It starts about October, when I get that excited “Oh! We get to sing Christmas music!” feeling.


My students are very kind to put up with me at this time of year.  I force everyone (those who’ll let me) to sing sacred and secular songs until the end of December, sometimes even through early January.


Of course, I have my favorites:


‘Oh Come, All Ye Faithful’

‘Good King Wenceslas’

‘Winter Wonderland’

‘White Christmas’


 And I’m not terribly picky, but hopefully you won’t ask for ‘Jingle Bell Rock’. 


I always get a kick out of opening my Jerry Silverman edition of carols full of lovely Victorian art. 


See, EVERYONE loves this music and they should! 


No matter your religious leanings, this is great music. 


victorian carolers 112513


In the classic carols, besides classic melodies, you’ll experience terrific harmony training.  In the 1990’s, I sang in a professional caroling quartet, hoop skirt, hat and all.  Nothing like sight-reading alto parts in a 4-person group to hone your skills.


If you weren’t lucky enough to grow up singing in church or school choirs, it’s not too late to experience the challenge of finding a classic 4-part carol book and singing any part except the melody.


LisaP red with poinsettia


Pick the alto, tenor or bass part for a thorough workout. 


You can even go to YouTube, find a traditional choir version of a carol and sing along with your chosen harmony part from your carol book.  It may not be the exact part note-for-note, but mostly this method will sound just fine.


Bundle up and saunter on over to your nearest music store to check out their holiday offerings.  What you’re looking for are SATB arrangements; that stands for Soprano-Alto-Tenor-Bass.  Again, pick any part you like except for the melody. 


If you’re too lazy (or it’s too cold), you can always opt for the free online version of this material by clicking here.


If you’re new to reading harmonies, what better time to get in the spirit and practice in the privacy of your own studio with your laptop and practice singing harmony with some of the most uplifting music ever created by man.


Happy Holidays!


– Lisa Popeil


Lisa Popeil is an LA voice coach with more than 35 years of professional teaching experience.  Creator of the Voiceworks® Method, the Total Singer DVD, and co-author of the book Sing Anything-Mastering Vocal Styles, Lisa trains singers in vocal technique, stage performance and vocal health for touring professionals.







Originally posted 2013-11-25 20:38:57.