Every year I tend to wait too long to get the kids singing their Christmas music. I decided I would be prepared this season and ordered music early. I now have a favorite book and a website I use for popular arrangements and songs.
I’ve been a big fan of MusicNotes.com for many years. You search for the arrangement you like, change the key, download and print it. It’s easy and runs about $5/song. However, my favorite part is that they have an iPad app. Download the app, sync your online account and use all of your compatible sheet music, in any of the optional keys, right there on your iPad. It’s a lot easier than carrying buckets of paper around and quite a bit cheaper than buying individual keys for each singer. One of my students picked out Mistletoe by Justin Bieber as her Christmas song and we’ve already been working on it for 3 weeks.
My current book of choice is: Holiday Hits for Solo Singers. It has 11 popular songs like Grown-Up Christmas List, You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch, and Let It Snow! I just received this book a week ago and already these are my preferred arrangements for each song. Imagine my surprise when I started the CD recording of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and thought ” I obviously put in my Sacramento Master Singers Gloria CD.” It took me a moment to realize it was the same arranger for both, and that Mark Hayes had used the same accompaniment for both the solo and choir versions. It’s even the same key. The biggest difference? The accompaniment CD for the holiday book has an ensemble playing instead of just piano. It’s nice.
I still use my standards for some of the more traditional carols and songs and they work well with my older classical students who have more developed voices. The Christmas Collection (Hal Leonard) and Christmas Solos for All Ages (also Hal Leonard).
I hope everyone is enjoying getting into the holiday spirit! Try some new books out or go buy yourself an iPad.
You’ll enjoy both!