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Christmas Songs arranged for piano by Helena Sandler Review by Pam Havens

Suitable for Beginners
Helena Sandler
Saterna Music Publishing, Co.
6765 Klahanie Drive
Powell River, BC, Canada V8AOC2

Music has the ability to evoke emotion stirring the soul with passion and creativity.  And giving a child the gift of music is a very classical approach to their educational experience.  My up-and-coming pianist is able to play simple music, which is why Christmas Songs arranged for piano by Helena Sandler Suitable for Beginners is a great choice for her.  This product is $25.00 and is complete by itself, yet there are several books available for all different levels of ability.  This method of teaching piano is by using only music that is played as the teaching technique. The music itself, with many repetitions, gently produces the finger patterns known as technique and replaces ‘drills’. And who does not love listening to Christmas songs being played all year round.  With this type of technique any beginning pianist can open this book and begin to play the simple twenty-six Christmas songs listed.  Each song is displayed with clear instruction for the note arrangement.  

This product is suitable for all ages and levels of ability, as well as musicians desiring to add repertoire while advancing technically and musically or for students who are dissatisfied with rote teaching methods.  My 2nd grader, who has been taking music lessons for less than a year, was able to approach these songs without feeling overwhelmed or distracted.  Of course, anyone with a love for Christmas music would be able to play these songs without hesitation, and they can be easily adapted depending on if the musician is able to play the notes arranged.

We incorporated this product into our daily twenty minutes of musical practice, and weekly professional lessons.  However, these Christmas songs could easily be integrated into any home education, private, public, or church setting as most students and adults will be quite familiar with the songs chosen for this book.  Our family enjoys Christmas music and these arranged songs were wonderfully played with delight by my elementary student.  Nothing more is needed to make this product complete, other than needing to purchase another book because the musician has mastered all twenty-six songs.  

I would definitely recommend this product for any musician who is interested in and able to play arranged Christmas music.  And whether the music student is young or old exposing them to all different types of arranged music, especially Christmas songs, helps to develop an appreciation for how each song was composed. 

Playing a musical instrument is a gift given to oneself through time, money, and determination.  And the rewards of mastering the piano and being able to play music such as Christmas Songs by Helena Sandler are beyond priceless.

-Product review by Pam Havens, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2018