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Broderick Lemke

Megan Schirger
EDUC 317
December 2, 2015

Textbook Evaluation

- Most songs are age appropriate book and in keys that put them in the range of
- Lots of different songs in it, folk songs, pop songs, holiday songs etc.
- There is a section labeled Celebrations which has songs about many holidays
including patriotic songs, as well as Halloween, harvest, Valentines day
(although Never Gonna Be Your Valentine is rather sassy) and many winter
- Not only does it give IPA symbols, there is a small pronunciation chart at the
bottom of most foreign language songs that shows similar sounds such as the a
in father.
- It has different ideas for introducing songs, ways to use tools like movement. It
has stories and history about instruments and the songs as well which helps to
explain the context as well as helping with standards 8 & 9 relating music to other
- The book features several composers throughout as well as introductions to
instruments and genre. Throughout these examples it exposes students to music
similar to concepts that they are already learning, and even offers resources for
teachers to use along with listening exercises. These resources were somewhat
sparse throughout the book, however.
- A lot of the recorded music is orchestral, but there was some jazz (double bass)
- There were several listening maps throughout as well as pictures, and activities
for listening/writing to reflect.
- The songs/activities will often feature an instrumental ostinato or solo line that
can accompany a song There arent many individual activities not tied to a song
the children are playing. The book uses Orff instruments, and some of the parts
seem to be rather hard considering our experience with teaching students during
observation. It also has students in several melodic parts at once.
- They also rely on the teacher to recreate the notation in some way. It does not
list the parts where you could just copy them
- It seems that most of the parts are for xylophone, so the teacher would need to
come up with their own other percussion parts or have students take turns.
- The book has a section on several instruments (double bass, violin, etc.) and
also features a section on conducting/orchestral music.
- There are a lot of movement activities listed. At the bottom of almost every song
there is some sort of activity.
- Nothing is too complicated nor too simplified, it provides the right amount of
- There are a lot of dances, some creative movement and some dances. There
was a nice variety.
- There are activities on composing using solfege, some on improvisation, as well
as activities where a teacher sings an answer and the students must improvise
an answer back.
- They offer a lot of choices, but they are also mainly based upon a pentatonic
scale so students are set up for success. Yay for the five notes that sound good
- The activities provide a set of restrictions that keep students from being stuck on
the blank piece of paper syndrome where they are overwhelmed with the
possibilities. As such, they should be easy to complete in the allotted class time.
- Yes, there is a lot of different activities.
Supplemental Materials:
- There is a student text that accompanies the book and there is also an audio CD.
- Grade 3 recorder book
- The publishers have moved on to their Spotlight on Music series and offers
additional resources through that, including texts in other languages..
- The book progresses in a logical order and gives a Skills Overview at the
beginning of each chapter. This lists the songs in the section as well as their
specific goals/uses so that a teacher can plan what they need to use easily.
- There are multiple times where the book references other songs with similar
concepts/concepts that are built upon the ideas learned in the song.
- Yes, you can skip around because it is full of songs and other activities. Some of
the instrumental parts may need some preparation as well as some songs may
have unfamiliar ranges if you skip too far, but you can do some skipping.
Teacher Suggestions:
- Yes, the directions are clear and very easy to understand.
- The information given tells not only facts about the song, but also aspects of the
culture and the history of the song. This helps the teacher feel comfortable
sharing information and answering some questions students may have.
- They do, there are a lot of instrumental activities you could add additional
percussion to, as well as several games and movements that you could reuse
with other songs.
- Yes, it lists several sections with Individual needs for students. For example P.
21 has a section labeled for Special Learners for rhythm exercises.
- Yes, it has activities that tie into the arts as well as classroom subjects.
Appearance and Visual Effects:
- In most cases the illustrations are great, they outline the information and do not
intrude on the important aspects of the music. They can give a great cultural
insight to diverse groups as well.
- The teachers edition is not, it could rip out of the spiral binding easily.
- There are many ethnic groups listed. The pictures look natural and feature
people doing traditional work/music tasks. There are also several children who
are added in later. There are even some pictures of children in wheelchairs so it
includes students with disabilities.
- There are adults and children in varying roles in varying genders, its A-Okay
Unified Arts:
- There are several art projects and drama projects as well that promote other
areas of the arts and create good cross-curricular learning tools.
- Many of the activities are manageable, and could be taken on in a joint effort
between Specials teachers.
- Yes, the text talks about plays and musicals such as the Wizard of Oz as well as
several others listed in the back
- This text includes poetry, dance, drama, visual arts.
- Yes, there are several famous paintings that are included throughout the book.
- They like movement, creativity, and a wide variety of activities. They have an Orff
tendency in their instrumental exercises. They value listening as much as
performing. They also expose children to a WIDE variety of music (classical,
popular, contemporary (Steve Reich?!?!)).
- Is it compatible with yours?
- Megan - I believe that this text is very compatible with my philosophy.
This text incorporates many activities that included movement, creativity,
and rhythm. I believe that those are two very important in the elementary
general music classroom. Therefore, this text is compatible with my
philosophy for a general music class at the elementary level. This text also
supplies many games to make learning fun. This agrees with my
philosophy since I believe that the general music classroom should be a
place where students participate in my fun activities that are still very
educational for them.
- Brody - This text fits in with a lot of my philosophical beliefs in general
music education. It not only provides songs to sing, but also pieces to
listen to and other activities. It provides ways to help children become
educated music consumers as well as performers. This text would fit in
well with my classroom and the variety of activities would keep the
classroom fun and engaging with a wide variety of options and possibilities
each lesson.
- The book has a lot of Orff techniques for instrumental parts, and also features
some solfege which is compatible with Kodaly practices.
- Yes, the text has many activities that range throughout the 9 national standards.
It is easy for a teacher to choose activities that meet standards.
- Yes, it lists the chapters by name as well as certain key aspects such as
cross-curricular activities. The book also has smaller table of contents before
each chapter that list different activities and standards for the songs in that
- Yes there is an alphabetical index of songs
- Yes, there is a Thematic index.
- The listening is in order by pieces, but not composer
- Yes, the book refers you to other similar songs with concepts you could review.
- Yes, there is a movement glossary in the back of the book
Music Reading:
- Yes, there are a variety of notations including staff notation, as well as several
listening chars, and other small activities to help with rhythm.
- There arent many dynamic markings until halfway through the book when they
are introduced, however some songs use articulation, slurs, and ties.
- The book has a lot of sheet music and expects students to be able to read, which
if theyve been working on this for several years as they should be, it should be
adequate. They work by adding bit by bit in the book which makes it a gradual
increase towards real sheet music.
- There are not piano accompaniments, but there are chords above the songs
which a teacher could boom-chick or use any other simple style of keyboard
accompaniment with..
- No, we did not find any references to piano accompaniments.
- No. We said there are none, stop asking
- We cant play what doesnt exist!
Overall Impression/Opinion of the text:

