Thursday, 6 September 2012

Back to School Books!

Yay! It's back to school week although I actually don't begin Music classes until tomorrow afternoon. Last week was super busy for me as I was preparing for a day long reading session workshop that my friend Sean and I presented on behalf of St. John's Music. About 90 Music teachers gathered to sing, see and listen to new publications including choral pieces, musicals, resource books and videos! It was tons of work to prepare, but fun to collaborate with St. John's and my friend.

I wanted to feature some resource books that I scoped out and am super excited about using!

Blue is the Sea by Sofia Lopez-Ibor is my absolute favourite new resource this year!
This book is all about arts integration in K-6 Music and how you can tie visual arts, movement, games and music together in order to enrich the musical experience for children. I am excited about this because I think one of the most important jobs as a music teacher is to foster creativity and Sofia's lesson examples really lend themselves to doing just this. Most of the lessons/units are organized thematically and include a song, an Orff arrangement, some musical recording examples, movement ideas, games and art activities. I LOVE it!

All Blues by Doug Goodkin is also a gem among the new resources!
I absolutely love using Doug's Now is the Time. I use the Jazz/Blues arrangements and lessons every year with my grade 5 and 6 classes. It's great for teaching chord progressions as well.
All Blues is more Jazz for the Orff ensemble! Unlike the previous book, All Blues includes a CD (Now is the Time CDs were not included) with students playing the Orff arrangements that are included in the book. I would explore Now is the Time first if you haven't already and then check out All Blues for more Jazz/Blues arrangements and lessons!

One other resources you should for sure check out is "Hot Jams" for Recorder by Jim Solomon.
I have been doing some of these songs with my grade 5 and 6 students for a few years now and the kids love them! Jim shared some of these recorder pieces at a workshop I attended at the American Orff Schulwerk Conference. Each piece has the guitar chords written in as well as a non-pitched percussion part. A CD recording of the songs and accompaniment tracks is included with the book as well. The chord progressions are simple enough to have students play the guitar or Orff instruments as well!

Stay Tuned for my favorite new musicals and choral pieces!



  1. Thanks for sharing these resources. I have to order Jim Solomon's "Hot Jams for Recorder" to use with 5th and 6th grade. I always love his music, and this book looks like a ton of fun. I have some guitar players that will love to accompany the group. It's a good thing we get our school credit cards back tomorrow, so I won't have to wait long to try it!


  2. Have fun with Hot Jams! I LOVE it! I am so excited to get going with recorder and get these jams going!