Jolly Music

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Teaching music skills to children through singing
By Cyrilla Rowsell and David Vinden. Published by Jolly Learning Ltd

Jolly Music for Beginners Handbook inc CDs £35.00 Add to basket
Jolly Music for Beginners Big Book £24.00 Add to basket
Jolly Music Level 1 Handbook inc CDs £35.00 Add to basket
Jolly Music Level 1 Big Book £24.00 Add to basket
Jolly Music Level 2 Handbook inc CDs £35.00 Add to basket
Jolly Music Level 2 Big Book £24.00 Add to basket
Jolly Music Level 3 Handbook inc CDs £35.00 Add to basket
Jolly Music Level 3 Big Book £24.00 Add to basket

Reviews
Jolly Music for Beginners
– Reviewed by Christine Wrigley
In The Music Handbook, the intention “to give primary school class teachers …a well-planned music curriculum” is admirably fulfilled.
Here is a book in which quality material has been carefully selected, imaginatively linked and beautifully put together in a series of 30 lesson plans designed for use with four to seven year old children. There is also a Jolly Music Big Book to supplement The Music Handbook, containing the words and pulse indications of the song/rhyme material.
Within this secure musical and pedagogical framework, which itself inspires confidence, the learning opportunities afforded by every song and rhyme are maximised. Each step in the teaching process is logically sequenced and clearly described, by two authors whose deep knowledge, both of their subject and of the likely developmental stage of this age group, shines through at all times.
When I first read the book, I was reminded of my many fumbling attempts to teach a song with quite complicated associated actions, and the feelings of failure because my children did not seem able to walk in a circle or clap the required pattern with a partner; I realised that what I had thought of as step 1, was actually more like step 10! Had I possessed The Music Handbook, I would not have had to spend the next six weeks back-tracking, trying to work out just how best to present the song so that both my success and, more importantly, that of the children, was ensured. During that enlightening first reading, I lost count of the times I thought “A-haa! THAT’S how I should have done it…”
Any teacher who follows these lesson plans will be working towards drawing the very best responses from their pupils, leading them along the path towards musical independence and a positive, strong musical identity.
Very highly recommended.

Jolly Music for Beginners – reviewed by Helen Russell
This book is a comprehensive classroom scheme for Early Years and KS1 classes to teach singing and musicianship using the Kodaly Approach. I have used this scheme to good effect with pre-schoolers, Early Years classes and choirs, and on a one to one basis with my piano students.
Many of the songs in this book are also contained in “Songs for Singing &​ Musicianship Training” by David Vinden and Yuko Vinden. This is an excellent reference book for the Kodaly Approach and solfa, and has many songs that slowly increase in complexity. However with Jolly Music the songs have been made into a full scheme of work with detailed lesson plans and audio CDs. You can also buy a Big Book to go with it. I love it and so do my children.
If you’re new to the Kodaly Approach and want to learn yourself then it’s not the best resource since each book only covers a small amount of content. However it’s great for identifying creative ways to be repetitive with the skills and information. You could use it without a deeper understanding, or gain your personal understanding elsewhere and then use it to help your teaching.
My piano students follow the DoReMi Piano method and some of them have had prior experiences learning with Jolly Music. The speed of those success with DoReMi Piano is down to the excellent foundations that were created using the activities from Jolly Music and it would be a dream come true if all young children had the opportunity to study music in this way prior to starting formal instrumental lessons.

Jolly Music Level 1 – Reviewed by Christine Wrigley
The Music Handbook (Level 1) is the second in the Jolly Music series, and is designed to be used with children aged five-plus to eight-plus, building on the material in the first Jolly Music Handbook (Beginners).
Like the Beginners Music Handbook, the Level 1 Handbook contains 30 tried and tested lesson plans based on Kodály principles, which “bring the best music teaching within the reach of every teacher and child.” All the musical material used in the lessons appears in a resources section at the end of the book, together with associated actions, games and teaching activities. There are templates for puppets and rhythm activities, and 7 CDs with clearly-sung teaching and performance tracks for the less-experienced teacher.
The Level 1 Big Book contains the complete repertoire in a large format for use in the classroom. Each rhyme or song includes pulse indications, represented by red hearts, and appealing illustrations to remind the children of the actions or games. Words and notation are cleverly set-out as a reminder for the teacher, on the side of the page that faces away from the children.
The depth and clarity of the overall Jolly Music concept is impressive (this book is the second in a projected series of seven, covering all the Primary years), resulting from lifetimes of dedicated, reflective Kodály practice by both authors.
The Level 1 Music Handbook begins with an introduction which provides a clear rationale for the following lesson plans and choice of musical material. The tools used to facilitate the teaching/learning process are accessibly explained, and there is helpful, easy-to-understand background information about the philosophy behind the Kodály approach.
The lesson plans themselves are well-structured, with meticulous attention to detail. Song and rhyme material is imaginatively linked, gradually enabling children to make the appropriate rhythmic and melodic connections which are so crucial to musical literacy. The four steps in the learning process, as advocated by Kodály, are clearly reflected in the way that each new skill and concept is thoroughly prepared before being made conscious, then reinforced in many imaginative ways and finally used in new musical situations.
The variety of teaching activities and games support multi-sensory learning and make the lessons fun, at the same time as being underpinned by unfailingly secure pedagogical processes.
The resources section will be particularly useful to experienced teachers who may wish to choose materials and activities to devise their own lesson plans. It also provides a progression of activities for each song and rhyme, showing just how much can be made from the material. Who would have thought that a simple 4-bar s m song such as See Saw could be used in 38 bullet-pointed ways, under 9 different headings?
I would highly recommend this book to all Primary music teachers.

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