I LOVE selecting, preparing and playing Christmas music for both myself and my students. I have a pretty big collection of Christmas piano solos, but there are a handful of favorites that I return to year after year.
It’s hard to find a Christmas piano solo that really stands out. Honestly, most arrangements tend to sound the same to me, unless the arranger has made special care to add unique and interesting elements to it.
My favorite Christmas piano solos to play and teach usually incorporate specific musical styles, unconventional harmonies, interesting piano techniques or less commonly-heard songs.
Here are 10 intermediate to advanced piano solo collections that have become staples in my studio.
A Christmas Fantasy by Dennis Alexander
A Christmas Fantasy by Dennis Alexander has some really lovely arrangements in it. They sound lush and full but aren’t overly complicated. I really like the arrangement of He Is Born, The Divine Christ Child from this collection. You can find it on Amazon or Sheet Music Plus.
Christmas Encores Book 1 by Melody Bober
Christmas Encores Book 1 by Melody Bober is one of my favorite books to play through just for fun. The arrangement of Silent Night in this book is really beautiful. This book has a good mix of lyrical, melodic pieces and more energetic, rhythmic pieces. You can find it on Amazon and at Sheet Music Plus.
A Celtic Christmas by Phillip Keveren
A Celtic Christmas by Phillip Keveren is another winner. I’m a huge fan of all of Phillip Keveren’s arrangements, so naturally, I just love this book. As I mentioned, I’m always looking for not-so-typical Christmas music. These Celtic arrangements are different and well-written. It’s available both on Amazon and Sheet Music Plus.
Christmas Cheer Book 2 by Martha Mier
Christmas Cheer Book 2 has an arrangement that I’ve always loved: Bring A Torch Jeanette Isabella. The pieces in this book are not too difficult, but interesting enough to keep you wanting more. You can find it on Amazon and Sheet Music Plus.
Dances For Christmas Book 2 by Catherine Rollin
Dances For Christmas Book 2 is so fun because each piece is in the style of a different type of dance. I especially love the paso doble version of What Child Is This and The Little Drummer Boy arranged as a bolero. It is available on Amazon or Sheet Music Plus.
Christmas Collection Book 1 by Kenon D. Renfrow
Christmas Collection Book 1 by Kenon D. Renfrow has my all-time favorite arrangement of Still, Still, Still. For the longest time, that’s the only piece I’d play from the book, but in the last couple of years, I branched out and tried some of they other arrangements and they’re all wonderful. You can find it both on Amazon and Sheet Music Plus.
A Contemporary Christmas by Melody Bober
A Contemporary Christmas by Melody Bober has beautiful piano arrangements of Mary Did You Know and Breath Of Heaven. It seems like those are two highly-requested songs and I’ve always had a hard time finding great arrangements of them. They’re both wonderful! This book also has my favorite piano solo arrangement of O Holy Night. It’s available on Amazon and Sheet Music Plus.
Notebook For Saint Nicholas by Peter Jancewicz
Notebook For Saint Nicholas is another book where each piece is written in a different style from Baroque through Swing. I mostly return to this book for the great swing version of Jingle Bells at the end of this book. It’s so fun to play and very manageable for someone with minimal jazz experience. You can find it on Amazon and Sheet Music Plus.
Ready To Play Pianist: Advent and Christmas
Ready To Play Pianist: Advent and Christmas has one of my most-often performed pieces – Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence. It’s appropriate outside of Christmas and Advent, so I enjoy playing it at church gigs year round. It’s available on both Amazon and Sheet Music Plus.
Jazzed Up Christmas and Advanced Jazzed Up Christmas by Keven Olson
If you’re looking for some truly unique Christmas piano arrangements, Jazzed Up Christmas and Advanced Jazzed Up Christmas by Keven Olson will do the job. Many of them are in a true Jazz style, but some of them are just “jazzed up” as the title implies. They may have straight rhythms or a more modern spin on a classic carol. Either way, these are another set of books that I often pull out to play just for fun. You can find them on Amazon or Sheet Music Plus.
What are you go-to Christmas books each year? Leave a comment and share your favorites.
Other Articles You May Enjoy:
Christmas Music Recommendations From Piano Teachers – many more Christmas book selections from different piano teachers.
Christmas Gifts For Piano Fans – Gifts that piano students and teachers would love.
My Favorite Arrangement Of Hallelujah – Wonderful piano solo of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.
21 Must-Have Tools For Piano Teachers – My favorite resources that keep my piano studio going.