Celebrating the Christmas season with your group

With the pandemic still present in our lives, many of us will be missing our usual, seasonal music celebrations whether it’s attending a local carol service, singing or playing in a festive performance or Christmas social events. To help recreate some of these, and find alternative ways to celebrate the holiday season we have pulled together some ideas from our members to help inspire you and keep musical activities thriving at Christmas. 

If you have any ideas to add to this list, please let us know!

Christmas inspiration

Ideas for individuals – take part or watch!

Making Music is hosting two opportunities over the festive season:

Making Music's corporate members have some great activities too:

  • Koor app Christmas Program: Making Music Premium Corporate Member, Koor are offering free online workshops run by professional singers, culminating in live streamed performances. The programme includes; Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s and a range English Christmas music from the 20th and 21st Centuries. 
  • Choir Community Distant-Sing Christmas 2020: Making Music Premium Corporate, Choir Community are bringing back their worldwide virtual choir for some festive performances, with four sessions throughout December.  

Here are some other fantastic projects to take part in or watch:

Ideas for groups – virtual performances
  • Create a virtual recording of your favourite festive piece – encourage the group to dress up appropriately
  • Create an entire Christmas Concert online from pre-recorded small ensemble pieces. Divide the membership into smaller groups to work on these - so there will be a good number of pieces but each person only works on one. Rehearse on Zoom and record their own parts
  • Offer your virtual performance to a local hospice or charity
  • Broadcast your performances on YouTube – create a YouTube premiere to generate some buzz, and set up a donations link so that people can contribute during the performance
  • Create an online musical Christmas card using a recording of your group and some festive pics
  • Collaborate with another group online, resulting in a recording/Zoom performance – for example, several choirs could each record one chorus from the Messiah, with all the separate recordings linked together to form a joint performance
     
Groups – online social events

Musical ideas

  • Host an open mic night, where members take it in turns to perform a solo turn (you could also encourage non-musical turns as part of this!)
  • Have a favourite carol play- or sing-along – to a YouTube recording, or to someone playing the piano
  • Invite a composer/arrange to talk about carols or other celebratory pieces they have composed, then play/sing through some of theirs or listen to recordings of them
  • In pairs, ask your members to pick a carol and rehearse in advance (on Zoom) and then create a recording to share with the group
  • Hold a ‘Write Your Own Carol’ challenge and share these at an online event/rehearsal
  • If people are allowed to meet in each other’s houses, encourage people to gather in small groups (within the permitted restrictions) in their own homes or gardens, and join a big Zoom call play- or  sing-along so whole group is also connected
  • Playback an already recorded Xmas CD with a slide show of favourite pics for a reminiscing session
  • Collaborate with one or more other groups and come together for an online event

Non-musical ideas

  • Themed quiz on Zoom with BYO mulled wine
  • Bingo
  • Desert Island Discs
  • Bake off competition
  • Murder mystery evening
  • Pictionary using the whiteboard feature
  • ‘Guess who’ – ask members to submit in advance a photo (e.g. a baby photo, a picture of the inside of their fridge) and the other members have to guess which photo belongs to who

For quiz inspiration, view some quizzes from members in our drop boxIf you have a quiz you would be willing to share with other member groups, please upload it directly to the drop box!

Other sources of quiz questions:

Googling ‘quiz questions’ will get you plenty of results, as will searching for specific categories such as ‘geography quiz questions’. But here are some links to collections of general knowledge quiz questions to get you started.

Christmas quiz questions:

Groups – get together in person

Outdoors

  • If restrictions allow, gather in an outdoor space such as a park to play or sing through your favourite festive pieces
  • Busking outdoors (e.g. in the town centre) in small groups
  • A pop-up performance in a place where there is passing foot traffic, but won’t attract crowds
  • Meet in person outside for social, e.g. go for a walk

Indoors

  • If restrictions allow, record a performance in an indoor space then broadcast on online
  • Socially distanced carol play- or sing- along
  • Socially distanced games night e.g. charades, name that tune
Groups – stay connected with your members
  • If you can’t put on your own Christmas event why not share the ideas in the ‘For individuals’ section with your members
  • Post or email a greetings card and/or an annual round up newsletter

Member Christmas events

Have a look at our events listing for other Christmas concerts and events online from Making Music members, which we'll be promoting throughout the season on our social media. You can add your add your own group's events to the listing via your dashboard.

 


We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.