1. Director Sue Beckett seems enormous fun, runs great boomwhacker workshops and has a down to earth approach to music education that puts the kids squarely at the heart of the job
2. Their song book for the Olympics gave me enough music to teach the entire summer term. The kids I taught adored them and we used the songs to create an unforgettable school opening Olympic ceremony. I use it every year during the summer term to help kids prepare for sports days. It wins me friends amongst PE teachers and there really is a song for everyone including the winners and the losers!
3. They never mind when I refer to them as Southampton as I used to do on twitter all the time.
They very kindly sent me a copy of their newest song collection “Time Scape” which is a collection of songs about the past, present and future. I’ve just had a quick whizz through the CD and have earmarked a couple of songs I know I will be using next term.
The songs are well pitched for kids voices and make use of a range of styles. So here are some of my random observations about the collection
1. It is a joy to find a song that celebrates the awe and wonder of the beginning of the universe. No mystery beings, no deities just “protons, neutrons and electrons”. I don’t object to religious references but It makes a refreshing change to find a song that celebrates science.
2. I know the dinosaur song will win me a few friends amongst a few of my reluctant singers. Ditto “What a wonderful sort of Mummy you are” Am sure the gruesome lyrics will be sung with great relish.
3. Am itching to work on The Roman Army song. I expect the drums, the trumpets and the harmonies in Latin will make for a thrilling performance.
4. Fire, fire is a brilliant idea – new song as the filling between the bread and butter of London’s Burning. Tempted to use this as a song writing exercise with upper 2 where they use a well known folk song or nursery rhyme to bookend a short song they write.
5. I predict that “The War Horse” will be a firm favourite with year 6. Great lyrics.
6. Poppies and Faded Ribbons is a great song to get children to look at Remembrance day from a slightly different perspective. This song stresses the remembrance and raises a tiny question about ethics of “celebration” but not in a heavy handed way that will scare your Head.
So thank you Portsmouth for sharing with me. I will post up some audio clips of my classes singing these songs next term