How We are Learning to Sing at Home this Christmas with Christmas Carols Made Easy
In less than six weeks, I will close the books on our homeschool lessons for the year and herald the beginning of our six week Christmas vacation. Six weeks may seem like a long break for a cold and dark time of year, but with a cluster of family birthdays mixed with the extra activity around Thanksgiving and Christmas, we all benefit from slowing down our family schedule.
While we may not work on math or copywork over our break, we do make a point of celebrating Advent and enjoying a relaxed ‘morning time’ together each day. Morning time, which some people might call circle time or morning basket, is a dedicated time to read Scripture, listen to poetry, sing together, and enjoy beautiful art and music as a family.
During Advent, we also light our advent wreath each day, and make a point of learning traditional Christmas hymns. When we practice hymns and carols at home, my children are more confident singing with the congregation at church. I also notice that they hum and sing the songs we learn during the day and when they’re playing. I love that our time spent learning to sing together enriches their lives beyond Morning Time!
This makes Christmas Carols Made Easy a great fit for our Advent morning time plans. We’ll use this simple singing curriculum to learn traditional (and international) Christmas carols from around the world and develop our singing ability at the same time.
(A quick note: Gena kindly gave me access to Christmas Carols Made Easy so that I could review it. All of the opinions in this post are my own. I’ve used affiliate links to direct you to the course.)
Christmas Carols Made Easy: Homeschool Christmas Singing Curriculum
Christmas Carols Made Easy is part of a larger homeschool singing curriculum called Singing Made Easy. I’ve been using the first level of this curriculum over the past term and the children and I both enjoy it. The curriculum includes audio tracks, along with sheet music and a short lesson on a particular aspect of singing to develop with each song. For example, we’ve worked on phrasing (taking breaths at the correct place), posture, and pitch.
This Christmas-oriented curriculum is similar. In the course you’ll find:
- MP3s of the music
- Videos of Gena singing the pieces
- Sheet Music
- Short notes for each piece to help you teach singing
- Coloring sheets for each piece of music
I appreciate the thought that has gone into selecting each piece of music. Not only are they chosen to highlight different aspects of singing skills, but they include traditional Christmas carols from around the world (England, America, France, Puerto Rico), and in many cases, the lyrics, MP3s, and videos include the songs sung in both English and in the language native to that song.
How We Use Christmas Singing Lessons in Morning Time
After logging onto Christmas Carols Made Easy, I first downloaded the MP3 track for each song to my phone. We really enjoy Marcia McCarry’s (the author of Christmas Carols Made Easy) straightforward singing. Her voice is very clear, and I’ve noticed that my children can pick up on the words without needing to read along.
That takes me to my second step: play the music when my kids are around. (Did I mention that this curriculum works even if you are strapped for time?) My kids will happily listen to the entire album a few times through. And without prompting, they will start to hum and sing along. As they do this, I have noticed that their pitch gets more accurate and they become more confident singing the melody. This makes for a relaxed, no-pressure introduction to the music.
My third step is dedicated practice. As we move into our Advent morning time, I will choose a song from the curriculum, and read through the teaching notes. I’ll relate these to my kids “on the fly”, mentioning details like when we might take a breath together, or if the piece is meant to be sung in a smooth, legato style.
Then it is time for action. With a big reminder to stand up straight and breathe from the diaphragm, I play the track and we sing along. I usually repeat the track a couple of times. Over the course of Advent, we will probably work on four to six pieces from Christmas Carols Made Easy, and finish the course next year. The boys are particularly excited that their favorite carol, The Holly and the Ivy is in the line-up!
Where to Find Christmas Carols Made Easy
Singing Made Easy has helped so many musical concepts ‘click’ for my kids, especially learning to match pitch and sing in unison. And that’s really the delight in singing Christmas carols, isn’t it? These songs are so beloved that we sing them with extra gusto. I’m excited to help my children learn these songs and develop their singing skills over the Christmas holidays so that they can sing with gusto, too.
You can purchase life-time access to Christmas Carols Made Easy through Gena’s website, Music in Our Homeschool. Until 27th October, you can get 30% off the price of the course by using the code CCMELAUNCH at checkout.
A letter from me to you, every week.
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