How Can I Keep From Singing
Songs and Musical activities from around the world for 7-13 year olds.
A song book for teachers for practical musicianship, musical literacy and pure enjoyment.
Complied by: Celia Waterhouse, Lucy Allen, Elspeth Compton, Nandita Hollins
From the introduction
"This book of songs and musical activities is both for Kodaly enthusiasts, and for junior, middle and lower secondary school teachers, or instrumental teachers, who are interested in the Kodaly approach and would like further ideas on how to develop it with groups and classes. All the songs have been contributed by practising Kodaly teachers. In making our selection we have aimed to include songs that we think will be new or unfamiliar to the majority of teachers, as well as a few familiar ones which we believe have particular value for musicianship training. Every song in the book is presented with practical and creative teaching tips showing how to extract the maximum amount of musical learning, challenge and enjoyment from the material. Using this approach even the simplest song becomes a vehicle for extended musicianship work. Indeed, part of the training process for Kodaly teachers is to learn to look analytically at songs for their inherent learning potential. The right material, once stored in a child's memory, acts as a seed bed for further musical growth, and it can be returned to many times over for introducing or reinforcing various aspects of musical learning.
Zoltan Kodály believed fundamentally in music for everyone because music is such an uplifting experience -"It sheds light on those regions of the soul that cannot be reached by any other means" . He also believed that musical literacy is an achievable goal for everyone, and that singing and active music making is the key to musical learning. "Only musical activity can lead someone to an understanding of music .. . simply listening is not enough". Through singing and musical activity we absorb the elements required for music making. This happens unconsciously at first and then, guided by the teacher, consciously, as each element is made explicit and is fitted into the picture at the appropriate time, and given a name and a written symbol. In this way, from the most elementary level to the most advanced, the pupil gradually builds up aural understanding as well as reading skills and a command of the written language of music.
Since it is through songs and rhythmic games that the musical elements are introduced, Kodaly teachers are continually looking for good song material to aid that progression from the simplest stages to the most advanced. Our aim in this book is not to present a systematic and sequential Kodaly programme for classwork, but 10 offer varied, practical and enjoyable material. This can either be incorporated into a Kodaly programme for 8-13 year olds, or can help teachers think more deeply, perhaps for the first time, about the order in which they present songs to the children they work with. The book shows the potential of each individual song for musicianship training. We have organised our songs into ten sections, which may be a useful model for a Kodaly progression, or just a helpful way of finding a song with a particular musical purpose in mind. As a further aid to finding songs there are two indexes at the end of the book: an alphabetical index giving anytical classification of each song , and a solfa index which lists songs according to the number of solfa pitches they contain."