Thursday, 5 August 2010
I was making a short recording yesterday for a tiny pupil of around 7 years old. I promised I would give her some new repertoire to keep her going over the loooong Summer holidays ! Each song was about 50 seconds long, and taken from a book called
Here in the UK it is a widely used little childrens song book, and it is BRILLIANT! Many of the little songs are on the Examination Board syllabuses, and lots are simply, but beautifully arranged folk songs from all over the world.
I have about 4 books which live on the side of my piano, and the small 'purple' one is always top of the pile. It can be very difficult to find songs for under 12's - well any that are not requiring a chest voice the size of Manchester, and a scream factor of 60 ! There are other stalwart collections that I use, but 'Sing Together' is my teaching 'breakfast, lunch and dinner'. Sadly I do not have any shares in the publishing company, so I am not 'selling' the book, but if you want a great set of songs for teaching, or indeed teaching in school, this is your man!
I recorded a simple version of Bobby Shafto, and little folksong called The Miller. Songs for children need to be in an easy and managable range, preferably between D above Middle C and the D above that, then they can span the range effortlessly, and strainfree. Blimey, I am getting technical!
The other reason why it is a great book is because it is full of FUN songs, and make us laugh in lessons, a vital component of teaching for me, and the little mites who leap into my music room for their weekly 20 minutes!
There is a lovely arrangement of 'Michael Finnigan', which my aforementioned chappie who sang a brilliant 'Kangaroo', performed in the last concert we gave. He brought the house down with his hilarious rendition of this unfortunate who had a number of tragic events in his life, which are, incongruously, set to the cheeriest of melodies.
The tiny girl for whom I recorded songs yesterday stands around a metre in height, and has a voice as large as a baby elephant on steroids, and sings with real gusto. I know she will learn the songs - with Grannie's all important imput - in 6 minutes flat and will then need more!
Hang in there Granny........................!