Our Teachers Share 13 Favorite Holiday Tunes

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Whether or not you like– or even celebrate– Christmas, you’ve gotta admit that it inspires some great tunes. A powerful genre, Christmas music evokes strong feelings and memories- just ask our teachers!

Below, they share some of their favorites, and the stories behind them. Stay warm out there, and Happy Holidays!

Silent Night

“In college I was part of a handbell ensemble, and each year at Christmas we did a lessons and carols service in the chapel. The service ended with the handbell choir playing ‘Silent Night’ while the congregation sang. By this point in the service the sun had set, so the whole chapel was lit only by candlelight. I always loved those two minutes.” –Sean, piano instructor

Jingle Bells

“I’ve had multiple students request to learn ‘Jingle Bells’ this year, even before Halloween! It’s a classic that is easily adaptable to musicians of various skill levels. I love seeing how excited my students get over this tune.” –Marilyn, piano and voice instructor.

Last Christmas

“I used to belt this song when I was younger, even before I understood the lyrics as a grown-up. It’s always been a favorite of mine throughout the years!” –Sammie, piano, guitar, violin, and voice instructor.

A Christmas Festival

“This is an orchestra piece and has some really awesome brass moments. It’s basically a mash-up of holiday classics.” –Adrienne, piano and french horn instructor

The Holly and the Ivy

“It’s a simple yet joyous Christmas carol that I never tire of singing or playing.” –Dominic, piano, drums, guitar, ukulele, and voice instructor.

Feliz Navidad

“I love seeing students playing this song together, and the surprised and happy faces of their families, all so proud!” -Deanna, piano, drums, guitar, ukulele, and voice instructor.

The Little Drummer Boy

“I just love that it’s about a kid who doesn’t have much, but gives what he has and tries his best.” –Sarah, piano and voice instructor.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

“This song reminds me that the holidays aren’t always so joyful for some people, and that I should be thankful that it’s easy for me to be home with family.” –Steven, piano and violin instructor.

“The song always invokes a distinct image of Christmas morning in my mind. Since the tempo is slow, there are opportunities for a variety of simple to intermediate/advanced arrangements, which I love sharing with students.” –Andrew H., piano and guitar instructor

Come, Come Emmanuel

“This is one of my favorite pieces. This arrangement and performance of it is incredible!” –Dominic, piano, drums, guitar, ukulele, and voice instructor.

We Need a Little Christmas

“My family is obsessed with the holidays and begs me to put up our Christmas tree in early September, so this song accurately describes how we feel when we’re trying to patiently wait for the magic of the holiday season to arrive. I also really enjoy the harmonies and the upbeat rhythms.” –Sammie, piano, guitar, violin, and voice instructor.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack

“I spend ample time every holiday season listening to Vince Guaraldi’s soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. It’s Christmas, it’s jazz, and it still sounds fresh 54 years later.” –Kyle, piano, bass, drums, and guitar instructor.

Santa Tell Me

“I love a fun pop tune, especially a Christmas-themed one! This Ariana Grande tune is full of exciting pop flare that makes you want to dance. It perfectly matches the excitement of the holidays for me.” –Marilyn, piano and voice instructor.

The Christmas Song

“Mel Torme’s melody is so beautiful and singable over some very interesting harmony.” –Kyle, piano, bass, drums, and guitar instructor.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

“Living away from my family makes it hard to spend as much time as I would like to with them during the holiday season, especially with some of my generation starting to move away. This song reflects the feeling of wanting to be with them all, and shows how great those moments are, even if they aren’t as frequent as we would like them to be.” –Sean, piano instructor.

Want to learn how to play these songs? Talk about setting some goals for the new year with your Piano Power teacher!

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