A Treasure Trove of Songs for Children’s Chorus

By Pam Donkin

My K-3 after-school chorus gave a concert for their families and friends last month. They did a great job, singing partner songs, rounds, playing the spoons and kazoo and using American Sign Language. But the real treasure is that they sang mostly songs written by CMN Members!

I’ve been directing after-school choruses for 25 years and find that my colleagues in CMN know how to write songs that work for kids in today’s world: songs that resonate with them, have fun lyrics, and sound wonderful.  At the same time, the children are being trained to blend their voices, use dynamics, and follow a director, so that they sing in one (or two if in harmony) big voice. Doing that, and having fun while doing so, is the goal.

Here is the list of songs we did.  Links are included for downloads or videos.

1. “All the Way Around the World” by Katherine Dines (We marched in from the back with the third graders carrying garden sails and the rest of the kids waving scarves.)

2. “Open the Circle” round by Frank Hernandez and Ted Warmbrand

3. “Puppy Kisses” by Lisa Atkinson (with stuffed animal puppies)

4. “Pick it Up” by Patricia Shih

5. “Mr. Moon,” a partner song I heard on a CD by Amy Conley.

6. “EWOP” (Everything Works Out Perfectly) by Pam Donkin.  Here’s a link for a video.

7. “Yellow Submarine” by Lennon/McCartney

8. “Yakety Yak” by Lieber/Stoller

9. “Lion Sleeps Tonight” (American sign language, with 2 parts) by Solomon Linda

Thank you, CMN!

Pam Donkin is former CMN Board member and is currently on the CMN Advisory Board.  She will lead a workshop on children’s choruses at the CMN annual conference, October 12-14 in Zion, IL. 

 

5 comments

  1. Thanks, Pam, and your article makes me want to go out and start a children’s chorus! must be so much fun. Hope all is well in California!

  2. What are partner songs?

    1. Thanks for asking Bill! If you get an answer notify me

    2. Hi Bill
      Thanks for your question.
      A partner song is when you sing two totally different songs at the same time and they make a harmony. So in this case, one of the songs is Mr. Moon and the other is Cuckoo. (You can hear this on the youtube video noted in the blog.)
      This is how I arranged it for my K-3 chorus:
      K and 1st graders sang Mr. Moon through twice. Then, 2nd and 3rd graders sang the Cuckoo song through once (it’s twice as long as Mr. Moon), then with two children leading each group, they sang the songs, that way, together, starting at the same time, 3 more times. It was gorgeous.

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