Exploring the Magic of What Child Is This on the Piano


What is the What Child Is This Piece and How Does it Relate to Teaching Piano?

The “What Child is This” piano piece is a traditional English carol composed in the late 19th century. It is set to the tune of 16th-century song “Greensleeves” and was first published in 1908 with lyrics by William Chatterton Dix’s 1865 poem, “The Manger Throne”. The melody has remained virtually unchanged since its publication, but many versions exist with different harmony and accompaniment.

This beloved Christmas carol tells the story of the nativity; when Jesus is born as a baby in Bethlehem and presented to the world as God’s only son. As such, it offers an ideal way for teachers to teach piano students about both music theory and Christian faith during their lessons.

Firstly, due to its strong adherence to diatonic major key tonality, this piece presents teachers with an excellent opportunity to introduce children to basic music theory concepts like scales, chords progressions and melodic patterns while they learn the song. Additionally, teachers can use this piece as a starting point for teaching more advanced harmonic principles like secondary dominants and subdominant modulations. In doing so, students are provided with a historical context for how composers through time have developed ways of harmonizing melodies that enhance their impact on listeners.

Secondly, from a religious standpoint, What Child Is This provides piano teachers with an invaluable tool for sharing religious stories through playing songs that are grounded in those accounts. By having children listen closely to the words of Psalm 139:4 – “you knit me together in my mother’s womb” -while simultaneously connecting them with some pivotal moments within Jesus’ life journey (during which he brought hope into our lives) it encourages children not just to relate musically but spiritually with what they are playing on their instrument too! Moreover given its somewhat dark narrative beginning yet positive ending (verse 3) this piece is timely considering current situations making us think twice these

Step-by-Step Guide for Teaching Your Child the What Child Is This Piece

What Child Is This is a classic Christmas carol with words originally penned by William Chatterton Dix in 1865 set to the traditional English melody, “Greensleeves.” It is traditionally performed instrumentally or sung during the holiday season. Teaching your child this carol at an early age is a great way to ignite a lifelong love of music and can be a fun, rewarding experience for parent and child alike.

Step 1: Introduce Your Child to the Song

Play “What Child Is This” for your child on whatever instruments you have available. Teach him or her basic instrumental techniques such as strumming chords on guitar or plucking single strings on a banjo. If you don’t own these instruments, use toy versions instead! Recordings are also an option if you do not play an instrument yourself. Encourage your child to move along with the music, feel it in his body and experience it through movement—like clapping their hands, tapping their feet, swaying back in forth to the beat, etc.

Step 2: Learn the History of the Carol

Explain what “What Child Is This” is about and why we sing it around Christmas time. Give your child context into how and why this song originated over 150 years ago by telling them about the writer (William Chatterton Dix) and its origins as part of traditional English folk music before it became popularized during Christmas celebrations in 19th century America.

Step 3: Memorize the Lyrics with Repetition

Once your child has experienced listening to “What Child Is This,” start incorporating singing into playtime or during activities like coloring or crafting together at home. You can make learning lyrics fun by coming up with creative motions for each line of text—like dancing together when mentioning “In such lowly crib” or making silly faces when talking about “Why lies He in such mean estate.” Use different voices while singing each word too!

FAQs about Learning and Playing the What Child Is This Piece


1. What is the history of “What Child Is This?”

Answer: “What Child Is This?” is a traditional English Christmas carol from the 16th century. The tune was adapted from “Greensleeves,” and the lyrics were written by William Chatterton Dix in 1865. The song centers around Mary and Joseph, as well as their newborn baby Jesus, who is praised as Lord of all. It has since become a popular Christmas carol around the world, and remains an enduring reminder of younger days when hope and joy surrounded a baby born in Bethlehem to save us all.

2. How can I learn to play this song on guitar?

Answer: Learning to play “What Child Is This?” on guitar requires practice — just like any other instrument — but there are some helpful tips you can use to get started. First, be sure you have your guitar tuned properly before you begin playing so that it sounds its best. Next, get familiar with basic chords and strumming patterns so that you can transition smoothly between sections of the song as needed (this may take some time). Finally, make sure to practice regularly so that you can master the piece over time!

