December is such a perfect month to inspire imaginative creating and composing!
Piano students are eager to play their favorite Christmas songs and this provides a perfect springboard for ideas as they arrange, improvise or even compose music that creates the magical feelings of snowfall or Christmas wishes and giving. Which one will be your favorite?
Carol of the Bells or Full Circle Improv?
Carol of the Bells Improv
A resource I recently discovered and can't wait to try with my students is Chrissy Ricker's free Carol of the Bells Elementary Improv activity. Almost every child I have taught is excited to play Carol of the Bells. My mind started spinning with variations of how this improv could be embellished to make it fun for intermediate students as well.
By choosing Variation Cards Carol of the Bells can morph into many different moods.
Carol of the Bells Intermediate Improv Possibilities
Lullaby of the Bells
Transpose the pattern up 3 half steps to the relative major and create a slower tempo lullaby that starts with the intro but ends as you like.
Carol of the Pirates
The strong pulsing minor melody "Carol of Bells" brought Pirates of the Caribbean to my mind. I've never seen the show but this energetic version by Jarrod Radnich is embedded in my mind and the simple Disney Faber arrangement makes this piece definitely more accessible for late beginner students.
Student Challenge: Mix a few melodic ideas from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" theme with a "Carol of the Bells" motif interlude to create your own "Carol of the Pirates" medley.