These bundles of Rote and Reading® Holiday Piano Pieces are currently available:
- 2 piece bundle: Jingle Bells and Away in a Manger
- 3 piece bundle: Jingle Bells, Away in a Manger, and Jolly Old St. Nicholaus
What level are these Rote and Reading® Holiday piano pieces?
Jolly Old St. Nicholaus is early elementary and uses finger numbers to tell students what to play. The music is on the staff, but students do not need to know how to read music at all to play. They simply need to know their finger numbers! Free slow and at-tempo track mp3s come with this piece. You can send these to students so they can be reminded how the piece sounds during the week.
Jingle Bells Rote and Reading® is very pattern-based and very easy to teach, even to early elementary students.
Away in a Manger is also pattern-based and just a little higher level – more like mid-elementary.
What are Rote and Reading® Holiday Piano Pieces?
We want all of our students to be able to read music. But we also have to admit that those early level pieces where they just play the melody are not very motivating to any age of student, unless it might be kindergarten. Students want to play big sounding music even when they are beginners. But they can’t read music that looks complicated and sounds more mature.
Enter rote teaching. When we combine rote teaching with the power of teaching students to learn to read, we end up with more motivated students who are excited about learning to play the piano and even run to the piano to practice because their pieces make them sound so wonderful!
These Rote and Reading® Holiday Piano Pieces are designed to give students more than just a one note melody to play for the holidays. These are carefully composed to give students interesting pattern-based introductions and endings and special touches in the middles to make them sound more advanced than they can read.
Tell me more about rote teaching. It scares me a bit!
Remember that children learn to speak before they ever learn to read. And in the same way, it is quite natural to expect that children learn to play things on the piano before they ever learn to read them. Parents don’t restrict their children from talking just because they can’t read! As a matter of fact, more words and talking in the home can actually help children learn to read.
So let’s not be scared of combining some rote teaching while we are also teaching our students to read. You’ll find that you end up with students who are waaaayyyyy more motivated to practice because the they can sound much more mature and advanced with this kind of music. The more they practice, and the more excited they are about piano, the better you’ll be able to teach them to also read music!
Read this article about how long it takes for children to learn to read music.