‘Tis the Season.

The garlands of dried cranberries woven with white lights are on the mantle. The Christmas cacti are ready to burst into glorious bloom. The white star lights are hung around the front door. The Christmas/winter-themed pop-up books are in the sunroom. The collections of holiday music are in the students’ sight-reading library.

The other day I was at my neighborhood coffee house waiting for my latte when I caught sight of a woman totally decked out for the season: bright orange hair, brilliant red jacket, green scarf and a Christmas tree brooch sparkling with precious jewels. It was outrageous. And awesome. I love Christmas décor. Especially when worn.

And so, in the spirit of the season, here are some holiday-themed technique exercises. It wouldn’t be December in my studio without these.

Three Festive Five-Finger Positions:

  1. Mi-Mi-Mi



(Based on “Jingle Bells,” of course)

  1. Mi-Re-Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol

(“The First Noel”)

  1. Sol-Fa-Mi-Re-Do-Re-Mi-Do

(“Deck the Halls”)


And Two Scale Variations:

  1. Up: Normal or Long Do, Down: “Joy to the World” rhythm

       (could be used for any number of octaves)

  1. Based on “The First Noel” (I particularly like this one because it starts and ends in a non-traditional place in the scale.):


Of course the obvious thing would be to do all of the above with major keys. However, if you are feeling Scrooge-ish, minors are a clever twist

Happy holidays!