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Who teaches Holiday music? “Jingle Bell Rock” is a favorite of mine, The chord progression introduces some “new” chords for beginners. Enjoy the break and here’s to a super New Year.
Carol of the Bells appears in several publications and is also a pretty easy tune to teach by rote as well. The kids love it! Our seventh graders did it this year and we could not get them to stop! it combines an ostinato pattern with a descending scale as well as a challenging ascending scale pattern. if you have access to handbells, you can incorporate those as well for a very pretty arrangement. Be prepared for the kids to rush the ostinato, though!
Well, this may be a bit outdated…but maybe ideas for next year? I teach them Mele Kalikimaka. The first verse is in E-flat but then the rest of the song is in E…tends to hit right when we’re working on B7 so it fits great. And since ukulele is such a hit these days, I even give the kids the option to bring ukes that day and I’ll teach it to them on uke.
Another favorite is “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas” by Blink 182. FAIR WARNING: There’s a slightly dicey bit of suggestive lyrics in the last verse…but the high schoolers don’t mind 🙂 It’s just a fun straight ahead song, but the intro and outro solos are easy enough to teach in a day and the classes feel really accomplished being able to play a whole song, soup to nuts.
I’m a big fan of the Christmas Guitar Ensembles from the H.O.T. series and My Guitar My Band-Christmas by Nathalie Lachance and Luc Levesque.
The HOT book splits kids up into a melody line, harmony, Chords and Bass. All the parts a very attainable by a beginning level ensemble and the chord parts have added finger picking as well.
My Guitar My Band is great because they split the melody line up so each part gets a chance to shine. Students have to listen to each other to make sure they don’t cover the melody line especially when it’s in the bass.
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