FREE! Good King Wenceslas


This arrangement by Karen Marshall of the ever-popular festive favourite is the first piece from the best-selling Get Set! Piano Christmas Crackers book, published by Collins Music and shared exclusively online here on Pianodao with their generous permission.

The arrangement is suitable for players who have only just started lessons, while also including a musically engaging optional teacher/parent duet part.

Introduction by David Blackwell

Background information

Wenceslas was a king from Bohemia (present-day Czech Republic) in the tenth century. He was considered a good man and this carol tells the story of him helping a poor man on the Feast of St Stephen (Boxing Day). With his servant (his ‘page’), he went out in the snow to offer food and drink and logs for winter fuel to the poor man he saw from his castle.

The carol underlines the importance of Christian charity and helping others less well off than ourselves.

Arrangement and teaching content

With a note span of G (LH) to G (RH), this is an ideal first notation carol for students to play. As the melody is shared between the hands, it’s also perfect for improving legato playing and dynamic range.

The teacher accompaniment, which suggests the king striding through the snow to help the poor man, is so simple it doesn’t put off the student and enables them to be the star player! 

Get Set! Piano Christmas Crackers

These materials have all been produced in conjunction with the very excellent Get Set! Piano Christmas Crackers book, written by Karen and David. In my review of the book I wrote:

“In a crowded market, Get Set! Piano Christmas Crackers really does offer something different, interesting and hugely valuable. There are many good Christmas collections in the shops now, and to say that this is “the best” would be a moot point; closer to the truth, I believe that in offering a genuinely unique and brilliantly educational approach, this book is special.”

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Published by

Andrew Eales

Andrew Eales is a widely respected piano educator, writer and composer based on Milton Keynes UK. His book HOW TO PRACTISE MUSIC is published by Hal Leonard.