I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving, and that you are all getting out your Christmas piano music to celebrate the season! (I got mine out long ago.....)
I thought I'd share some of my favorite Christmas piano music! These are wonderful for intermediate to more advanced students, or to enjoy yourself! Here is my list of Must-Have Christmas Piano Music! Enjoy!
Christmas Fantasy - a medley of traditional Christmas carols by John W. Schaum
This is a great little early advanced Christmas medley that I learned as a teenager. Included in the medley are "Come All Ye Shepherds" (briefly in the beginning and the end), "Silent Night," and "Joy to the World." Wonderful if you're looking for a challenging Christmas piece with a more classical feel.
O Holy Night - transcribed for piano solo by Rob Roy Peery
This is a great piano arrangement of this beautiful Christmas carol! If you're looking for a more advanced, traditional Christmas piece to assign to a student, this is a great choice. The melody begins in the middle (shared by both hands), moves to the left hand and then to the right. It includes lots of virtuosic passages and big chords. Very fun!
Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite Op. 71a for One Piano, Four Hands, arranged by Eduard Langer
Ok, this is one of my absolute FAVORITES to play during the Christmas season. If you have never played these you need to buy this book right now. And find a buddy to learn them with. Now these babies are pretty advanced, so they require some practice :) but are well worth it. Janina and I performed a big portion of this set as a duet recital in college and it was SO much fun. Get this book. Now! :)
Sleigh Ride - Duet for One Piano by Leroy Anderson, arranged by Michael Edwards
This is another must-have! This early-advanced duet is a definite favorite of mine....so much fun to play, so much fun to listen to. GREAT for Christmas recitals :)
Duet Fantasy on Jingle Bells by Robert Vandall
My sister and I love to play this as fast as humanly possible. This is a great Christmas duet that is tons of fun. Also check out Robert Vandall's other fun Christmas duets!
The Songs of Christmas - Liz Story
This is one of my absolute very favorite collections of Christmas arrangements for solo piano. These arrangements are a bit new-agey, a bit jazzy, very original and so beautiful. I love love LOVE these! Unfortunately, it seems to be out of print or something, because to buy a copy on Amazon.com you have to pay an arm and a leg. (Seriously though, if you ever come across this book, get it! You will love it all.) However, you can buy most of the individual pieces at musicnotes.com! My favorites include: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, (jazzy and soulful, love it!) Angels We Have Heard On High, (very original arrangement, very introspective and gorgeous) O Come Little Children/We'll Dress the House, and Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella/When Blossoms Flowered 'Mid the Snows (both beautiful medleys! so much fun!).
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas - 2 pianos/4 hands
This is SUCH a fun book! We grew up listening to Mannheim Steamroller Christmas music in our house, and my sisters and I LOVE playing these 2-piano duets! I'd say they are upper intermediate level. If you have two pianos (and two pianists!) this book is a must-have for the Christmas season. These would be awesome for fun Christmas recitals.