Christmas and Winter Piano solos, duets, and trios for all levels

Christmas calls for amazing music. In fact, music is one of the things that makes the holidays so special. In this post you’ll find solos, duets, at least one trio, and some wintry music. Let’s get to it!

A Jolly Little Jingle – Rebekah Maxner — Piano trio, unequal-part

Did you know that Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and Jingle Bells can be played together in counterpoint? They can! And it is gorgeous! This piano trio (1P6H) is an audience favourite, and it also gives you a great opportunity for audience participation. It’s fun, playful and puts new twists on these old standards that will have your audience sitting up and paying attention.

Take a listen to this YouTube recording of A Jolly Little Jingle:

Listen to A Jolly Little Jingle on YouTube

The piece is written in ABA’ form, A — Jingle Bells, B — Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, and A’ — Jingle Bells and Jolly Old Saint Nicholas in counterpoint.

  • First (A) you will hear Parts II and III playing a lyrical, expressive version of Jingle Bells.
  • Next (B), Part I plays Jolly Old Saint Nicholas in C as usual, but Part III accompanies in the unexpected A Minor for a very unusual, playful flavour (Part II plays along with a countermelody).
  • The return of (A’) brings back the lyrical Jingle Bells with parts II and III but with the added bonus of Part I playing Jolly Old Saint Nicholas simultaneously for true Christmas counterpoint!

How does the audience participation work?

First print and cut out these colourful cards, one for each tune. Print them for FREE from my Printables page, here.

Print and cut out these interactive cards for FREE.

Prior to your performance, invite children in the audience to come forward and gather in an open space on the floor in front of the piano. These participants may be piano students, younger siblings or friends. Give each child two cards, one of each.

The Jolly Little Jingle book offers a quick and easy lesson on counterpoint that your whole audience will understand, even the youngest children. During the performance when the participants hear Jingle Bells, they’ll hold up the green Jingle card. Then, the red card with Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. When both melodies are played together and your participants can hear counterpoint, they’ll hold up both cards.

Where can you buy A Jolly Little Jingle?

It’s available in my shop (click here). Here are samples of the notation:

Jingle Bells is arranged for Elementary students, Level 1.

Jingle Bells arranged for Elementary piano Level 1.

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas has clean, easy-to-read notation for your earliest staff readers.

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas arranged for Early Elementary piano, Primer.

The book comes with two different arrangements for Part I (the accompaniment). First, for small hands with broken three-note chords/triads (Intermediate).

An optional second version of Part I is for larger hands with broken four-note chords (Early Advanced) — this is featured in the YouTube video above.

Get A Jolly Little Jingle for your studio Christmas performance and add a touch of comfort and joy to your holidays! Click here to buy A Jolly Little Jingle.

A Jolly Little Jingle is available in my shop.

Jolly Pachelbel — Rebekah Maxnr — Piano duet unequal-part

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and Pachelbel’s Canon sound heavenly together.

Your earliest learners can play this beautiful yet easy arrangement of Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. There are many versions of this piece in existence for beginners. This one is special because it is arranged with extra notes that intermingle with the canon to great effect. Play this YouTube video to listen for yourself:

Listen to Jolly Pachelbel on YouTube

There are two versions of the duet in the book.

For your Early Elementary readers, the early staff version is in C Major and includes an introduction (not shown) with stepping notes.

Early Elementary student part in C Major, main theme — Jolly Pachelbel
“Pachelbel’s Canon” part for teacher or Intermediate student, key of C.

But — some children are not yet ready for staff reading by Christmas. Rather than rush them, why not allow them to learn a favourite in the notation they already understand? That’s why this book also comes with an alternative pre-staff version that sounds just as beautiful.

Pre-staff option with the same special notes in the arrangement — Jolly Pachelbel
“Pachelbel’s Canon” part for teacher or Intermediate student, key of F — Jolly Pachelbel

Have you noticed how many pre-staff pieces always stick with the same old key of C Major? Have you wondered why? There is no reason for this, as pre-staff notation gives a wonderful opportunity to play anywhere on the keyboard. That’s why you will notice that this pre-staff arrangement is in F Major. It offers the student a different key just for the sake of interest. Musical children often get bored hearing only C Major for their solid first year of playing. Why not give them some variety?

Where can you buy Jolly Pachelbel?

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and Pachelbel’s Canon (nicknamed Jolly Pachelbel) is available in my shop. Click here to buy Jolly Pachelbel!