Top 5 Facts about the What Child Is This Piece

What Child Is This is a piece of music known by many. It was originally written in 1865 as a Christmas carol with lyrics adapted from the poem, The Markets of Tyneside”. Over the years, it has been performed by various artists and arrangers, making it one of the most beloved carols today. Here are five interesting facts about this popular song that you may not have known:

Fact #1 – The original name of this carol is actually “Greensleeves”. It was only after 23 years in 1888 when William Chatterton Dix wrote new lyrics for this melody that it became known as “What Child Is This?”

Fact #2 – The authorship of the music itself is still somewhat a mystery to this day. Though some believe it dates back further than 1580, all efforts to trace its origin have been unsuccessful. However, what is certain is that John Stainer composed a piano accompaniment to the tune sometime between 1871-2, which remains part of performances today.

Fact #3 – In addition to being covered my numerous performers, What Child Is This has also made appearances in movies such as White Christmas and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Fact #4 – Although made up entirely of whole-notes (which are four beats each), over time different performers have changed the tempo by adding diverse rhythms giving each their own unique interpretation to the song.

Fact #5 -The gentle lullaby melody combined with its heartfelt religious lyrics make What Child Is This an incredibly touching composition perfect both for reflecting on the true meaning behind Christmastime or simply just puting someone into a goodnight sleep!

Resources for Furthering Your Knowledge of the What Child Is This Piece

What Child Is This is one of the best-known Christmas carols and its timeless lyrics make it a favorite of many holiday music lovers. The song is a unique and interesting combination of religious and secular ideas which makes it both powerful and highly memorable. If you want to learn more about this classic piece of music, there are a variety of resources available to help you dig deeper into What Child Is This.

First and foremost, reading up on the history of the carol can provide great insight into the culture that created it, as well as its development over time. A great place to start your research is in books that focus specifically on Christmas songs – William L Golden’s “The Story of Christmas Carols” offers extensive historical information about the popular carol from its origins in mid-16th century England. Furthering your understanding by delving into various interpretations can add interesting details to your understanding, such as examining why some view What Child Is This as centering around Jesus Christ while others emphasize his humanity through his representation as a vulnerable baby with no protection or wealth.

Another way to further explore this iconic work is looking at various recordings and performances throughout history, like learning more about live versions ranging from traditional choirs to MTV’s Unplugged series or exploring covers by well-known artists like Kenny G or Willie Nelson. Exploring different stylistic interpretations can also be educational – folk renditions with string accompaniment may highlight subtle elements in the piece while classical orchestrations featuring harp and flute will bring out a new depth or re-imagining of its familiar melody lines. It’s eye-opening to see how generations have used this song under such varying musical settings.

In addition, searching online could lead you down interesting experiments such your own musical arrangement using digital tools like Chordify or experimenting with lyrics translation websites like Lyricstranslate – both serve useful for adding new dimensions when tackling this meaningful tune! With so much material

Tips for Motivating Your Child When Learning to Play the What Child Is This Piece

Learning to play the What Child Is This piece is a great way for kids to hone their instrumental skills, develop fine motor skills, and gain confidence in their musical aptitude. Although the process is often highly rewarding for children, it can also be quite challenging for them. It’s important to be mindful of this fact when considering how you can best motivate your child when learning to play the piece.

1) Provide Positive Reinforcement: Be sure that you reinforce your child’s efforts with verbal praise, hugs, stickers or other small incentives. Letting your child know that you appreciate their hard work and dedication will motivate them not only to keep going with the lessons but encourages them as they perfect each part of the song.

2) Celebrate Small Victories: Break up pieces of the larger goal into small steps so your child can feel accomplished after reaching each milestone. Overcoming smaller obstacles along the way helps build self-confidence and momentum which will get them closer to learning the whole piece! If your child struggles at certain sections of the music remind them how far they have come since starting and how much improvement has been made in just a relatively short amount of time (instrumental practice should still be fun).

3) Allow Creative Expression & Adaptations: Find out from your child if parts of playing this piece put more pressure on them than others do. Adjust according to what works best for both – Inviting an open dialogue allows you as a parent to better understand where your kid stands on each part of their process and make tweaks accordingly so there is less overwhelm involved in tackling it altogether. Allowing some degree of improvisation or variation opens space for creativity & fun when playing music, therefore making it less daunting plus providing opportunity to grow as a musician.

4) Include Music Games/Charades: Incorporating little games related to practicing What Child Is This? into family time adds relief, excitement & emotion into repetitive practice sessions which