“What Child Is This?” | free Christmas sheet music


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“That key change gave me goosebumps!!” – direct quote from my student Ayden. *insert happy teacher blush* Ayden is a student that I’ve been teaching for the last five (or so?) years. When she requested “What Child Is This?” for her Christmas recital piece this year, I knew I had to find a special arrangement. After looking through all my Christmas books and hunting around online, I still couldn’t find an arrangement I loved… so I wrote one to play to her strengths.

This simple-but-goosebump-inducing arrangement features an introduction, interlude, and postlude of beautiful broken chords to set off the sparkling melody. Perfect for those who have just learned minor chords and cross-hand arpeggios! In the second verse, the left hand takes over the melody in the bass and is accompanied by soft treble chords before shifting back to the treble just before an unexpected key change and another set of arpeggios. Ayden just entered Faber’s Piano Adventures 3A, so this piece would be appropriate for a student of early intermediate level.

A staple in any Christmas repertoire list, “What Child is This” was penned by songwriter William Chatterton Dix in 1865. Later, the poem was set to the hauntingly-beautiful English folk tune, “Greensleeves” (which dates back as early as 1580!).

Merry (early) Christmas, teachers + pianists!! If you’re on the lookout for more Christmas pieces, check out the Christmas category here. Hope you enjoy!

xoxo, Hannah

To listen to a midi recording or view on MuseScore:

What Child Is This? by Hannah Acheson

View more free sheet music, downloadable resources, and worksheets over on the Teacher Resource page!

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