Jerald Simon at Music Motivation.com is having a great cd/piano book giveaway every day until December 18th. I enjoyed checking out all of the recordings of his "giveaways" and was especially excited about the "Cool Songs for Cool Kids" (which I'll be posting a review of soon) and "Variations on Mary Had a Little Lamb."
After being inspired by Wendy Stevens post about Creativity at Christmas Time with a great video of her students in action, I decided to encourage my students to compose their own Jingle Bells variations this Christmas.
To help my students learn a little more about music styles and launch them off to a good start on their variations, I had them listen to these fun variations on the Music Motivation site while completing a little listening worksheet describing the elements of each style (dynamics, articulation, tempo, mode (major/minor), range (high or low), rhythm, texture/chord style (thick/thin, broken/blocked). I love the variety of styles Jerald Simon included in this book of variations.