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Christmas Sheet Music - A Family Tradition

Back in the days when television didnít reign supreme, music played a much larger part in the entertainment of family and friends. So much so, that every home had a piano and more often than not at least one member of the family could play it. Thatís certainly the way it was in our family. And, for me as the designated pianist, I can honestly say that it was a pleasure to do it, even though I didnít act that way sometimes.

Part of the challenge for me was finding sheet music that I liked, especially at Christmas time. I always felt that the piano arrangements were quite boring and lacked a certain joie de vivre. I think thatís why I eventually started learning improvisation so that I could make up my own arrangements. And, because I didnít like the standard Christmas versions in print, I always acted like I didnít want to play. That drove my mother crazy.

Mom couldnít understand why I wouldnít use my talent more often. But, I know and I hid the truth from her. I was afraid. I was afraid of being judged by others and that I wasnít good enough. The fact is though, I was better than most. So, what people thought didnít really matter at all. But, it mattered to me at the time and took a long ahile for me to even feel comfortable playing in front of others.

Now, as a professional concert pianist, I of course no longer feel inadequate. Many of my colleagues still do but somehow I managed to get rid of that fear of playing mentality. It wasnít easy let me tell you, but I did it. One of the ways I did it was to finally realize that when I perform itís not about me at all but about entertaining people and making sure they have a good experience.

For anyone thinking of making music a profession thatís so important to remember. Many musicians think that itís all about them and they have to sell themselves to an audience. Thatís so backwards. The only thing a professional musician should be selling to an audience is the promise of a good time. Man, did it take me a long time to learn that lesson.

In any case, more than ever I love to play the piano at Christmas time. Now that my mom has passed away my Dad has taken it upon himself to carry on the family tradition. So much so that, he actually built a large heated garage beside the main house where he can host a hundred people at a time. He even put the family piano in there.

This year 2006 will see nearly a thousand people come to the family hobby farm and Iím expected to play for most of them. Thatís ok though, I love it. Why? Because, I know that a good dose of music and caroling will remind them of a good old fashioned Christmas. You remember, like the ones you used to have before television?

About the Author: Christmas caroling wouldn't be complete without Paul Tobey's ultimate Christmas sing-a-long CD. His Christmas sheet music will inspire you this Christmas to make music a bigger part of your festivities.

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