Involving young musicians in an elementary school choir is a great way to encourage budding musicianship and beginning ensemble skills. These octavos are perfect for students in grades 3-6, and will showcase your music program in the best possible way this spring!
Grow, Little Tree by Andrea Ramsey is perfect for end-of-the-year performances. The sweet text compares a child’s young life to a growing tree – “Grow, little tree / Stretch your arms and spread your leaves / What will you be?…” This also works beautifully as a combined number with your middle school or high school singers!
Interpreting text and poetry offers lots of teaching opportunities for young singers. Cynthia Gray’s If I Knew You features a sincere message about acceptance, friendship, and being sensitive to one another. Or, use In My Dream by Andy Beck and take a peek into your students’ imaginations, with far off lands, magic carpets and more!
Explore the music of Asia with Doraji, a popular Korean folksong. Because the melody is based on the pentatonic scale, it’s great for incorporating your classroom lessons into your performing ensemble. Mark Burrow’s original You Can Dance, You Can Sing also brings a fun world music flavor – add the percussion parts for extra rhythmic energy, and the optional descant for your singers who are ready for a part-singing challenge.
Chatter with the Angels is a cheerful spiritual option, with a bouncy and supportive piano accompaniment. The melody passes from part to part, and a back-and-forth “chatter” section (with descant) ups the difficulty level.
If your students enjoyed NBC’s live broadcast of “Peter Pan,” they’ll love singing I’ve Gotta Crow! Another great Broadway option is It’s Possible (In McElligot’s Pool) from “Seussical” – perfect ranges for young voices, and lots of fun!
For ensembles ready for the challenge of three-part singing, The Wise Old Owl by Cynthia Gray is an ideal choice. It moves easily from unison to canon, then three melodic parts. The playful interaction between the parts is delightful!
About the Authors:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys eating good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.
Rachel Steele has been 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 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!