Elementary Music Teaching in the Laboratory School. II
The Elementary School Teacher
SONG-SINGING. SONG-SINGING as a cultural means is the chief element in the music work of the school. From the kindergarten to the oldest class, carefully chosen songs with piano accompaniment are taught to the children by rote. As far as possible, their own choice is noted, and such songs are selected as shall directly appeal to the genius of the group. At first it Seemed a matter for regret that a collection of songs suited to our requirements could not be found, that each child in learning a
... hild in learning a new song might be having added practice in sight-reading. It is evident, however, that in singing from the printed page there are certain restrictions in bodily poise which reflect upon the volume and quality of tone, while much of the ear-training and memorizing connected with the rote song is lost. The piano accompaniment is valuable as a cultural means. Its presence cultivates independence in holding the melody (incidentally a preparation for part-singing), while it awakens a sense for correct harmonic progression. Songs without a harmonic background lose the stimulating and inspiring quality which children beyond the primary grades should have. The three-part song whose harmony is complete and satisfactory without accompaniment-as Mendelssohn's "Lift Thine Eyes"-is also, of course, highly educative. S.ongs learned in group work are sung in chorus practice, which occurs each week for one half-hour period. Until last year there were two choruses, the children from six to ten years forming one, and those from ten to fourteen years forming the other. This year the school has been divided into three social groups, and a chorus has been formed of each division. The children of six and seven have joined the kindergarten for social 16 This content downloaded from 099.