The month of December is typically the time when holiday performances, along with band and choir concerts, take place in schools across the country. It’s a special time that students, teachers, parents, and other family members look forward to as we gather together and share our holiday spirit.
Although many of these in-person concerts will not be taking place this year, there are many ways that music educators or parents can leverage online tools to perform holiday songs, create a festive mood, and build community. Here are a few activities that I recommend:
Create a collaborative class or family holiday playlist: For music enthusiasts, ask children to pick a holiday song that is meaningful to them and explain why they chose it. Then create a class playlist of everyone’s favorite songs and share it back with their families. This is a wonderful way to bring people together and gives kids an opportunity to share stories about their friends in the classroom, thereby strengthening the school-family relationship.
Record and Share Your Favorite Holiday Tunes Or Create A Virtual Concert. Have your students create a one-take music video of their favorite holiday songs. The focus should be on creativity and having fun, so students can sing, dance, play an instrument, act, lip-sync, produce a puppet show, or whatever else they like in order to creatively tell their story as a music video. The best part is they can share their performances to spread a little holiday cheer, or students can use the feed in our platform WURRLYedu to create their own holiday playlist with music videos!
Play Musical Holiday Bingo with WURRLYedu on Flipgrid’s Discovery Library: Check out WURRLYedu’s musical Holiday Bingo game, where you simply hum the tune and match it to Bingo board. Its a really fun active listening exercise! The Flipgrid Discovery Library, also showcases other great holiday content for classrooms or at home, including rhythmic listening games to holiday songs and a comparison activity of the standard “O Tannebaum” by the German composer Ernst Anshutz with “O Christmas Tree.”
The holidays are right around the corner and with many students stuck at home, holiday music is a great way to encourage collaboration and spread some joy until we can be back singing together again.
Here are just a few of our favorite holiday songs in WURRLYedu (among dozens more that are available):
- A Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
- All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
- Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Traditional
- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – The Jackson 5
- Jingle Bells – Traditional
- O Holy Night – Traditional
- I’ll Be Home – Meghan Trainor
- Merry Christmas Darling – Carpenters
- Deck The Halls – Traditional