Christmas Caroling!


children-1096462_1280.pngOne month from today, we are singing Christmas carols at a nursing home here in town! I am not giving out the location online purposefully – so if you’re interested in going, let me know at your next lesson and I’ll give you directions on how to get there.

Caroling is taking place on Sunday, December 4 at 2pm.We will be arriving to set up around 1:40pm.

I was hoping for multiple options but they didn’t really have any for that weekend, and there isn’t really another weekend that will work.

Here is a list of all the songs we’ll be working on for the Caroling. Please note, we may not be able to sing all of these songs depending on how much time we have or all of the verses that they have, but we need to be prepared enough so that we don’t run out of songs. They actually go by pretty fast πŸ˜‰

  • Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Jingle Bells
  • What Child is This
  • Up on the Housetop
  • Deck the Halls
  • Here We Come A-Caroling
  • Silent Night
  • Twelve Days of Christmas
  • The First Noel
  • Feliz Navidad*
  • Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer*
  • Carol of the Bells*

*Not Public Domain Songs

Please continue to check back on the post as I will be adding lyrics, chords, and videos for the Public Domain songs so you can be preparing in advance for singing or playing on your instrument. Please let me know if you are interested in playing your instrument for one or more of the songs.

Here is a video of some of the songs to practice with. It’s important to know what the beginning of the song sounds like so you know when to start singing and also if there are pauses in between the lyrics of a song.


Also, notice that there are sections labled [chorus]. Whenever you see the word [chorus] later in the song, you are to sing the words that went with the first [chorus] that you saw. If you are confused, just listen to what I sing in the recording.

The songs in this recording are as follows:

1. Deck the Halls
2. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 1:30
3. Jingle Bells 3:16
4. Jolly Old Saint Nicholas 7:00
5. Up on the Housetop 8:28
6. What Child Is This 11:42
7. Here We Come A-Caroling 14:35
8. Silent Night 16:00
9. The First Noel 18:10
10. The Twelve Days of Christmas 22:30
11. We Wish You A Merry Christmas 26:40

Click here for the lyrics for the public domain songs: christmas-caroling-lyrics-2016

Click here for the chords to the songs:christmas-caroling-2016-chords

*PLEASE NOTE* I am not making recordings or providing lyrics online of songs that are not in the public domain. The lyrics for Feliz Navidad and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will be available when we are performing on Dec. 4. If you are not familiar with those two songs, please make sure that you listen to a recording and look at the lyrics.

Theme and Variations – Little Girl Dance

Theme and variations are really interesting! If you saw the post on making your own arrangement, a theme and variation is kind of like that, except the original version and the new version are both a part of the same piece. Here’s the dictionary definition:

Theme and Variation

Theme and variation is a specific kind of form in music. The form of a piece of music tells you how the music is organized. With a theme and variation, the piece begins with a theme that is the main melody. That is followed by one or more variations of that melody. A variation is music that is similar to the theme but is also different enough that it does not repeat the melody exactly.” –Β

Check out the lesson video in the link above for more information and a quiz πŸ™‚

Also, here is another example of a famous theme and variation:

Does that melody sound familiar? Can you hear that familiar song woven through each variation?

Try making up your own variation! And if you do, send it to me and I’ll post it on the blog!

Danielle πŸ™‚

Learning about Dynamics with Arabesque



Today we’re going to talk about Dynamics. In music, dynamics has to do with how loud or how soft you are playing. The main terms I want you to remember are piano, forte, crescendo, and decrescendo.

Instead of just reading a bunch of words about it, however, here are some amusing videos that help get the point across:

Forte and Piano

Crescendo and Decrescendo

There are actually a lot more than just these four terms though! Here is a chart of some of them.
Dynamic Markings

I thought this one was interesting because it helps give an understandable idea of what the sound difference is supposed to be:

Dynamic's Note Velocity

For even more information, you can check out

And that’s about it! Go back to the recording of Arabesque above and listen for the different dynamics when the markings appear.

Have a great day!

Danielle πŸ™‚



Pachelbel’s Canon in D

Two posts for this week!

Pachelbel’s Canon is one of the most well known classical pieces in the world. It was written around 1680 for three violins and a bass by Johann Pachelbel, a German composer. Today, it is frequently used as wedding music.

Here is a great link if you would like to learn a little bit more about the piece and listen to a youtube video of it:

For those of you who are playing this piece, I have some files for you. These are midi recordings of the music and the sheet music for the part you will play by itself, and all the parts together. A midi recording is electronic, so it may sound a little weird, but it’s still helpful to have.

Part 1 Only
Sheet Music:Canon in D part 1 PDF

All Parts
Sheet Music:Canon in D PDF

There are two main ideas that are important to know about Canon in D. The first is that this piece is a type of music called a Canon. The second is that in this Canon, Pachelbel uses something called an Ostinato.

See the below video for a good (and rather silly) explanation of a Canon, also known as a Round:

Pachelbel uses an Ostinato throughout the entire piece. It’s the bassline you hear that goes like this:

D A B F# G D G A

To understand what an Ostinato is a bit better, check out this video:

Before I go, I thought I’d explain a little bit of how I made the sheet music and recordings. There are some wonderful computer programs that allow you to write music on your computer and it will play back what you have written using special audio software. The program I use is Finale. You get to enter in the notes on the staff with your mouse or keyboard. Here’s a picture so you can see:

Screen Shot of Finale

So on the top and left, you can see all the buttons for picking out certain kinds of notes, rests, time and key signatures, etc. It can be pretty fun actually!

Finally, if you prefer this instead, I have some youtube videos of the recordings.

SO much information in one post! Haha

If you are interested in playing Pachelbel’s canon, please download the music and we can work on it in class πŸ™‚

Have a great day!