Tired of the same old Christmas activities? Do your ears bleed when you hear student after student play the exact same arrangement of Jingle Bells? Unless you plan to ban Christmas music from your studio altogether, you’ll need a creative twist on the standard lineup. Christmas Lead Sheets may be just the thing…and these have a colourful flair!
The Chroma Christmas lead sheets employ coloured notation, which is a great way to allow students of any level to get involved in ensemble playing and learn about rhythm, listening and working as a team. Coloured notation also makes a great first introduction to lead sheets.
There are so many ways to use this resource:
- Can your students use rhythm and coloured tokens to figure out what the song is?
- If they’re playing as an ensemble, students will need to listen carefully and work together to create beautiful music!
- How about introducing fun instruments like Boomwhackers, bells or a glockenspiel?
Whether in an individual setting or as part of a group workshop, your students will have so much fun they won’t even realize how much they’re learning.
How to use
- This fun game can be done in group or individual lessons.
- Give your student(s) the puzzle version of the song you’ll be working on and lots of coloured tokens (either the ones at the back of this PDF or any coloured tokens you have).
- Get them to lay out the song on the floor in coloured tokens.
- Walk along the coloured tokens and sing the notes together to figure out what the song is.
- Print either the portrait or landscape version to suit your student. (If students are in a beginner method with landscape orientation this may be more comfortable for them.)
- Have them play the root note of the chord on the piano, Boomwhackers, bells or a glockenspiel while you play the melody.
- Swap roles and do the harmony while they play the melody.
- After a bit of practice, get them to play hands together.
- Print either multiple copies of the portrait or landscape versions, or the large version to suit your students and setup.
- Set up different stations with pianos, keyboard, bells, Boomwhackers, glockenspiels and any other instruments you have around.
- Assign each station to be either the harmony (playing root notes or chords) or the melody.
- Rotate around the room so students get to experience each station.
Choose which pages you want to print carefully – it’s very unlikely you will need them all!
- Page 3: Portrait with no chords – great for solo players
- Page 4: Portrait with chords – great for solo players
- Page 5: Landscape with chords – easier for some to follow
- Pages 6-9: Large notation – great for large groups, especially when you will all be looking at one copy together
- Page 10: Puzzle version – for “name that tune” game
We Three Kings
- Pages 11-12: Portrait with no chords – great for solo players
- Pages 13-14: Portrait with chords – great for solo players
- Page 15: Landscape with chords – easier for some to follow
- Pages 16-19: Large notation – great for large groups, especially when you will all be looking at one copy together
- Page 20: Puzzle version – for “name that tune” game
- Pages 21: Coloured keyboard map – great for new students
- Pages 22-25: Coloured tokens – choose the one that suits you from the different solfa/plain versions to play the piece puzzle game described above
Coloured notation is a great way to allow students of any level to get involved in ensemble playing and learn about rhythm, listening and working as a team. This game can also provide a great first introduction to lead sheets.
Download the Christmas Music Game
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Do you use coloured notation or boomwhackers in your studio?
Share your ideas and comments below, and visit the “special occasions” section of my music theory page for more activities you can use in your holiday lessons.