Commissioned by Longman

  • flexible orchestra of classroom instruments: melody instruments/rec/tuned+untuned percussion
  • children's choir
  • 15 min

Programme Note

The songs are intended for children between the ages of about seven and nine. The songs offer opportuniites for group and solo singing, movement and dance, and involve the children in the making of simple props and masks.

Performed as a set, the songs make an attractive concert item lasting about 15 minutes. They are equally valuable as classroom material in which the children encounter a number of basic musical concepts, develop some musical skills, and explore a variety of tone colours.

The melodies lie easily within the range of young children’s voices. Both words and tunes may be simply taught by rote, with the children imitating each phrase sung by the teacher.

The accompaniments, intended for classroom instruments, exemplify simple rhythmic and melodic ostinato patterns. The following instruments may be used as available: – tuned percussion: chime bars, – untuned percussion: bass drum, suspended cymbal, tambourine, plus an array of small, even home-made, instruments for special effects – recorders: Several songs contain easy optional recorder parts; more advanced players may double the vocal line If classroom instruments are not available, a pianist of very moderate ability may discreetly accompany the songs by playing the melody with the right hand, and the tuned percussion part an octave lower than written with the left. Some songs work very well unaccompanied, in which case, after a little practice on a glockenspiel, a non-pianist will also be able to teach the tunes.