Review: Carol Encores

Who else is starting Christmas music in their studios? I love this time of year. I already started playing Christmas music on my own ages ago, and now am getting my students going on some Christmas music of their own. So exciting!!

I recently have had the opportunity to try out a new book of advanced Christmas solos for piano by Amy B. Hansen, a friend and accomplished pianist/composer who shared some great insights with us about composing a couple of years ago, and I am loving it! Carol Encores is a great collection of Christmas carols that are definitely more advanced than many collections out there. These arrangements will really give your students something to work on. They are a fresh and original collection of well-loved and classic carols that will really add a flourish to a Christmas recital.

These arrangements contain lots of fancy runs, two-against-three rhythms, and beautiful and original motifs, include lots of hand over hand motion, and really utilize the whole range of the keyboard. While all seven of the arrangements are showy enough to wow any recital audience, about half of them are slower and more lyrical. My favorites include the beautiful and flowing arrangement of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" and the fun and joyful "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful" (and I am still trying to master the great runs up to speed on this one!).

I think this is a book that both you and your more advanced students will really enjoy this Christmas season. Carol Encores can be purchased here.

Here's a fun music video featuring some of Amy's music - it gives you a great preview of her style used in her Christmas music.