How often to practice Christmas Music during the year?

Posted by: warlock214

How often to practice Christmas Music during the year? - 12/30/12 03:52 AM

Even though I just started playing in November, I learned to play 4 Christmas songs(Level: Easy - Faber's Christmas For All Times Book 1). The book has music in three levels. I'm still taking lessons. How often should I practice Christmas music during the upcoming year? I was thinking to continue thru the book as I progress thru my lessons. Any suggestions?
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: How often to practice Christmas Music during the year? - 12/30/12 06:00 AM

I suspect that most of us don't practice Christmas music during the year.

There are a lot of posts from those of us who pull out the Christmas books in November and are thrilled to see how much better we can do than the year before! I find it a cheery sort of benchmark system (especially as I started playing on Christmas day 2009!)

However, if you are keen - why not just ask your teacher to select pieces that fit with the techniques you're learning in your lessons and work through them that way?

Have fun!
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: How often to practice Christmas Music during the year? - 12/30/12 09:43 AM

I think I played Christmas music all year during my first year of piano. That's because the Bastien Christmas Favorites Primer was the only supplementary book that I had at the time, and because I love Christmas music. But now, I find that if I start earlier than November, I get tired of it before we reach Christmas.

I too like to see how much better I can do than the year before. I now have several Christmas books to choose from in about levels 1, 2 & 3, so I can revisit old favorites and learn a new piece or two each year.
Posted by: piano joy

Re: How often to practice Christmas Music during the year? - 12/30/12 10:30 AM

It is tradition for me to start practicing Christmas music on Halloween (I rather like the juxtaposition).
I stop on Dec 25th, which works out great because I'm sick of it by then!

smile
Posted by: Chopinlover49

Re: How often to practice Christmas Music during the year? - 12/30/12 11:31 AM

I play Christmas music all through the year because I really like it (and Christmas!) In fact, for Christmas this year, I ordered 24 new Christmas movies and gave my wife a new one each day, starting on December 1, always starting with "On the First Day of Christmas, my True Love Gave To Me...". (We already had about 30 Christmas movies so this will be the only year I can do this for a while. I will have to wait for the Hallmark channel to catch up to the demand...

We have a Christmas in July video fest, watching all the movies again.

Merry Christmas, everyone!
Posted by: ZoeCalgary

Re: How often to practice Christmas Music during the year? - 12/30/12 12:43 PM

I usually only Start them in November or so and play right through January. But I really like your idea. My level 5 Faber Christmas book gave me trouble this year with it's bigger chord arrangements and i had to work hard to get through one piece. Learning one every two months or so would be fun. I may have to try it. I like Christmas music. My husband may give me grief though because sometimes he hums Christmas songs in the summer and I give him grief! Haha

I see nothing wrong with your idea. Once you learn them you can play them a few times a week to keep them polished up until next Christmas.

This year because the level 5 book was such a challenge I played many more from the level 3 book and focused on playing them more musically, etc. But it would be nice to have more at the higher level. I think all in all I now must have 8 I feel fairly comfortable with from the Faber levels 3-5. And many more at level 3 I can sight read but are not polished. I would love to add more level 4 and 5 pieces.
Posted by: Andy Platt

Re: How often to practice Christmas Music during the year? - 12/30/12 02:49 PM

I too have given up practicing it, I just play it if I can, improvise with it if I can't and enjoy it for a month or so.

But I'm a great believer that if a piece of music inspires you to practice it, go for it - we'll do better with pieces that are within our capabilities and that we enjoy, than others that might not fit so well.
Posted by: Johan B

Re: How often to practice Christmas Music during the year? - 12/30/12 04:57 PM

Indeed.......practicing Christmas music.......second week of december.... Mostly just to polish the most popular songs and carols......

The rest of the year I need my time for 'real' music.......sorry...oeps....did I say this?....No, it was only a thought.....( a bit loud)

Greetz,
Johan B
Posted by: -Frycek

Re: How often to practice Christmas Music during the year? - 12/30/12 05:37 PM

Usually don't practice them at all. I can sight read the carols in the hymnal. Learned them as a kid. Recently got a copy of a charming set of variations on God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman by George Wesley that I intend to learn before next Chrismas though and Liszt's setting of Shepherds at the Manger.
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: How often to practice Christmas Music during the year? - 12/30/12 09:13 PM

For 20 years I would only disturb the dust on the piano to try to play by ear an Christmas song. A disaster as always, and I would quietly tip toe away from the piano for another year. This year T got the Farber and Farber Christmas books 1 and 2, easy and intermediate. It should come to no surpise that I cracked the books but didn't learn a single carol. I found a book and bought it. It had lots of Christmas tunes including "Santa Baby of eartha kitt fame but it was toooo difficult to learn in less then 90 days - way past Christmas. Maybe next year.
Posted by: Bobpickle

Re: How often to practice Christmas Music during the year? - 12/30/12 09:58 PM

I'll likely practice for at least a serious month or two a few special arrangements next year, but I'd argue time may be better spent improving overall musicianship through other repertoire and exercises so that at least "easy" arrangements and hymnals can eventually be sight-read and/or improvised over as -Frycek is capable of, for example, but that doesn't necessarily mean that with quality arrangements and relevant exercises, the two can't be one and the same.
Posted by: WiseBuff

Re: How often to practice Christmas Music during the year? - 12/31/12 07:10 AM

Michael 99--glad to hear you're keeping the dust down now.

Frycek--how cool to be able to just sit down and play them. I'm hoping that my sight reading gets good enough to play any of them. It really stops the singing to say "wait a minute while I play through this a couple of times"

Every year I pick up a new Christmas solo piece to learn and start in mid November. This year it was an American folk piece called either Brightest and Best or Star of the East. I had to leave out one section with moving chords but was pleased to have learned it quickly. I run through some of the sing a longs but don't have much of an audience for them. This year I accompanied my husband who sang "Mary did you know" for our Christmas piano party. Like many of you I love Christmas music and you'd think they'd be memorized by this time but, alas, no.
Posted by: Allard

Re: How often to practice Christmas Music during the year? - 12/31/12 01:11 PM

I started practising less than two weeks before Christmas and kind of botched my playing at the family's Christmas eve celebration. Going to start earlier next year!