The 12 Instruments Of Christmas & The Best Way to Learn Them

It’s that time of the year again… time to bring out all the decor, lights and sound to help spread some holiday spirit and festivities.

Hands playing pianoFrom the classic violin and piano to the unconventional slapstick and sleigh bells, these instruments bring holiday joy and harmony to our ears. Each instrument has its own distinct sound and character, adding depth and richness to traditional Christmas carols. But what’s the best way to learn these instruments? It’s all about finding the right balance between practice, guidance, and passion. Taking lessons from experienced teachers or joining a music school can provide structured learning and invaluable feedback. Dedication, perseverance, and regular practice will enable you to master the instrument of your choice and spread festive cheer with your musical talents.

  1. Carillon: ​Carillon is a pitch percussion instrument that is usually played with a keyboard. It consists of about 23-72 cast bronze bells and was invented around the 14th century. A carillon has been a staple instrument for many Christmas songs since then.
  1. Piano: The piano plays a significant role in Christmas music, both in traditional carols and modern holiday songs. The piano is often used to create melodic lines, harmonies, and accompaniments that evoke the festive spirit of Christmas. It can be heard playing the main melody in songs like “Jingle Bells,” “Silent Night,” and “O Holy Night.” Additionally, the piano provides a foundation for other instruments and vocalists to harmonize and perform together.
  1. Chimes: Another instrument that should be included in the instruments of Christmas is the chimes. It is a percussion instrument that has been a part of many musical pieces. The most popular Christmas music with chimes is the “Carol of the Bells”.
  1. Handbells: If you are looking for a musical instrument that will give the Christmas season a festive atmosphere, then a handbell is the right instrument for you. While it is used in many religious and cultural practices around the globe, handbells also signal the start of a Christmas ensemble on a Christmas eve. 
  1. Lute: A lute is a classic musical instrument that is plucked like a guitar. It is characterized by a deep round back and a distinct neck. It was first introduced during the Renaissance but gained more popularity in many English folk songs especially in the Christmas song entitled “What Child Is This?”
  1. Organ: The list of Christmas instruments isn’t complete without an organ on it. Though an organ is used in many musical pieces, more people fell in love with this instrument when used around Christmas time. There is something about hearing Christmas carols being played on an organ that makes the season more festive. 
  1. Violin: The violin is widely used in Christmas music to add a touch of elegance, warmth, and beauty to the festive melodies. It is a versatile instrument that can perform both lead melodies and harmonies, creating a rich and layered sound. In traditional Christmas carols, the violin often takes on the role of playing the main melody. Songs like “Silent Night,” “Deck the Halls,” and “O Holy Night” feature iconic violin solos that are instantly recognizable. The violin’s expressive and emotive qualities bring out the heartfelt and nostalgic sentiments of these beloved holiday tunes.
  1. Schoenhut Piano: The Schoenhut piano is a small piano that is often marketed as a musical toy for kids. However, despite its size, a Schoenhut piano offers a wonderful sound that adds childlike innocence to many Christmas carols. The most popular Christmas music with a Schoenhut piano arrangement is the “Silent Night”.
  1. Slapstick: Also known as a clapper, a slapstick is a percussion instrument that is characterized by two wooden boards that are joined at the one end by a hinge. When the instrument is shook, striking both boards, a sound is produced similar to a crack of a whip.
  1. Sleigh Bells: If you love the song “Jingle Bells”, then you must have also heard of the musical instrument sleigh bells. It is a shaken-rattle idiophone which originated from Europe. Sleigh bells may be tiny bells, but when played in large numbers, they can create a distinctive sound that is fun and lively to hear. 
  1. Snare Drum: Another musical instrument that you might be very familiar with is the snare drum. It is played in many areas of the world and on different occasions. Snare drum is another instrument played for Christmas. Remember the Christmas song “Little Drummer Boy”?
  1. Vocals: Every musical instrument sounds lovelier with the addition of your voice. A choir or a combination of voices completes our list of instruments for Christmas. Nothing compares to belting out your favorite Christmas carols as you celebrate this joyful season.

Are You Ready to Learn to Play an Instrument?

Learning to play an instrument is a rewarding and enriching experience. It opens up a world of creativity, self-expression, and personal growth. Whether you’ve always wanted to strum a guitar, tickle the ivories on a piano, or master the sweet melodies of a violin, embarking on this musical journey can bring immense joy and fulfillment to your life.

Finding Your Instrument

One of the first steps in learning to play an instrument is choosing the right one for you. Consider your musical preferences, the sound that resonates with you, and the instrument’s compatibility with your physical abilities. This initial decision will set the foundation for your musical exploration.

Enroll in Private Music Lessons

Once you have selected your instrument, enrolling in private music lessons can provide invaluable guidance and mentorship. Private lessons offer personalized instruction, tailored to your specific needs and goals. A skilled and experienced teacher can provide valuable insights, technique training, and help you navigate the sometimes challenging aspects of learning an instrument.

Benefits of In-Home or Online Music Lessons

Whether you’re looking for in-home, or online music lessons, both options allow for individualized attention, which is particularly beneficial when starting out. The focused instruction allows you to progress at your own pace, addressing areas where you need more practice and building a strong foundation of skills.

Another advantage of private lessons is the opportunity for feedback and constructive criticism from an expert. A knowledgeable teacher can pinpoint areas of improvement and offer guidance on how to refine your technique, posture, and musical interpretation. This feedback is invaluable in helping you develop good habits and avoid common pitfalls early on in your musical journey.

Private music lessons provide accountability and motivation. Regularly scheduled sessions with a teacher create a sense of commitment and structure, helping you stay consistent with your practice routine. The encouragement and support from your teacher can inspire you to push through challenges and reach new levels of proficiency.

Practice Your Instrument 

In addition to formal lessons, it’s important to supplement your learning with independent practice. Dedicate regular time to practice and embrace the process of mastering your instrument. Explore various learning resources, such as online tutorials, sheet music, and instructional videos, to enhance your understanding of the instrument and expand your repertoire.

Learn to Play this Holiday Season with Create More Music 

Ultimately, learning to play an instrument is a journey that requires dedication, patience, and perseverance. Embrace the ups and downs, celebrate small victories, and stay committed to the joy of making music. Whether you aspire to perform on stage or simply want to play for your own pleasure, the process of learning an instrument will not only develop your musical skills but also foster a deeper connection with the universal language of music. Learn more about music lessons with Create More Music today. 

*This article has been updated with additional new information

Recent Posts



In-Home Music Lessons Today

Schedule your free music lesson to start your journey learning music. Discover a symphony of possibilities with affordable private music lessons, and have fun making the most of your music education experience. In addition to music lessons for everyone, Create More Music also offers online lessons and group master classes.

Lead Form