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By Margaret WatchornMusician and education consultant

Discover great ideas for using song and rhythm to inspire your children with this fantastic selection of books


Reviewed titles:

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1. Release the Rhythm by Daniel Duggan


Release the Rhythm

Release the Rhythm by Daniel Duggan focusses on percussion instruments from around the world and how to use them with whole classes as well as small groups. There are a host of musical games and activities for linking rhythmic play to an understanding of syllables and pattern in language. Story links, too, are included, with ideas for introducing untuned percussion into a range of well-known and not-so-familiar tales. Clear overviews of the content of each chapter make this a useful book for anyone wanting to explore the development of rhythm with young children.

Suitable for ages four to seven. We have ten copies to give away – see our giveaways page.

Summary: Well-planned percussion activities for use with small groups and whole classes.

£19.95, PB (handbook and CD), Infectious Grooves, www.infectiousgrooves.co.uk or contact daniel@infectiousgrooves.org


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2. Inside Music: Early Years by Beth Hill and Michael Stocks

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Inside Music

Inside Music: Early Years by Beth Hill and Michael Stocks is all you could want from an early years song book! 65 short and easy songs form the perfect basis for musical, creative, language and physical development, and plenty of enjoyment too. Each song has its own page, showing music notation and lyrics, along with a track number for the audio CD. There are tips for building in physical activities, playing games or developing new words. The layout is attractive, ideal for busy practitioners, and appealing enough to share with children as a ‘read and sing’ book. Lucky bag cards for pick and mix songs and additional tracks for listening are included.

Suitable for babies to five years. We have six copies to give away – see our giveaways page.

Summary: A wonderful all-round singing resource for early years.

£19.50, PB (handbook and CD), The Voices Foundation, www.voices.org.uk


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3. Toys and Games


Toys & Games

Toys and Games. The latest book from the ‘My World’ series of songbooks for younger children contains twelve brand new songs by popular children’s song-writers. Lyrics and piano accompaniment are provided for each song, along with notes to develop the song further. There’s even a ‘tidy-up’ song to encourage everyone to put things away! An audio CD features the songs being sung by an enthusiastic and tuneful group of children – ideal to support your own children in learning the words and feeling part of a musical group.

Suitable for ages three to six. We have five copies to give away – see our giveaways page.

Summary: Lively topic-based songs with bouncy accompaniments.

£18.95 , PB (handbook and CD), Out of the Ark, www.outoftheark.co.uk


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4. Kickstart Music: Early Years by Anice Paterson and David Wheway


Kickstart Music: Early Years

Kickstart Music: Early Years by Anice Paterson and David Wheway is the first stage of A&C Black’s ‘Kickstart’ music programme. As well as linking into further guides for teachers working with children up to eleven years, it works equally well as a ‘stand-alone’ unit. Whether you use it as a comprehensive scheme of work, or a ‘dip in’ treasure chest, there are dozens of excellent and practical ideas for learning to listen, making music, responding to sound, and experimenting with rhythm and pulse. Activities are clearly and simply laid out, with purpose and resources stated, and helpful ideas given for extending the ideas covered.

Suitable for ages three to five. We have two copies to give away – see our giveaways page.

Summary: An ideal resource to help the busy practitioner develop singing, playing and listening skills.

£16.99, PB (online resources available), A&C Black, www.acblack.com


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