How to Read Christmas Piano Music

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Christmas piano music has its own piano music, which you should read to better understand it. Play beautiful Christmas music from the sheet with help from a professional pianist in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Piano Instruction
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Kirk Wilson, and I live in the Los Angeles, California area and I perform throughout the area and also do studio sessions in Burbank and Hollywood and also I teach at OrchePia School of Music and today I'm going to show you how to read Christmas piano music. What's unique about Christmas music is just the fun part of carrying that Christmas sound and whenever I play Christmas music I just make sure I keep a flowing, a flowing style on the piano. So which means you have to use not just lots of arpeggios but you want a full sound of the piano. So in this particular case in this arrangement where you have the melody, now it has the one part of the melody in treble clef, the other part in bass clef. Typically when you read piano music the bass clef means the left hand and the treble clef means the right hand. In this case when I interpret this what I look at as a vocalist singing this and when you look at the bass clef it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm going to play it with my left hand as well a someone singing and that is the register in which they sing. Many Christmas music that you find in books the target, the focal point is the melody line and because many people don't know how the melodies go and they don't know the lyrics so most of the time that's what they're going after is like how do you sing this song. So when you look at the actual music you have to refer to the chords that is written on top of the measures and so when I play "Joy to the World," okay, so now that's like that first line. So, I'm playing the full chord and I'm referencing the melody in my head and I'm using that to determine what inversions that I'm going to play. So I basically just keep this melody on the top like this with my five finger and so I just build all of the chords below that. So what I did there was take the melody and I designed my chords below the melody and I played a majestic style using many staccato lines as well as the legato in the left hand, staccato in the right hand and that blends together to give you that Christmas sound. So that's staccato and then the lone notes. So my name is Kirk Wilson and that is how you play and read Christmas music on the piano.

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