How do you use your piano skills at Christmas time?

carols 2013Several years ago I thought about starting an annual carols night at our home to invite friends and family to sit around the piano and share a night of carols together. This started fairly small and was open to whoever was available at this busy time of the year. It has now become somewhat of a tradition and something that I really look forward to each year. It has become our way of catching up with friends and extended family before Christmas, in a relaxed and ‘Christmas orientated’ way. The children are all so excited and it adds to the Christmas magic.

I play almost all of the carols. It’s probably around two hours in total, maybe less, but it is so much fun!! Each year I ask for requests and people send them in before hand so I can make sure to have the music ready. Last year we had a request for the Maori Christmas Carol ‘Te Harinui’, which I had never heard, it is a beautiful carol and so lovely for everyone to learn carols from other cultures.

Each year we get requests for Aussie favourites such as Aussie Jingle Bells and Six White Boomers, and all of the classics are in there! I wonder what people are going to request this year?!

My favourites at the moment are ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘White Wine in the Sun’ by Tim Minchin, but I don’t have the sheet music for either so I will have to go hunting. Here is a clip of Tim Michin’s ‘White Wine in the Sun’ for your listening list!

The thought of this coming ‘Carols at Carly’s’ night puts a huge smile on my face. This year, several of the children and other guests are also going to be playing. Last year my little sister sang for everyone and an Irish friend sang Silent Night in Gaelic, which was lovely. This year I think his wife is going to accompany him on piano. Many of my musician friends come as well, there is no pressure to perform, just to come and share in the music fun. My children will probably pick something out of their repertoire, the Christopher Norton Christmas Carols Piano Duets book is a favourite in our house at the moment. Christopher wrote it in 1981 and I picked up a copy when he was last in Adelaide!

christopher norton christmas duets) (1)

Christopher Norton’s Christmas Duets are making a splash in our house this Festive Season!

How do you celebrate with music at this time of the year? Do you have any musical traditions or Christmas carols that are favourites?