Sing-a-ling Songs for Infants: a Collection of Fifty Songs for Junior and Senior Infants
This songbook reflects changes to the music curriculum after the introduction of the 1971 Curriculum, with a child-centred emphasis on enjoyment and play learning. The preoccupation with songs about Ireland evident in earlier songbooks is absent from the selections. The songs, aimed at junior and senior infants, are mostly upbeat, lively and simple tunes with playful lyrics designed to appeal to young children. The contents are divided into ‘Nursery Rhymes’, Irish language songs, ‘Nature Songs’, ‘Number Songs’ and ‘Action Songs’. The emphasis on play learning is evident. The lyrics of ‘Bees Zum Zum’ are designed to recreate the sound of bees buzzing. Likewise, ‘A Sly Old Fox Am I’ includes repetitive animal sounds: ‘I hear the geese, they clack, clack, clack, / The ducks they quack, quack, quack’ (25). The presence of animal noises, onomatopoeic noises and nonsense noises is characteristic of the selections. One of the Irish selections ‘Cé acu is fear?’ is a call and response song to be sung first by the girls and then by the boys in the class. The ‘Number Songs’ reflect the new emphasis on integration in the 1971 Curriculum, as they help to teach basic numeracy. ‘One Little Finger’ begins ‘One little finger, one little finger, / One little finger, tap, tap, tap’ while the instructions suggest ‘Continue up to five. Begin very softly and gradually increase in volume’ (26). Three of these selections have instructions to ‘Continue on as desired’ (others have similar instructions), emphasising the teaching potential of the songs. Physical play is also incorporated into the selections. This is most obvious in the section ‘Action songs’ which includes ‘If you’re happy’, ‘The Wheels on the bus’, ‘One finger, one thumb, keep moving’ and ‘We all clap hands together’ all of which have potential actions and dance movements built into the song. The Irish songs include ‘Róllaí Póllaí’ with its actions ‘Suas, suas, suas’, ‘Síos, síos, síos’. ‘Everybody do this’ promotes creativity with the instruction noting that ‘Children take turns at being ‘leader’, and at making up actions as they sing the song’ (34). The text provides lyrics to the songs, but no notation.
Compiled by Mary C. Ryng, N.T., A.L.C.M.
Place of Publication:
The Educational Company of Ireland Limited incorporating Browne and Nolan Limited
Date of Publication:
39 p. ; 21 cm.
Music, Songs, Singing, Textbook, 1971 Curriculum, Play Learning, Integration
General Catalogue (Children’s Books) - NLI