Music Teaching at the Elementary Level: Selecting a Song Repertoire


Considering the importance accorded to singing in elementary school music programs, and the recognition of the necessity of training childrens singing voices, the music education specialist must have access to a repertoire of songs to be selected according to certain criteria. The abundance of childrens vocal pieces, whether in score format, recording, or pedagogical material, and the absence of tools that would permit a critical analysis with regards to pertinent use in a pedagogical context constitute a major problem with regards to the selection of singing repertoire. What are the criteria one uses to make judicious repertoire selection for songs where the goal is music education in an elementary school? The goal of this research is to elaborate on a frame of reference resulting from the findings of two distinct sources: the first is from scientific and academic literature, and the second from research interviews with experienced music specialists. The methodology chosen for combining and comparing these findings is analysis of content. The frame of reference that results reveals four major categories of criteria for selection of repertoire, and each is examined in depth in order to clarify the active and reflective steps music educators and researchers must take.

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