I think that in general this text is really good. I like the wide variety of music, and
appreciate its attention to detail with listening. There are a large variety of activities
planned with each of the songs, including a varied way to introduce these new songs.
This would be great if I am not feelings particularly inspired by a song and have no clue
how to introduce it. There are also quite a few styles of music which is nice to see that
students are being exposed to a diverse selection of music. The book did have some
moments when it seemed to be a bit cheesy, but in general the songs are cute and not
too baby-ish. The lack of piano accompaniment is not something I see as a problem
because there are accompaniment CDs as well as the chord symbols listed in each
song which is adequate enough for me to use with the children. Overall, this text is great
and would be an awesome resource to have in my classroom, one that would make my
planning and scrambling to find activities easier.

I have determined that this is a very well written text and would be able to be easily
used in the general music classroom. I like the large number of songs that are provided
for use in the classroom. Almost every single song is this text had an activity that went
along with it, which included things such as movement and instruments. All this
activities in the music lessons were age appropriate. I also loved that the songs
provided were not just from our own culture, but were drawn from multiple cultures. The
only major thing that is missing from this book that should be in an elementary general
music classroom is piano accompaniments. However, the text does provide chords for
every single song that they provide. Overall, I believe that this is an excellent resource
and would be very helpful in the general music classroom at the elementary level since
it provides many useful activities that could be brought into my own lesson plans.

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