Music Box 5 & 6
This music textbook was published the same year as the revised 1999 Curriculum and reflects an emphasis on active and play learning. Maureen Lally is the author of numerous music textbooks from the 1970s to the 2000s. According to her introduction, Music Box represents ‘a new approach to music in Primary Schools which emphasises listening, performing and composing activities’ with songs that cover ‘a wide variety of lively, tuneful songs from different styles and cultures’. This variety is notable in the ‘Listen and Sing’ selections which include traditional Irish songs like ‘Peigín Leitir Móir’ (there are a number of Irish language songs); sea shanty’s like ‘Cape Cod Girls’; ‘Happy Talk’ from the musical South Pacific; Spanish folk song ‘La Cucarcha’; and the hymn ‘Infant Holy’. Other sections focus on listening activities. The children listen to the pieces of music on the accompanying cassette and the questions in the text ask them to analyse the music and listen for particular features and characteristics. They are also asked if they like the music and to explain why. Some of the songs encourage physical activity, notably the ‘Let’s Dance’ sections. In ‘Highway Number One’, a song about travelling around Australia, there are instructions telling the children to form a long line and pretend to steer the wheel of a car while they ‘travel’ from city to city. They are instructed to act out the lyrics (‘When you come to ‘Walk, walk and run, run run’, act it out’, 10) and an accompanying map shows the cities and the relevant action. There are compositional activities in the ‘Composer’s Corner’ sections throughout the text. An exercise on improvisation asking the children to sit in a circle and make the sound and rhythm of waves using instruments and voices. There are sections on musical theory, different families of instruments and musical genres or periods. The text encourages integration where possible. For example, after the song ‘Ripples in the Rockpool’ the text suggests drawing a picture of the scene while listening to the music. The ‘Hints for Teachers’ section at the back of the book remarks that ‘Highway Number One’ is an opportunity for the integration of geography in to the music lesson. The text is illustrated with informative sketches, for instance, of instruments or a dance sequence, as well as practical illustrations showing scales and notes on a piano keys. There are some entertaining sketches to accompany the songs.
Illustration: Duo Design. Composition: David Boyd. Editor: Eleanor Ashe.
Place of Publication:
The Educational Company
Date of Publication:
65 p. : ill., music ; 30 cm.
Music, Singing, Song, Dance, Composition, Active Learning, Play Learning, Integration, 1999 Curriculum
General Catalogue (Children’s Books) - NLI