STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT on Elementary Choir

Each year, the knowledgeable staff at Stanton’s chooses select titles to promote to you, our valued customers.  We listen to thousands of new issues from scores of publishers and composers to present you with the very best in new music for your ensembles.  In our new Stanton’s Spotlight feature, we will put a special focus on one piece that we particularly enjoy, and tell you how it can serve you and your group.

Ribbons in the Sky

Words and Music by Andy Beck

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist

stanton's spotlight ribbons in the skyElementary students love to move to the music.  Whether it is in your general music class or in your elementary choir, “Ribbons in the Sky” is a beautiful selection for your elementary chorus that allows you to incorporate movement in a way that serves the musical concepts it teaches.  The piece has a simple melody with a small range (B3 to D5,) and is accompanied by a recorder and piano.  While it is a 2 part piece, the harmonies consist of echo patterns and a short (repeated) section where the homophonic parts are in contrary motion.

The composer suggests that you give each child a colored ribbon or scarf that corresponds with one of the colors mentioned in the text.  There are a multitude of ways that you can use these manipulatives to help your students.  Try having the students move the scarves slowly overhead during the length of a phrase.  This shows both the shape and duration of the phrase.   Students may also enjoy creating some of their own choreography to the piece.  Listen to a recording with your students and discuss appropriate types of motions, then let them create their own in small groups.  You might be amazed at what they come up with!

This might be a great piece for your group because it…

  • is a great beginner two part piece
  • gives students a chance to experience singing with an instrument
  • provides opportunities for Dalcroze-style music teaching
  • teaches slow, lyrical singing
  • offers the chance for creative choreography that is different from run-of-the-mill “choralography”

For more great suggestions, please contact our choral department by phone at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at

Rachel Steele has been working in the choral department at Stanton’s since 2013.  She previously taught middle school and high school band and choir for 13 years, and holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University.  Currently a member of the Heisey Wind Ensemble and a musician at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Pickerington, OH,) Rachel also enjoys reading, sewing, baking and the Pittsburgh Steelers!


Categories: Music Education, School Choral, Staff Picks, Stanton's Spotlight

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