You know you’re a piano teacher when you’re playing Christmas music in October! (And I even feel like I’m behind in getting ready for the recital this year!)
Our annual studio Christmas recital is a favorite for students, parents, family, friends and myself! Each year I try to do something a little different. This year I’m encouraging families to work together to come up with some sort of ensemble. My students should plan to play the piano, but other than that they can be as creative as they want!
I’m going to be digging through my files of Christmas music this week to help come up with music for the students and families. I spent part of this afternoon arranging a simple piano duet for a girl and her brother. The brother just started lessons this fall and wants to play a duet of The First Noel. I plan to teach him his part (the melody) mostly by rote and by ear, so I put it in the position one would use if they were playing a D scale with the tetrachords split between the hands. His sister has been taking lessons for about a year now and has played through all the Major pentascales and chords, so I wrote her part using mostly chord patterns that she can learn fairly easily.
Here’s a recording of The First Noel duet that I made using the Audacity recording software I posted about in this previous post. (It was kind of tricky because I recorded each part separately and then had to align them just right so that they played in sinc with each other!)
Because of the nature of what I’m asking families to do this year, I think I may end up doing more arranging than I usually do. I love little projects like that and just wish I was more skilled in this area so I could arrange more advanced duets and solos as well. Anyone know of good resources for learning arranging skills?