Christmas time is here! This year, our teachers finally got to return to teaching in-person and we can’t stress how happy we are to be working with our students on their Christmas songs in person. If you haven’t gotten too sick of Christmas songs already, our studio has crafted a Christmas playlist of classical and contemporary Christmas music that we personally love jamming out to. Keep scrolling to find out more about the different songs on our playlist!
1. The Nutcracker Suite (1892) – Tchaikovsky
(full Nutcracker Suite): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk5Uturacx8&ab_channel=AVROTROSKlassiek
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3d9-_IpssOw&ab_channel=BBCRadio3
Waltz of the Flowers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUF9g9V-Ang&ab_channel=irie1948
Dance of the Mirlitons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbeUQbvH4jE&ab_channel=MichaHaran
What better piece to start off our Christmas playlist than the famous Nutcracker! Tchaikovsky composed this music for the two-act ballet. Since then, this piece has been prominent in the dance and music world alike. You are probably most familiar with “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”, “Waltz of the Flowers”, and “Dance of the Mirlitons” from the second act. We have included these three famous movements in our playlist, but if you are interested in listening to the Nutcracker Suite in its entirety, we have attached the link here.
2. Somewhere in my Memory – from “Home Alone” – John Williams
It’s hard to watch the timeless Home Alone series without feeling like a kid again. John Williams, the composer behind this notable movie soundtrack, is no stranger to film scoring. He has composed the music for many notable films and series, including E.T. the Extra-Terrestial, the Star Wars saga, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and many more! His music has been behind many tear-jerking, emotional, and moving moments in film.
3. O Holy Night (Traditional) – Toronto Symphony Brass
As our studio is based in Toronto, it’s only fitting that we include music performed by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO). This cover of the traditional O Holy Night is performed by the Brass players of the TSO. It is common for people to think of brass instruments as the blaring, ear splitting musicians behind the Darth Vader theme from Star Wars. This cover tells us otherwise! The warm tones of the trombone and trumpet complement one another; it is a beautifully peaceful take on the traditional Christmas classic.
4. You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch – Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra
Who can forget about the cruel Mr. Grinch! Everyone deserves to enjoy Christmas, even the cold-hearted Grinch from Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Even if you haven’t watched this Christmas classic, this jazz rendition of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” is hard not to groove to.
5. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (traditional) – Pentatonix
You may have heard of Pentatonix, one of the leading acapella groups that have amassed a large following, especially with their creative covers of Christmas songs. Their cover of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen blew up after it was used in a popular TikTok challenge online. Maybe you have heard your kids trying out the challenge from TikTok!
6. “Winter” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
Even though Vivaldi was from the 18th century, it’s hard not to admit that “Winter” from his Four Seasons is arguably the best season. Personally, this is one of my favourite pieces to listen to as I walk through freshly fallen snow. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is one of his most famous compositions and it is likely you have heard at least one of the four seasons somewhere—whether it be at the mall, in a movie soundtrack, or on the radio.
7. Skating from A Charlie Brown Christmas – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Charlie Brown was a prominent character in my childhood and Snoopy holds a forever spot in my heart. The jazzy soundtrack from A Charlie Brown Christmas is perfect for warm apple cider sipping sessions with the family.
8. Linus and Lucy from A Charlie Brown Christmas – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Can you tell I’m a Charlie Brown fan? It’s not Christmas until you hear this iconic theme from Charlie Brown.
9. The Christmas Song/Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire – Nat King Cole
This Christmas classic was written in 1945 by Robert Wells and Mel Tormé. The Nat King Cole recording is probably one of the most famous versions of the song. Nat King Cole’s warm, golden voice is perfect for the warm atmosphere of the lyrics; enjoy this version performed by one of the biggest jazz musicians!
10. Let it Go (from Disney’s “Frozen”) and Vivaldi’s Winter – The Piano Guys
The Piano Guys is a group formed by a cellist (Steven Sharp Nelson) and a pianist (Jon Schmidt). They have covered many songs and composed several of their own, all of which can be found on Youtube. It’s hard not to find a single person that has never heard of the famous Let it Go from Disney’s Frozen. The Piano Guys have expertly created a mashup of contemporary and classical using Vivaldi’s Winter (that appeared earlier on this playlist) and the famous Let it Go. Their music video is also filmed amidst a beautiful landscape of snow and ice.
We hope you enjoy listening to this playlist this holiday! Our playlist can be found on these platforms: