week was another student who wrote a song, complete with words, at his lesson. It was short so I was able to let him watch while I took his notes and put them in Finale.  We put his copyright on it and he thought that was cool. He told me he had rhymes and poems going on in his head all the time. I said I am the same way with melodies and I have bits of paper all over the house with sketches of music and songs.

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Filed under Christmas, Elementary Music