The single, best thing I ever did in my teaching career was to decide to take Kodály levels. I remember seeing Jill Trinka present at the Colorado Music Educators Conference when I was in college and thinking "I've got to take a class with her!!" The first teaching job I accepted was in Salem, Oregon- another GREAT decision. It was an amazing school with FABULOUS students and staff. An added bonus was that Jill Trinka taught Kodály levels at Portland State University during the summers. Portland was only an hour a way and I quickly talked my mom into taking level I with me. I was over the moon to take a class from Jill, but little did I know that the other instructor would be equally, if not more, influential on who I was to become as a teacher. That person was Susan Brumfield. I LOVE Susan and have the most utmost respect for her as a person, musician and teacher. To this day, I cannot teach "Bernie Bee" to my kindergartners or first graders without hearing Susan reciting the chant, complete with her southern accent.
I am eternally grateful that I was able to take four summers of classes with Susan, to have seen her present at various conferences and that I've kept in touch with her since that fateful summer in 1999. I of course rushed to buy her first book "Hot Peas and Barley-O" and when "Over the Garden Wall" came out I had to add that to my library. Today I received this in the mail:
I have spent the evening looking through it. While there are a lot of songs that I already know, I love the format of the book and the song history that Susan provides. Each song starts with a section titled "About the Song." From there she includes four more sections for each song, varying from "Sing-Move," where she gives game or movement instructions, to "Read-Write," where she breaks down how to teach the melodic and/or rhythmic concepts that the song contains. Other sections include:
* "Play-Create" which includes practice of absolute pitch, improvisation, classroom instrument and recorder playing, extended rhythmic and melodic reading
* Choral Connection
* Cultural Context
Like Susan's other books, this is a welcome addition to my library. And, as with Susan's other books, this will probably all to soon start to show it's use!!! :)
Just one more thing that I'm SO excited about. . . . did anyone else notice that under the title it says "Songbook One"? I assume this means that there will be a songbook two??!!! (Right after her Italian book?!!!)