Stanton’s Spotlight on Elementary General Resources

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 or resource that we particularly enjoy, and tell you how it can serve you and your students.

first we sing book 2The First We Sing! Series

by Susan Brumfield

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Music Specialist

The music education philosophy of Zoltan Kodaly is well known to most elementary music teachers.  His ideas about basing the music education of all children on singing,  music literacy, folk music (their “mother tongue”) and quality composed music are the basis of many music curricula.  In her “First We Sing!” Series, Dr. Susan Brumfield brings a fresh, modern take to the Kodaly approach.

first we sing teaching guideThe First We Sing! Teaching Guide outlines the Kodaly approach, addresses how to teach a song,  and gives a suggested scope and sequence, song lists, yearly plans and recommended reading and listening lists.

first we sing resource pack primaryThe First We Sing Teaching Strategies book (available for Grades K-2 and Grades 3-5,) is a step by step guide for teaching each element or concept.  Rhythmic and melodic concepts are broken down into sequential lessons, and there is a wonderful section on what to teach if your students are not ready for a visual representation of these ideas.  We especially love the sensitivity to how teachers work on a daily basis – the book is conveniently hole punched for placement in a 3-ring binder.

first we sing songbook onefirst we sing book 2Perhaps the most universally applicable element of the First We Sing! Series are the Songbooks, Volumes One and Two.  The 20 songs in each book are meant to be used in different ways at a variety of levels.  For example, you might use the same song for reading or sight-singing with an upper grade level, while using the included listening CD for movement activities with your youngest students.

The First We Sing Series might be for you if:

  • You want to align your elementary program to the Kodaly philosophy.
  • You are looking for a comprehensive curriculum all in one place.
  • You are a teacher who wants to include Kodaly elements in an existing music curriculum.
  • You and your students enjoy singing and moving to folksongs from a variety of cultures.

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: Classroom General Music, Music Education, New Publications, Teacher Materials

Tags: , , ,

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