For intermediate students who are learning more about chords and/or improvisation:
I strongly believe that kids should be taught to improvise shortly after they can play chords with no problem. I can’t remember being taught any improvisational teaching, even though I had a knack and drive to do so when I first started accompanying my high school choir. I want to make sure none of my students who have been with me for a while never go without dabbling in the art of improvisation at least a bit.
As you can see, it’s easy to come up with the chords underlying each measure to both of these works. Teachers should take advantage of this fact and tell Jingle Bells players to try playing quarter notes or something different from the simple, repetitive accompaniment given. And you can tell what ought to be done with Silent Night:
This arrangement was a massive project and is not for those weak on the keys!
Apparently the piece goes: verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus w/ vars.-½ bridge-chorus w/ vars.
Or in more formal musical academia: ABABCB’C’B”
Note I have yet to play a single note of it on the piano, so I may eventually try it and revise it to knock out anything awkward (the link will stay the same for any future updates). Meanwhile, I’ll add it to the Works page soon.