Dec 22 2009

Singing Carols Together

Published by at 3:00 PM under Musings


One Christmas, we hired a pianist to come to our home to accompany our family and friends as we sang our favorite holiday carols.  We got out the caroling books ( I used to force my kids and students to go caroling with me, so I do have a stack of caroling books!!), grabbed glasses of wine or soda, or hot chocolate for those traditionalists among us, and gathered around the piano to sing.   We had a good time, but in retrospect there are some recommendations I can make if you want to try the same thing yourself.

1.  We had music books, but not everyone read music, and not everyone could see the small print in the caroling books, so we got rather quiet by the third verse of most songs.  My suggestion:  Choose 12-15 carols that you think everyone will want to sing and find the lyrics here, at  Download them and make the print large enough for everyone to read, and then print out copies.

2. It’s not always easy to find a key that everyone can sing.  Therefore, either make sure the pianist can transpose keys, or if you aren’t using a pianist, check the key before singing to make sure it feels good for all, OR simply pick some songs that are high, some low and some in the middle so everyone gets a shot at singing some songs, if not all.  And even though you may think people will be tired of the tried and true holiday favorites, they appeal to us because, as described in a nice article in the Denver Post, they remind us of our own stories. Be sure to include the ones your singers suggest.

3.  Not everyone can sing, but everyone wants a solo!  Give those who can’t carry a tune something else to do.   And I don’t’ mean that they should just pour the drinks.   However, you might provide rhythm instruments or bells, or even perhaps a beer bottle.  In fact, if you are short on singers, you might just scrap the singing and go for a beer bottle choir.  Check out this video from the Bowen Beer Bottle Band on YouTube.  Now that’s a fun caroling session!

No responses yet

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply