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#28001 - 11/10/04 11:43 AM Christmas for All Time
Eric Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
Has anybody used the two books that are promoted at the top of this forum, "Christmas for All Time," Books One and Two?

If so, can someone give me a full report?

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#28002 - 11/11/04 05:59 AM Re: Christmas for All Time
pianoc Offline
Star Member

Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 1088
Loc: Goshen, Indiana
I'm not sure about a full report...

I started to write up my own - but am reading the foreward, and they did a great job... here it is...

...celebrates the holiday season with revered carols...secular favorites...include multiple verses - ideal for piano sing-a-longs by the fire or Christmas tree.

This book is designed for adult beginners and for those who have played piano in the past and are reacquainting with the keyboard...Adults returning to the keyboard can 'brush up on basics', with the best songs of the season...divided into 3 sections...easy piano with minimal hand position changes..3 primary chords in the key of C...Section 3 is in Key of G.


***
There are 33 songs for $9.95. I've used this book personally to play - easier than making up my own list of songs and gives me a basic framework to play from. I don't have a great memory and don't play by ear very well - this has served me well to do impromptu playing/singing. Not quite by the fire like they said - but something like that.

Book 2 - again their forword

...provides a variety of sophisticated sounds, yet with playable, pianistic arrangements.

****

I think they're supposed to be early intermediate level. This book is broken into 3 sections - but rather than difficulty it is divided between traditional christmas carols, popular christmas songs, and seasonal favorites.

I've had a few level 4-5 students borrow this book for a couple of weeks last year - they liked the variety and were able to play most of the songs for fun. I think they also liked seeing "Adult" on the cover because they commented on the songs not being for little kids. Common favorites from this book specifically have been:Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, Hallelujah Chorus, The Skaters' Waltz, Ukranian Bell Carol.

I played the We Wish You a Merry Christmas - variations - from this book last year for one of our programs. It uses Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Jazz Styles. It took practically no time to work up and everyone really enjoyed the variations.

It has 30 songs - $9.95.

I QUICKLY counted 32 songs that were only in one of either books - so that gives you a little idea of how many of the same songs are in both. At a quick glance - the arrangments are different.

If I had an adult that wanted a lot of songs that they could just play - I'd have them check out the difficulty level and recommend whichever book appealed to them both.

I don't have any books that have this many songs with this level of arrangements to compare with - so if you already have a book that you would describe like this...don't know if this is better or not.

Is this a full enough report?

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#28003 - 11/11/04 06:27 AM Re: Christmas for All Time
shannonspiano Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 694
Loc: WI
I've used Christmas for all times with my younger piano students. It's really been a fun book as they have many songs to choose from. As most of my students are using bk2. For them it's good for this year as well as next year. This year we are doing the easier pieces and next year they should all be able to play most of the songs. The arrangements are nice, they do bring out the melody with not alot of extras. It's also nice to tell the parents' that this christmas book should be good for 2 christmas'. I have one adult who has it for her daughters, it's a bit more like sight-reading for her. But her comment was I so enjoy being able to sit down and play each of the pieces, without having to work on them for months. That's what I wanted to be able to do when I started lessons.
_________________________
www.shannonspianostudio.com

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#28004 - 11/11/04 06:58 AM Re: Christmas for All Time
Lilla Offline
Star Member

Registered: 10/30/00
Posts: 1573
Loc: Chicago
I don't have a report yet - just handed them out this week. But my thinking is that they are manageable pieces for my stressed-out high schoolers. I assigned the more interesting pieces and requested that they sight-play from the beginning of the book a page (or a line) a day. I'll report back next week. My philosophy for Christmas is to assign one level lower than their lesson content and to let them have fun and enjoy.

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#28005 - 11/11/04 07:00 AM Re: Christmas for All Time
alidoremi Offline
Star Member

Registered: 03/11/02
Posts: 2120
Loc: California
I gave a student the Christmas For All Time - Level 2 book and he is really enjoying it. In the past we've done mostly Christmas carols, but this book has carols as well as the old standards: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is a wonderful arrangement, as well as "Winter Wonderland". "O Holy Night" is awesome too (but then I'm partial to virtually any arrangement of O Holy Night). The mom of my student is particularly excited about the book. The arrangements (particularly the standards) sound very grown up, using chords that aren't your typical I-IV-V. This is definitely a keeper!

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#28006 - 11/12/04 10:57 AM Re: Christmas for All Time
Lilla Offline
Star Member

Registered: 10/30/00
Posts: 1573
Loc: Chicago
Report #1: My intermediate student sightread a few pieces from book 2 and asked for something more challenging. I gave her HL5 but I know she will struggle with some of the pieces. Last year she played Level 4 of PA supplemental, but struggled some. I wanted her to play easily this year and enjoy the season. Oh, well.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Lilla:
I don't have a report yet - just handed them out this week. But my thinking is that they are manageable pieces for my stressed-out high schoolers. I assigned the more interesting pieces and requested that they sight-play from the beginning of the book a page (or a line) a day. I'll report back next week. My philosophy for Christmas is to assign one level lower than their lesson content and to let them have fun and enjoy.


[ 11-12-2004: Message edited by: Lilla ]

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#28007 - 11/13/04 02:39 PM Re: Christmas for All Time
Eric Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
Thank you so much for your reports. This was exactly what I needed. They sound like excellent collections and easily playable arrangements.

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