FREE! David Blackwell: Christmas Crackers


Here is a brand new composition by David Blackwell for Christmas 2021, published Pianodao as an exclusive preview and with the generous support of Collins Music!

David Blackwell writes:

This is a fun original piece to play and enjoy at Christmas. Enjoy the words too; they’re funny, and can help with the rhythm, and even with details of the performance, e.g. in bar 10 play a nice ‘snap’ accent as the cracker is pulled! Maybe you know someone who could sing them as you play?

There’s a long tradition of fine secular songs for Christmas: ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas’, ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’, ‘Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire’, and many more. We can hear these and lots of other songs, including more recent ones, played over and over again in shops in the run-up to Christmas.

Christmas of course is a religious festival, when the birth of Christ is celebrated. But it’s also a time for getting together with family and friends, playing games and having a bit of fun. This piece tries to capture some of that spirit and give a young pianist a fun piece to play.

The piece is around the level of Initial to easy Grade 1 and is perfect for developing rhythmic skills, particularly the syncopations. It’s also useful for exploring the key of D major and for hand stretches (outside 5 fingers) and small shifts.

Keeping the left-hand crotchets steady will help play the syncopations and keep a steady tempo. Drop the dynamic at the end of bar 12 and build to a strong and happy finish.

David Blackwell

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.”

Members of the Pianodao Tea Room community receive 20% discount
on all sheet music purchases from

Pianodao features more than 600 FREE articles and reviews, offering expert insight to equip, inform and inspire piano players and teachers everywhere.
The site takes many hours each month to research, write, and maintain. If you would like to show your appreciation and support, PLEASE DONATE HERE.

RECEIVE NOTIFICATIONS of fresh content by adding your email here:

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.