FREE! Away in a Manger


Away in a Manger has long been a special favourite, both in the US version of the melody and this one, more familiar here in the UK.

Wherever you and your piano live, enjoy this beautiful elementary piano arrangement by Karen Marshall and David Blackwell, which comes with a lovely optional duet part and a colouring activity…

Introduction by David Blackwell

Background information

This gentle lullaby is one of the most popular carols in Britain and the English-speaking world, and dates from the end of the nineteenth century. It records the story from St Luke’s Gospel that Christ was born in a stable, because there was no room in the inn for him or for Mary and Joseph.

A manger is a wooden box filled with hay, where cattle and horses feed. The words of the carol are full of details from this story, and the gentle melody and style of the music perfectly reflect the new-born baby Jesus.

Arrangement and teaching content

This is a lovely carol for working on playing A above middle C and stretching the 5th finger in the RH to play this note. The melody is shared between the hands, and encourages the development of a cantabile legato with long phrases.

With quavers (eighth-notes), the challenge of playing quietly (always tricky for a new pianist) and a more complex teacher accompaniment, this piece is a step up for beginner pianists.

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.

2 thoughts on “FREE! Away in a Manger”

  1. Andrew, thank you for this. I have 3 5-year old students who will enjoy this. I shall bring up your picture and tell them about meeting you in Colorado…….I am a friend of Jodie Jensens. I love your blogs and the people you introduce to so many. Bless you and stay well.Linda King

    1. Hi Linda – I remember meeting I think, and it’s lovely to hear from you here! Happy memories, and more will be made as the world returns to “normal” – stay well!

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