News & Views Monday, October 15, 2018

First, We Sing! Wednesday, March 07, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialists

leon-480698The First, We Sing! series by Susan Brumfield offers guidance and direction for teachers who are new to the Kodály approach. Experienced teachers will find fresh ideas to supplement their materials, along with another perspective on Kodály’s philosophy and its implications for teaching today.

If you are just starting out in the Kodály approach and the First, We Sing! series, start with the TEACHING GUIDE, which begins with an overview of the Kodály approach and a brief introduction to the philosophy, its tools and materials. It includes a detailed explanation of the “three-step process” (Prepare, Present, Practice) toward musical literacy, as well as a comprehensive look at musical skills and the ways they develop over time.

leon-513813The FIRST WE SING SONGBOOKS, available in Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3, are designed to bring delightfully singable songs and practical pedagogy together in one anthology. Teachers will find extension activities for the classroom, historical references, pedagogical indices and suggestions for including the songs in a literacy-based music curriculum. Also included are suggestions for Orff instruments and recorder, along with seasonal and holiday songs, singing games and songs just for fun. Ideally suited for teaching musical skills, this collection provides a “vocabulary” of music and play from which children can draw today.

The TEACHING STRATEGIES are available for both Primary Grades (K-2) and Intermediate Grades (3-5). These strategies for rhythm and melodic elements are printed on 3-hole punched loose-leaf paper so teachers can easily customize the teaching sequence in order to make the most of each lesson. Each teaching strategy contains a list of requisite readiness elements and skills (what the students need to know and be able to do) before learning the new element. It includes a list of activities to prepare for the new element, a scripted, step-by-step procedure for presenting it, and ways to practice using the new element in each skill area.

leon-481077The ACTIVITY CARDS provide fast, fun and creative ways to give your students a workout in each of the six skill areas: reading, writing, partwork, memory, listening and creating. Each 5-7 minute rhythm or melody activity is designed to assess either readiness or mastery at each step in the process, and students love the fun game-like context in which they used in each lesson. Four activities are printed on each separate sheet in the pak – cut them apart and sort by color heading for quick and easy access!

The DIGITAL RESOURCE SUPPLEMENTS are easy-to-use digital tools to help you implement this practical, creative and flexible resource into your elementary music class! Resources include planning tools, assessment templates, student activity slides for use with your tablet, computer, or interactive whiteboard, and digital activity cards. Teacher-friendly, step-by-step instructions make it easy to customize the content, and no special software is needed.

Find more valuable Kodaly resources on our website, or contact us for more recommendations. And remember – shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.

Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Columbus area, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.

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