A Garden of Songs
For Singing and Piping at Home and School
For First to Fourth Grade (Six to Ten Years)
With Suggestions for Use of the C-Flute or Recorder
This collection has been designed for children of about six to ten years of age (grades 1 through 4). It presents songs which may be incorporated into the lives of the children, to accompany them during the course of the days and the seasons. It may also be treated as progressive studies which build a musical vocabulary through the development and expansion of the fundamental musical experience of the interval of the fifth. The musical fifth may be seen as the primal gateway into the world of children (see the work of Julius Knierim), practice with songs based on the fifth will put the breath in the "right place".
Where the "mood of the fifth" is cultivated, the children can step into a sphere which embraces an entire range of gesture and movement. It brings out their own predilection to be at one with the world. Pamela Dalton's drawings further emphasize this active placing-of-oneself into the world.
Once the students are securely at home with the fifth, the use of smaller intervals develops naturally through the singing of pentatonic songs. Songs in major and minor keys (diatonic) are approached only when the young people are entirely saturated with the pentatonic mode; the transition to the diatonic mode can be experienced as a stepping-back somewhat from this unified experience, and therefore expresses the heightened self-consciousness of the nine-to-ten year old.
The book can be used with or without the accompaniment of c-flutes and recorders. Generally the older students can leam to play recorder on the basis of songs they have sung at an earlier stage.
However, it is always recommended to alternate playing and singing. This emphasizes playing by ear before note-reading is learned. Please turn to the last page for further notes concerning the use of the book.
~ Arnold Logan, August 1996