Why learn Christmas songs on Piano?
The night before Christmas is one of the most magical times of year. There's a sense of anticipation in the air, and the streets are decorated with twinkling lights. If you are looking for a way to make your holiday season even more enjoyable, then learning to play Christmas songs on piano might be the perfect way. These songs can be played on both traditional and electronic pianos, and the piano is also the perfect instrument for playing Christmas songs, because many of these tunes are easy to learn and play!
Top 10 Christmas Songs to Learn on Piano
1) We Wish You A Merry Christmas
A traditional English Christmas carol, the origins of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” are unclear, although Arthur Warrell, a Bristol-based composer, is widely regarded to be responsible for popularizing the song, after Arther’s arrangement of the song was performed by the University of Bristol Madrigal Singers in 1935, and its subsequent publishing by the Oxford University Press in the same year. Some theorize that the song goes as far back as the eighteenth century. In the lyrics of the song, the singer demands for ‘figgy puddings’, which is thought to be similar to modern-day pudding, and a Christmas treat given out to carolers on Christmas Eve in an old English tradition. It is an easy song to play on the piano due to its relatively short song form. In this piano version of the song, the left hand plays rising arpeggio patterns which give a grand, flowing sound to the music.
Click here to download We Wish You A Merry Christmas Piano Sheet.
2) Jingle Bells
“Jingle Bells” is a popular Christmas song that was written by James Lord Pierpont in 1857, and although some say that it was originally not intended to be a Christmas song, it has been a Christmas classic ever since. This Christmas carol may be one of the most popular pieces for beginners to learn how to play on the piano because it is so easy and fun. The melody of the chorus is simple to play on the piano, and it is a common song in piano books for children who are just starting to learn how to play the piano. In this piano version of this song, you will notice from the piano sheet music that it uses a simple stride pattern in the left hand to create a light and lively feeling.
Download the Jingle Bells Piano sheet music to this version here.
3) Silent Night
Silent Night is a classic Christmas carol that has been sung for over 150 years. The lyrics were written by a Catholic priest, Joseph Mohr as a poem in 1816. Two years later, in 1818, Austrian organist Franz Xaver Gruber composed the melody as we know today. It was only translated to English much later in 1859 by John Freeman Young. Playing “Silent Night” on the piano is a perfect way to celebrate the holiday spirit. “Silent Night” is traditionally performed with a calm and peaceful feeling. However, in this lively piano version of ‘Silent Night’, you will notice a left hand pattern reminiscent of Boogie Woogie piano and bluesy fill ins in the right hand.
Download the Silent Night Piano Sheet music of this version here
4) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
A Christmas tune that many of us are familiar with, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” was written in 1943 by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane for the then-upcoming film ‘Meet Me In St Louis’. Amongst favorite renditions of the song include those by Michael Bublé, Frank Sinatra, Sam Smith, and the list goes on. It is a wonderful song to play on the piano and you can be sure that it will bring out warm and fuzzy feelings in your listeners’ hearts, with its jazzy chords and romantic lyrics. The song uses the chord progression I∆7, VI-7, II-7, V7 many times throughout the song, which is a staple chord progression in many jazz tunes.
Check out the video to have a glimpse of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Piano Sheet Music.
5) Santa Claus is Coming To Town
The song "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" was written in 1934 by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie. Amongst the most adored renditions of the song include those by Bing Crosby, Mariah Carey and Michael Buble. It is exceptionally fun to play on the piano because of the many chord progressions you could harmonize the melody with. In this jazzy piano rendition of Santa Claus is Coming To Town, you will hear a wide array of chords and harmonic colors being used.
Check the video below for a glimpse on Santa Claus is Coming To Town Chords.
6) All I Want For Christmas is You
At over 160 million views on Youtube, Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ is hands down the most adored Christmas song of all time. Perhaps it can be attributed to the memorable song melody and its relatable lyrics. The lyrics of the song is about wanting to be with our loved ones, a feeling which is most felt during holiday seasons and one that all of us can identify with. It can be challenging to play the song on the piano and keep the full intensity of the shuffle style. Notice how the shuffle style is mimicked on the piano by the octaves in the left hand.
Check the video below for a glimpse of All I Want For Christmas is You Piano Sheet Music.
7) Joy To The World
“Joy To The World” is perhaps on of the most commonly heard songs in malls and stores during the Christmas season. The lyrics of the song are written by English Christian minister, Isaac Watts, and it is based on Psalms 98 and 96:11-12, and Genesis Chapter 3:17-18 of the Christian Bible. Needless to say, many of us are also familiar with the lyrics which celebrates the arrival of Jesus. As with many other traditional hymns, the song form of “Joy To The World” is relatively short, and this makes it easier to learn to play on the piano. The melody begins with a straight descending scale from the key note all the way down to the same note at an octave lower. In some piano learning books, this song is used to introduce to the piano student how to play scales, and the crossing of the fingers over the thumb. In this piano version, both hands play octaves throughout the song, which gives a lively and triumphant sound.
To download the Joy To The World Piano sheet music for this version, click here
8) Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence
Many of us remember the magical experience of hearing the song, “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence”, for the first time. A melancholic piano tune that is sure to stop people in their tracks, and compel them to listen, "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence" is a song by Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. It was written for the soundtrack to Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, a film directed by Nagisa Oshima released in 1983. Being a song written specially for piano, it is no wonder that “Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence” is one of the most sought after piano sheet music of all time.
Check out the video below for a glimpse on Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence Piano Sheet.
9) Last Christmas
"Last Christmas" is a Christmas song released in 1984 by British pop duo, Wham!. Written and produced by George Michael, the song was Wham!'s biggest hit, reaching number two on both the UK Singles Chart in December 1984. The song is a great tune to play on the piano because of it’s simple chord progression which consists of only four chords that repeats itself throughout the duration of the whole song. It’s the perfect song to jam out on the piano with your family and friends singing along during the holiday season. Listen to this romantic piano version of the song, which starts off soft in tone, and playing in the high register of the piano. This gives it an intimate quality, and the music builds over time by using a broader range of the keyboard.
Check the video below for a glimpse on Last Christmas Piano Sheet.
10) White Christmas
A staple amongst Christmas songs, “White Christmas” was written by Irving Berlin for the musical film, “Holiday Inn”. Perhaps one of the most popular versions of the song is the one by Bing Crosby, as it is the world’s best selling single for physical media sales, with over 50 million copies sold worldwide. The lyrics of the song, which goes “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know, where the treetops glisten and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow”, evokes feelings of wistfulness and nostalgia. Some say that it reflects Berlin’s yearning for his three-week-old son that had passed away on Christmas in 1928. It is a great song to play on the piano during the Christmas season in quiet, intimate settings. This piano version of the song features the tune in a solo jazz piano ballad style.
Check out the video below for a glimpse on White Christmas Piano Sheet.
Learn your Christmas songs on Piano with some help
Learning to play Christmas songs on piano can be a great way to get in the holiday spirit. It is also a very satisfying feeling when the time comes for Christmas and you can sit down at the piano and immediately start playing your favorite Christmas carols. If you want to super charge your piano learning journey, then taking up piano lessons might be your perfect solution!
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