As we approach the upcoming holiday season, you may wish to encourage your students to perform holiday-themed music at home. This can create some wonderful memories, especially when done as families gather for celebrations. We did this with our kids, and it was especially enjoyed by their visiting grandparents.
In my experience this works best with 5th, 6th and 7th grade students, many of whom are often looking for more music to perform. Long before SmartMusic I would often write out solos for my beginning band students who wanted to play songs beyond those in their method book.
You might consider including something in your communications with parents. You could suggest that they encourage their children to share their music with visiting family members over the holiday break.
If your students are using SmartMusic, it includes many holiday-themed solos they can choose from. Below are a few of the books you’ll find in SmartMusic that you might recommend.
- Christmas Joys
- Classic Holiday Solos
- Cool Yule
- Easy Christmas Instrumental Solos
- Christmas for Solo Singers
- Sing Solo Christmas
Most of the pieces above are well within reach of middle school students, and can be enjoyed by older students as well. The vocal solos could also accompany family sing-alongs. Of course, SmartMusic makes it easy to record and save these performances which can then be played back at family gatherings for years to come.
I hope your students take the opportunity to share some music with their loved ones this holiday season. Anything we can do to encourage students to play during the break will make things easier for everyone when students return in January.
David Hawley was the SmartMusic education specialist for more than twenty-one years before retiring in 2015. Today he continues his relationship with MakeMusic as a consultant.
His diverse background includes more than two decades of multi-level studio, public school, and college teaching. David also continues to maintain an extensive professional music performance career.
He holds the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Music Education and Master of Fine Arts in Music Performance from the University of Minnesota.