Christmas Recital Pieces

Posted by: pianogirl1978

Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/02/12 03:10 PM

Okay so for those of you with LOTS of students, how do you handle pieces for the Xmas recital? Do you let some students play the same pieces? I have never had a Xmas recital, only did my first one this spring. I only have 5 students, but will be doing a recital with a fellow piano teacher who has 15 students. Isn't it kinda hard to have everyone play a different Xmas song?
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/02/12 03:11 PM

I think that it's fine. It's impossible to have 10 beginner students and avoid using the same works. I've seen it happen all the time and it's fine... Don't worry about it.
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/02/12 03:22 PM

I never repeat repertoire for recitals. Even for Christmas concerts, I manage to find enough music so there are no overlaps. Of course, I don't have 58 beginners to deal with.

There are enough holiday "classics" to pass around. Some kids might not get their first or second choice of carol, but it's also a good time to expand their repertoire.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/02/12 04:17 PM

Have you thought of doing some duets? There's a lot of duet lit out there, especially Christmas.
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/02/12 04:29 PM

I think it's OK to have some repeats, as long as they know someone else will be playing the same thing, and they all agree. I just don't let beginners play Jingle Bells.
Posted by: chasingrainbows

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/02/12 05:39 PM

I have some duplications at my holiday recitals. I don't worry about it - the students are generally young beginners. Although there is a lot of repertoire available, I find they are more motivated and learn their pieces quicker, when they know the songs. Consequently, there are lots of Jingle Bells, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Must Be Santa played. Although this is OT, I wish publishers would put more Frosty and Rudolph songs in their Primer and Level 1 books. The beautiful carols we grew up with are completely unknown to my students. Even if I sing parts of songs like "Joy to the World" or "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" I get a bewildered look.
Posted by: Minniemay

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/02/12 05:43 PM

That's sad.
Posted by: Stanny

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/05/12 08:04 AM

I try not to repeat holiday music at the recital, but the little guys are all so excited to play Jingle Bells! And the older ones love carol of the bells.
Posted by: pianogirl1978

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/05/12 10:12 AM

Thanks for the replies everyone! I am sure there will be a few repeats and no one will care that much. It is at a nursing home so I am sure they are just so excited to see the kids and watch a piano recital, that a few of the same songs are not that big of a deal.
Posted by: pianogirl1978

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/05/12 10:15 AM

Oh and do all of you have programs for Xmas recitals?
Posted by: Overexposed

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/05/12 12:28 PM

Hi pianogirl,
I have not held a Christmas recital. But here is my opinion anyway: Just show up and have kids play music for residents.

I wouldn't print a program unless you think the kids will be thrilled to see their name in print. I think the nursing home residents are not interested in looking at a piece of paper.

As technology becomes more accessible (printing programs at home) it does not make life easier, it just raises the bar. We're expected to have printed programs, whereas when I was a kid, we had recitals with no printed program. But I don't think nursing home residents are expecting a printed program.
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/05/12 12:28 PM

Originally Posted By: pianogirl1978
It is at a nursing home so I am sure they are just so excited to see the kids and watch a piano recital, that a few of the same songs are not that big of a deal.

Unless you want a chorus of carolers, pick some obscure Christmas songs. In my experience, nursing home audiences like to start singing along, which may be distracting to younger kids.

Honestly, there is no reason to repeat any songs, since there are literally dozens and dozens of "winter holiday" songs in all kinds of arrangements from several publishers. Don't forget the Hanukkah songs! There are some great arrangements that I teach frequently (Melody Bober's version of "Silent Night" and Kevin Olson's arrangement of "Mary, Did You Know?"), but I only program one of each song per recital.
Posted by: chasingrainbows

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/05/12 07:14 PM

IMO, for a nursing home performance (which I've done several), I would not prepare a program. I just announce the pieces each child will play. I definitely use familiar pieces. IMO, there's nothing more rewarding than getting interaction from the seniors - the fact that they are singing is a sign that they are enjoying the show. I've played some obscure new age versions of carols and found them staring with no real appreciation for the songs. Play familiar songs and let them sing! My students were never distracted by the choral accompaniment. smile
Posted by: Stanny

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/05/12 07:17 PM

I don't. My holiday recital is very casual, more of a "party" where the kids are the entertainment while the parents mingle and visit with other parents. The kids can play as many times as they wish. It's really fun chaos, and they tell me they enjoy this recital more than any others. (it's less stressful for the beginners!)
Posted by: treblemaker

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/08/12 02:53 PM

I have 43 students split up over 2 recitals, so I also struggle with putting together a Christmas program without duplicates! I am a big fan of Christmas CAROLS so I of course encourage my kids to play those, but I do allow some secular songs a la Santa and Rudolph. I also usually include arrangements from The Nutcracker, these are popular with my students (especially Trepak and Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy). Just today I gave one of my students an elementary version of the Hallelujah Chorus which really put a smile on his face, for a 12-year-old boy, that's saying a lot! Other pieces I've found in method books which work well for the Christmas recital: Jesu Joy of Man's Desire, Pachelbel Canon, and Greensleeves (What Child is This). And don't forget My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music and Linus and Lucy; while I have my students play those all year around they can also be considered seasonal pieces.
Posted by: Barb860

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 11/10/12 05:26 PM

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Have you thought of doing some duets? There's a lot of duet lit out there, especially Christmas.


Yes! Helen Marlais' "In Recital series has some Christmas duets. Lots of other good music, too. So one student could play "Frosty the snowman" as a solo, another could play with the teacher as a duet, etc. In my Christmas recitals, many students want to play other music as well. I mix in classical, pop, etc.
Posted by: antonia

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 12/09/12 09:06 AM

Don't worry! It is the third year I organize a Christmas Time Festival in my music school. They are invited pupils from all the five music school of the city. They come about 70-80 pupils(from 6 to 15 years old). They play different intrumentes . I can not manage the repertoire. Absolutely they are some repetitons. and all the people enjoy the moment. The Christmas songs are so beautiful...
Posted by: Bluoh

Re: Christmas Recital Pieces - 12/09/12 02:35 PM

Check this out: Awesome + Uncommon Christmas Sheet Music

Personally, I think it's fine if you have one set of duplicates, but it won't be fun if the entire recital were based on a couple pieces...