This following is a guest blog by Donna Koh, music reader services librarian in the Music Section.
It’s still early in December, still time to think about holiday gifts. The Music Section has a great holiday gift idea that will surely pull some heartstrings. First, let me share a personal testimony that may convince you to give our suggestion a try.
I can unequivocally say that the best Christmas present that I’ve ever received was the surprise home concert that my children put together one Christmas. This took place when my daughters were 11 and 8 years old, years before their teen hormones made them too COOL to engage in any activities that were solely designed to please their parents.
After all the presents were opened at the very early hour of 6:30 am, and a big Christmas breakfast was devoured, the kids quietly disappeared from the family room. About an hour later, our younger daughter emerged from somewhere in the house to invite us to the music room. There, her sister gave us a program, hand written in colorful magic markers with various Christmas stickers covering the empty spaces. It was a short program of four Christmas songs, consisting of a piano solo, a violin solo, a piano and violin duet, and a vocal duet.
After a brief struggle squelching the critical music teacher in me that creeps out whenever I listen to a live performance, I settled into the music and the moment. Yes, indeed, it was an amazingly sweet occasion with the young performers looking up from their music every 10 seconds to check their parents’ reactions. I glanced over at my husband and saw how proud and happy he was. He had a huge smile that’s usually found on proud parents watching their children do something special. His twinkling eyes also showed that he was experiencing something magical.
If you are thinking of giving something special to your loved one this holiday season, you may want to consider giving the gift of music. This gift will demand some time, tenacity, patience and good planning. Yes, good planning: you will need to choose the music and start practicing, before your planned performance. In the past, I had students who practiced a Christmas song and Auld Lang Syne throughout November and December. If the Christmas song was not quite ready for Christmas, they had another week to polish up Auld Lang Syne for New Year’s Eve. However, even if your performance isn’t perfect your thought and loving gesture will stay in your loved ones’ memories for a long time.
Interested in trying this way of gift giving? The happy elves in the Music Section can help you pick a piece that’s appropriate for your current skill level. Of course, if you wish, you can choose something more elaborate to work on for the 2016 Holiday Season.
Below, I listed a small portion of what we have in the Music Section. Remember, some of these selections can be downloaded from BARD.
We have over 70 instructional recordings (DBMs) of holiday music for piano, guitar, alto sax, and flute.
BRM 07867 (Christmas carols and hymns, 4-part chorus and piano)
BRM00728 (Book of Christmas Hymns)
BRM 27964 (Christmas Songs for organ, piano, guitar)
BRM 28158, 28160, 28162, 28164 (Christmas Piano Solos Levels 1-4)
BRM 29003 (Favorite Christmas Carols, piano with guitar chords)
BRM 35898 (Christmas Songs for Classical Guitar)
BRM 29980 (The Reader’s Digest Merry Christmas songbook, for voice with organ or piano acc. with guitar symbols)
Large Print Music
LPM 00656 (Favorite Christmas Carols, piano with guitar chords)
The holidays are fast approaching, so if you decide to give the gift of music, call us soon. Let us know how your loved ones react to your holiday serenade.