Jolly Pachelbel (Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and Pachelbel’s Canon) is available in my shop.

Picks for all levels!

For advancing students, you may want to choose a versatile piece of repertoire for your Christmas recital, a piece that can also be performed elsewhere, or polished for a music festival or exam. Many of the following repertoire picks are versatile.

White Frost on My Window — Rebekah Maxner — Level 1

With a delicate ostinato bass underpinning the piece, White Frost on My Window has a lonely, pretty, frosty sound.

Listen to White Frost on my Window on YouTube

White Frost on My Window is available as an eSheet or in The Color Collection Junior, a collection of 10 Elementary to Late Elementary piano solos. Click here to buy White Frost on my Window.

The Color Collection Jr.

Jingle Bell Swing — Rebekah Maxner — Level 2

Jingle Bell Swing has an intro and coda set to the jazzy little line, “jingle all the way.” The repetition makes it easy to learn and yet sound sophisticated.

Listen to Jingle Bell Swing on YouTube!

Jingle Bell Swing is available as an eSheet or in Old MacDonald had the Blues, a collection of 12 Late Elementary to Early Intermediate piano solos. Click here to buy Jingle Bell Swing.

Jingle Bell Swing is available as a single eSheet or in Old MacDonald had the Blues

Red Line — Rebekah Maxner — Level 5

Red Line takes its inspiration from winter sport. The red centre line in every hockey rink marks the place where the puck drops and the intensity begins. The boogie bass and tight harmony jazz chords aptly capture the energy felt in the arena.

Listen to Red Line on YouTube

Red Line is available as an eSheet or in The Color Collection, a collection of 10 Early to Late Intermediate piano solos. Click here to buy Red Line.

Red Line is available as a single eSheet and in The Color Collection.

White Drift — Rebekah Maxner — Level 6

If you could capture in sound what big white snowflakes look as they are swirling through the air, it would sound like the Level 6 piece, White Drift. It is in C-sharp minor, but don’t let that make you nervous. It is based on a black key pattern and when the thumb tucks on the white keys, falls very naturally under the hands.

Listen to White Drift on YouTube

White Drift is available as an eSheet or in The Color Collection, a collection of 10 Early to Late Intermediate piano solos. Click here to buy White Drift.

White Drift is available as a single eSheet or in The Color Collection

More Picks from composer friends!

Snowdrifts — Martha Hill Duncan (Elementary)

“Snowdrifts is an Elementary duet written for two of my more promising piano students, Madeleine and Sofia. The secondo (the older sister’s part) is at a Level 3-4, while the primo (the younger sister’s part) is within stationary 5 finger positions and can be read or taught by rote.” – Martha

Snowdrifts, 1 piano 4 hands by Martha Hill Duncan
Snowdrifts, 1P4H by Martha Hill Duncan.

Hockey Sticks — Susan Griesdale — Level 2

“A fun Late Elementary (Level 2) piece for wintertime! Hockey Sticks is easy to learn and an exciting piece where the fingers get to score a goal!” – Susan

Hockey Sticks, Late Elementary (Level 2) by Susan Griesdale

40 Below — Susan Griesdale

40 Below notation by Susan Griesdale.

Winter! (Levels 1 to 4) is a fun piano collection of character pieces to brighten those dreary winter days! Containing lots of wintery activities such as Snowboots’n Shovels, Hockey Sticks, Snow Day, The Blizzard Blues, 40 Below, Icy Sidewalks, Shivers, Runaway Toboggan, Blustery Winds, Cold Noses!

Click here to go to Susan’s shop to purchase Winter.

Toy Collection — Teresa Richert (Elementary)

Toy Collection is a book of 11 solos for Elementary Piano by Teresa Richert. Here’s the link:

 Click here to go to Teresa Richert’s shop to purchase Toy Collection.

Outdoor Skating Rink — Janet Gieck

From composer Janet Gieck, Outdoor Skating Rink is in the collection Dances, Daydreams & Dinosaurs.

Outdoor Skating Rink by Janet Gieck.

Click here to go to Janet Gieck’s shop to purchase Outdoor Skating Rink.

Winter Sun — Janet Gieck

Winter Sun is in the Red Leaf Pianoworks Anthology I, Sprouts.

Click here to go to the Red Leaf Pianoworks website to purchase Winter Sun.

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I appreciate shares, comments and likes. Happy teaching!

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