Jingle Bells sheet music is one of those need-to-know pieces for beginner piano players.This free sheet has so many things going for it, both for the student, and from the perspective of the teacher!
This cute and singable little Christmas tune is a favorite of young kids:
Why is this such a great song for beginners?
First of all, Jingle Bells is such a familiar tune, that even when it is not the Christmas season, little kids are often very excited to learn it. Because of its familiarity, they will memorize it quickly, and then, if you wish, you can start adding other activities -- like Mary Had a Little Lamb, this is a good song to use as a foundation for learning or polishing new skills.
Here is Jingle Bells, as I give it to my beginners:
So what makes Jingle Bells sheet music so versatile?
This Christmas is the perfect tool... now start using it!
Here it is with chord symbols:
But there's no left hand!
I want my students to learn early on how to read chord symbols, so they can play lead sheets. Each "C" means "play a C chord here". See below how I actually have my students play Jingle Bells sheet music, with open chords (open fifths):
Why not just start with the Jingle Bells sheet music with chords on it?
Because a few of them will jump to the conclusion that the letter is telling them the name of the note below, even if they know better.
I suggest you give it to your piano students without the chord symbols initially, or else make a point of asking them "What does this letter C mean here? And this letter F? And this G?" Why ask them this? So, depending on their familiarity with chords, you might be better off with a plain sheet. Or, start in the very first week asking THEM to play the chords for YOUR right-hand melody.
The very easiest way to add LH
The first week or so, if they already have the experience of putting LH chords to a RH melody, you might suggest that they use just a C chord the whole song, with no chord change, as in Indian Dance. Tell them the song will sound prettier if they play it up high on the piano, so that it does sound "more like bells".
Then add the secondary chords
After a week or so like this, you can start adding in the "G pinch" chord (the G7 made with the f & g, using the 2 &1 fingers of the left hand) and the "little F" chord (f & a, again with the 2 & 1 fingers of the left hand). The G pinch chord is easy, especially after playing Mary Had a Little Lamb, but beginners have a hard time with the Little F chord, because it necessitates the stretch of the thumb. Sometimes, after a struggle, I just let young pianists substitute the G7 chord for the F chords, and we come back to the F chord later.
Have fun with this well-loved Christmas music!
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!
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Sheet music reading problem
I don't know how to read this in piano language. I want to know it in letters. Please help, I am waiting. Dana: Hi, Shanti, My site is aimed …
Do You Have Jingle Bells part two?
Do you have Jingle Bells part two? It goes like this, "Dashing through the snow in a 1 horse open sleigh. Through the fields we go laughing all the way!" …
THIS SITE IS AMAZING!!... Thank you so much for your hard work getting these on the web, you have made many children very happy!!
A thousand thanks for your beginning piano and guitar songs. I've already printed several for my children, including the Pretty Little Horses TAB and Carol of the Bells for piano. What a wonderful resource!
I bought your Halloween Songs, wrote teacher accompaniment for some, and performed with 17 of my students in costume at an assisted living facility. It was a "win-win" situation. The kids and residents loved it and the parents were very pleased with the service aspect of their children's performance as well. Thank you for sharing these lovely pieces that introduce the minor key in a very simple and interesting way to early elementary students.
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Piano Adventures Forum
Susan Paradis Teacher Resources
I love your site! It has been an incredible resource forme as a Music teacher. I love your ideas and the music you share...
Greetings from Perú, South America. I like your blog, I teach piano to children, and it isgood for all the piano teachers.
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!