How Can I Keep From Singing?

How can I keep from Singing! (Compiled by the BKA) £17.50 Add to basket
BKA Songbook (latest edition) including double CD

What users have said about this book…

‘The editors have deliberately avoided the material that crops up in every collection and have tried to find songs to appeal to the 21st century child’. (KH, London)
‘Having a resource book to hand with so many lovely songs in it is so helpful. It is full of wonderful new material and useful tips on teaching.’ (VM, Enfield)
‘A real inspiration and valuable resource! I’ll be able to put many ideas into action in string teaching and also KS3 classroom teaching.’ (CD, Cambridge)
‘We used this book frequently while in college, and all the teachers and the children loved it!’ (Trainee teacher RP, Dublin)

The BKA Songbook, ‘How Can I Keep From Singing!’ first appeared as a BKA Millennium Project in 2000, and was welcomed as a great new resource for teaching music through singing at KS2 and 3 (ages 8 – 13). This collection of around 100 songs and musical activities from around the world offers a wealth of teaching repertoire and ideas in a practical, accessible and stimulating format, and the early chapters contain much material useful at KS1. The book can be used to plan a systematic Kodály music programme, or to help teachers choose and use appropriate teaching repertoire, both for class musicianship training, instrumental work and choral singing.
The songbook soon became a ‘best seller’, and the 2nd edition appeared in April 2003, incorporating a new National Curriculum Appendix designed to help teachers choose songs to fulfil specific music teaching requirements at KS1, 2 and 3. The NC Appendix was updated for the latest 2nd edition reprint (August 2007).
The CD project was initiated in 2003 to complement the songbook. BKA members were invited to participate individually or with their choirs in making recordings for the project, and a number of members responded. The two CDs therefore include many different choirs and voices, giving examples of class singing, vocal chamber music and solo singing. They went into production in August 2007, ready to go out with the latest version of the book.
The CDs are intended as a companion to the songbook, the tracks following the order of songs in the book. (They do not stand alone as a teaching resource without the book.)

Reviews
by Vivienne Manders
I have my copy of “How Can I Keep From Singing!” and am absolutely delighted with it. I have been teaching Kodály musicianship (I hope that is what I have been doing!) for about ten years now, spending a long time searching for new songs etc and gleaning plenty of new ideas from the Summer Schools. All this has been very useful, but having a resource book to hand with so many lovely songs in it is so helpful.
It is full of wonderful new material and useful tips on teaching – I can still use new ideas! I have already taught one of the songs and can’t wait to do more. The book is really usefully laid out so that songs can easily be found for teaching particular rhythms, solfa etc. It’s a great book and much needed.

by Kathy Hulme
How can I keep from screaming on a Friday afternoon faced with thirty proto adolescent London schoolchildren? Well for a non-threatening start to the term why not try “Everywhere we go” beloved of rugby teams and marines throughout the English speaking world. Or leave the singing out for a moment and hit them with a fiendish rhythm canon. Both ideas gleaned from the wonderful “How can I keep from singing.” This book is a rare commodity – a genuinely original collection of songs. The collectors have deliberately avoided the material that crops up in every collection and have tried to find songs to appeal to 21st century school child. I’m still not certain that my students will like every song, I can’t ever imagine any of them singing “Sing together merrily”, but that’s probably because of my taste as much as theirs. But there are plenty of songs that are easy to learn and use, the action songs Hil Lo Chickalo, Kapa, Dipidu, and Rhythm Machine, for example. Other songs are more challenging, Ba-nu-wa looks fantastic, but I don’t know if my choir is quite ready for nine parts. And there are many beautiful looking folk songs and songs in the minor key which will have to wait for the right class and the right occasion. I was particularly interested to see Si Si Si and Hey Dum Bar de Ay in the collection because I encountered these pieces of music in my student days when I fell in love with music through such works as Misa Luba, which features Si Si Si and the group Codona who do a version of Hey Dum Bar de Ay. This is a rich and stimulating collection that I will come back to again and again. I love the presentation of the songs. Each one has a brief contextual description, stick and staff notation, musical analysis and concise and useful teaching ideas. I’ve already spent many a while scouring the handy index at the back for the right song to teach an element. It’s a sturdy book, coping well with life in my cycle panniers and is already plastered with post it notes (my patent catalogue and retrieval system). And the illustrations are delightful.

Here are the thoughts of BKA members on the practical application of How Can I Keep From Singing!

How can I keep from Singing! (Compiled by the BKA) £17.50 Add to basket
BKA Songbook (latest edition) including double CD