Monday, November 16, 2009

Selecting Material (from Jennifer Connoley)

Ideas to consider when selecting songs or poems

What first drew you to the poem or song? Would that appeal to children as well?

Does it contain some kind of possibilities for relating it to kids’ life experiences?

What about the song or poem stands out in terms of musical concepts (building bricks, form, pitch patterns, tempo, dynamics, etc)?

What age level(s) are those concepts appropriate for?

Do those concepts align with a particular unit of study we’re working on (either musical or thematic units)?

Are there obvious rhythmic or melodic patterns that repeat?

What is the range of the song? Is that appropriate for children?

Does it challenge kids in terms of rhythm, pitch or speech?

Is it a well-known song or poem (like a nursery rhyme) that lends itself to easy learning, therefore more in-depth discovery of musical concepts?

Is the song or poem funny? Silly? Surprising? Mysterious? Is it a tongue twister?
Does it tell a story?

Is it a beautiful melody that would appeal to any listener regardless of age?
Does the song or poem have some historical or cultural significance? Is it well known and/or well respected in the body of repertoire?

Does it have a well-known singing game or play party associated with it?

Would you want to speak the poem or sing the song if you were a kid? Do you want to as an adult (about a billion times in the course of a teaching cycle)?

Can you buy into it? Can you get excited about it, therefore encouraging the kids to be excited?

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