Christmas Song Lyrics and free sheet music for your intermediate piano players: three energetic arrangements of Holly and Ivy with flowing left hand chords, and a printable PDF of the lyrics to Holly and Ivy (bottom of the page).
Holly and Ivy's Christmas song lyrics are little-known to most people. Perhaps partly for that reason, the song feels very fresh. Listen to the beautiful sung version below:
Here are the Christmas music downloads:
The left hand chord pattern is fairly easy, but coordinating the two hands together is not! It helps to treat this song as a duet with your student for a couple of weeks, trading places on the piano bench as you switch parts.
What I have found very useful with complicated eighth note patterns is what I call "Lap-Tap" practice: each hand, on the lap or on the closed piano lid, taps its own pattern against the pattern of the other hand. No worry about playing the right notes... just rhythm practice.
Try doing this as you sing the Christmas song lyrics to help reinforce the melody's rhythm. I put this on my student's lesson assignment sheet for the week to do at home, also: "Lap-Tap counting 1x each day before playing with notes."
The second version is much harder, because of the added chord tones in the right hand in the second half of the song. It is possible your student may struggle with the parallel 6ths in the right hand unless they know and enjoy chord inversions!
The third arrangement of The Holly and the Ivy is my favorite because of the driving motion in the left hand:
Now, your students will actually be ready to play the non-stop left hand broken chord pattern long before they can easily play the chord tones of the right hand, especially the parallel 6ths, at least fast enough for The Holly and the Ivy. So you might suggest to your students a combination of arrangement 1 (the first one shown) with its easy right hand, and arrangement 3 with the always-moving chords. This is usually how my students start this Christmas song.
Now here are the Christmas carol lyrics for Holly and Ivy:
Listen to the beautiful piano version by George Winston:
Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? We'd love to hear it!
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Hi, I'm 13 and I've been playing piano for about 9 years and this is my second year playing Christmas songs on the piano instead of regular classic songs …
Left hand Christmas music
Looking for Christmas music for left hand, piano solo. Thanks, intermediate, traditional and others Hi, Cheryl. Do a Google search for: christmas …
Carrie,Voice and Piano Teacher:
This site is FABULOUS. For all the reasons you explain on the site itself--this is exactly what piano teachers need! (I still need to go look at the vocal music). Wow. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Hi, I want to thank you for such a wonderful and educational website. I have found all the information you have posted and your comments immensely helpful, and I am grateful for your posting it. I am sure you are an awesome teacher and person. I am a beginner piano student, so many thanks and Happy New Year.
I am grateful I found your website! My 7-yr-old and 9-yr-old sons will benefit from it continuously. They have been playing 1 and 4 years, respectively. You and your site are truly terrific. Thank you!
I love your site! It has been an incredible resource for me as a Music teacher. I love your ideas and the music you share...
Miggy, United Kingdom:
I've just found your website and I think I've died and gone to heaven. I've just taken up the piano again after 35 years absence... buying sheet music was getting expensive/a luxury. The tips are great too. I also live in the middle of nowhere so buying from a shop is not really an option unless I fancy a 120 mile round trip for a piece of sheet music!
Helpful Piano Sites
Leia'sLessons (a blog)
Martha Beth's Piano Site
Piano Music for Boys
Piano Adventures Forum
Susan Paradis Teacher Resources
I used to teach piano lessons, and then did not for a number of years. Now, suddenly, I have 3 beginning students and I am thrilled. I was looking for printable scales and found your wonderful website. Thank you so much. I know this will be a big help to me and my students.
THIS SITE IS AMAZING!!... Thank you so much for your hard work getting these on the web, you have made many children very happy!!
Thank you. Just wanted to say I found your website by mistake but what a blessing it has been. I am a missionary wife living in Spain (for many, many years) and I teach piano to Spanish children and adults. I have the barrier of very few usable things in Spanish, and can so identify with the need to write things suitable for the student...
Thank you for the free downloads! I'm a private teacher and I teach piano and beginner voice as well. :) I've been running my studio for about a year and I've come across the same issue; I don't want my students to have to purchase an entire supplemental book for only a couple of songs. So thank you for this site...some great downloads!!
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