Did you or someone in your family teach the young kids to sing Christmas songs?

Caroling and Christmas choirs were a big part of my childhood. I learned the easy songs like Jingle Bells, Away in a Manger and Silent Night before the 2nd grade. I still love singing Christmas songs now. Christmas melodies are like old friends that I can’t remember not knowing.

Older family members taught me these songs. I pass on the tradition any chance that I get. I feel an obligation to get kids interested in singing. Its so much fun. :slight_smile: I don’t care if they miss a few notes. They’ll get better as they get older.

Did you or someone in your family teach the young kids to sing Christmas songs?

This Christmas 2015, we had a family get together right after Christmas. I taught several of the younger kids to sing Silent Night, Away in a Manger, and Jingle Bells. First playing the songs from youtube and then I picked the basic melodies (on the guitar) to teach them the words and pitch. Just like I was taught when I was 4 or 5. I sang Christmas songs throughout my childhood. Caroling with friends and in church choirs. I always sang them by ear and followed along with the group for my pitch and timing. I love passing on these songs to relative’s kids. They learn music so quickly and it was so much fun later strumming the guitar and singing them (later that evening) for the family. I persuaded most of the adults to join in on Jingle Bells together just like when we were kids.

btw, John Denver’s versions of Silent Night and Away in a Manger are great for teaching kids these songs. Denver used simple arrangements and he’s in a comfortable key for most of us. He’s a little high (key of C) in Silent Night for some adults, but kids have no problem at all following along with him. Kids naturally sing high. Both Denver songs are on youtube.

Faith Hill and Eddy Arnoldhave a wonderful and simple version of Jingle Bells. Best that I could find to use teaching the kids this old childhood favorite. Faith Hill and Eddy sing it slow and thats perfect for teaching kids the song. I strummed it faster after the kids learned the melody.

That’s sounds very charming. I’m sure the kids loved it. It’s wonderful to keep family traditions alive.

I don’t celebrate Christmas, and yet I somehow have learned most of the major carols! I tend to sing them in the shower…

Funny that most people only learn the first verse and chorus of most Christmas Carols. I guess to keep it simple and the songs short.

Thats all I usually teach. Kids can learn the other verses in choir as needed.

I don’t even remember the verses for Frosty the Snowman. I only sing the chorus. The verses tell a long story and a bit gruesome story. Frosty needed sunscreen. :wink:

I voted no simply because I don’t have children. I learned the Christmas songs at home, at church, and at school. I can still see the sheet music my mother used for playing “Away in a Manger” on the family piano. It was pink. That was over 50 years ago but it feels like yesterday.

Nope. I assume they learned them in school or on tv.

I would assume that the baby-boomers (and younger) all learned them from repetition on mass media (i.e. television). I’m a Gen-Xer and I not only learned them that way, but the only time in my life that I ever sang them was in grade school. ‘Going out caroling’ was always a quaint and anachronistic activity that I didn’t think existed in the modern world…

I voted no because I never sat down to teach anybody anything … but I definitely expose my daughter to holiday songs and I was a little surprised this year that she picked up SO many from just living in the culture. I know she learned some specifically at school for their Christmas program, but she seems to know LOADS more, at least to the point of being able to sing along reasonably well.

No, I learned them in school and in Sunday school. We had a GREAT elementary school music teacher and he had us singing everything.

My relative’s kids were familiar with the songs too. They had heard them on radio and tv. I just pointed out how to sing them with a bit more care. Hitting the right notes and rhythm etc. They had never sang them with somebody strumming a guitar.

Jingle Bells has a repeated line in the Chorus

Oh What Fun It | is to ride in a | one horse o-pen | sleigh Hey!

“one horse o-pen” is sung differently the second time. The kid I helped was singing it the exactly the same way both times. He was quite surprised when I pointed out the melody is different each time. Didn’t take long and he was doing it right.

Theres a long tradition of songs being taught and passed down from generation to generation. Thats why the Carter Family knew so many songs. They were songs sung by families to entertain themselves. My great-grandparents had 11 kids and they had a family band. Playing on the porch after working all day in the fields. My grandad was the only kid in that family that didn’t like playing music.

Things are so different today with the Internet, Radio & TV.

Both of my boys loved to sing - still do. I taught them all sorts of songs when they were little, including Christmas carols. We lived in an historic neighborhood that put on a period Christmas celebration every year, including live carolers. We always participated. I’m sure they learned others at the various school pageants they were in over the years, but I believe the bulk of the carols they learned came from good ole mom here.

I answered yes, but mostly it was indirect - nobody sat down and said “I’m going to teach you this song.”

My mother was one of those people who sang all the time, if only to herself. During the holidays, it was carols, and during the rest of the year it was things like O What a Beautiful Morning from Oklahoma and Do Re Mi from Sound of Music.

After she died, my father started going to church and so we did a lot of carol-singing at those times of the year in church. In high school, the church group did caroling around the neighborhood a couple of times.

Learned the Jesus ones at church and the Santa ones at school.

Nah. I grew up during the cassette tape era, so we learned all our Christmas music from there. Well, that and from church and then eventually choir once we got to junior high and high school.

Despite having two very musical children, my parents have never been good with music. My mom had some church musical tradition on her mom’s side, but she always struggled with it herself, so any music we heard came from cassette.

Nope. School tried to force me to run, jump and sing around a tree every christmas as a kid, and attend cruch at christmas and easter(that’s when my father put his foot down), but I managed to never remember the songs, even the simple ones. The only christmas song I could remember was “Santa Dog”('72 and '78) by The Residents. If I ever get a kid, I guess I’ll treat it the same way; The kid learns whatever song he or she wants, as long as he or she is not forced to attend any religious services against his or her will.

I don’t actively teach them songs… but we are a Christmas music family in terms of listening to the local station and stuff. My kids are pretty attentive to lyrics of songs (something that has come up a handful of times, as they ask me questions on lyrics to songs I probably shouldn’t have been listening to with them in the car :S) They also ask for specific songs a lot (I have xmas music from spotify on my phone, so what!) so I’m figuring they are getting it by being around it.