What's the best narrow range song for young piano players to play? And I loved that question. I love that question because it talks about, um, connecting in a way that's really important for really young students, for pre-K students.
And so today I want to share with you a resource where you can find new arrange songs that are perfect for young piano students, and then also some ideas for how to connect. Breathe and move with those resources for your students. Okay. So, um, before I go, I'm just going to tell you the name of the resource.
The name of this resource is called sing it yourself, and it's by Luis Bradford. And this book came out a long time ago. It came out in the 70s. And it's a really beautiful resource because it's, um, a lot of folk songs. And so now that you know the name of the book and the author, I'm going to go into why this book is a perfect resource to help you find narrow range songs for your young piano students.
Okay? A lot of genius in this book. So the book has folk songs that are pentatonic. So that means that the folk songs, um, are following five tones, Dota, Amy, so LA, and those are five tones that are pretty easy for kids to sing. In fact, young children. Are able to audiate that means their musical mind is able to easily manipulate, um, those tones.
I'm under age five, especially when they're in descending patterns. Um, but also if they're in our patios when they're still young. So, um, that's one of the genius points of that book that's going to be useful for you when you're choosing songs that are narrow range for your students. Um, the other brilliant thing about, um, the initial ideation range, the initial mental musical range of children that fits well into the whole pentatonic thing of that book is, um.
That children's initial vocal range is the same as their initial audiation range. So the whole idea of connecting, breathing, and moving with young kids in a piano, pre-K, piano class is that you're connecting, breathing, and moving away from the keyboard so that you can put it all together and connect what you did away from the keyboard with singing and dancing to sitting at the keyboard and playing.
So you're going to be able to use their initial vocal range. While you're singing the song together, and then when you finish singing and moving, then you go sit at the piano and you play one of these songs. So Louise Bradford's book also divides her songs up. Um, uh, so they're, they're, they're mostly pentatonic.
They're folk songs. So there's songs that are natural to our heritage, our human heritage. There's songs that people have already proven, are easy for people to sing, for nonprofessional people to sing. And I think you're dealing with non-professionals if you have a pre K students. Um. But the other cool thing about her book is that she starts with songs that just have a couple of notes and goes up to songs that I think have nine notes.
So she divides the songs by how many notes they have. So what you can do, and what I, um, advise you to do is to use the songs in her book that, um. So start in her book around five or six notes and use everything from there on down. And you'll have plenty of songs to choose from in there. And you'll recognize some of the songs and the songs will be like, um.
Duh, duh, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. old man. There's not a law wasting this time. Wasting his time. And you can introduce them to your students without words at first, like I just did. And then you can add the words. They'll think the words are funny. I bet. And laughter is great for breathing and moving, and then you can transfer those to the P and piano.
And another thing I would advise you to do is when you're looking at her book, um, we were talking about the initial audiation and vocal rains, how wide they are. Um, that there are about five or six steps, but there are specific five or six steps there. The steps between the D right above middle C to that, a above that D.
so if you need to, when you're looking at Louise's book or any other book. You can choose to transpose the songs into that vocal range. So it's easier for you to do the exercises that are helping you connect, breathe, and move away from the keyboard, um, and then go to the keyboard and match those sounds and play them on the keyboard.
Again, we're talking about narrow range songs, so. Uh, the reason it was brilliant that this person asked about Noreen songs, and the reason this is helpful for you with your young students is not just what we said about the audio range and the vocal range. It's also because their hand range is narrow.
They have small hands that don't stretch very far. It's possible that if you're working with under fives, they can't use individual fingers anyway. They can't make a difference between pressing between individual fingers anyway. So, um, that could be mood. But also you can do exercises where they're just using one or two fingers in this, in this small range.
So that's my suggestion to you. To answer the question about narrow range songs, um, for younger students, I gave you a resource, which is Louise Bradford, sing it yourself book. You can probably find it in your library. I'll put a link down in the comments that you can look in WorldCat, which will give you, um, a clue as to whether you can find it in your local library.
And we'll also give you links to, uh, to buy it at Amazon or Barnes and elbows or wherever is your favorite. And so enjoy that and I want to end with a small story with that. The way I discovered this book was really beautiful. And so, uh, I'm, I'm doing this in the spirit of giving, which is that when I started teaching, um, pre-K music.
I was speaking with a teacher at a school who had been doing music for young children for years. She'd been doing it for 20 years. She had also been doing elementary school music and she was retiring, and I had gone to the school because I wanted to observe her teaching because that's how I felt I could learn to teach this age just by observing expert teachers.
And she said, she told me, well, I'm retiring. I would like to give you something. And so the second day that I came. To observe. She brought a box full of books from her library so that I can't, I don't want to sell these and I don't need them anymore cause I'm retiring. So I'd like for you to have them and sing it yourself was one of the books in that box.
So I hope that the spirit of her gift comes through in the spirit of this, um, this live I'm doing with you. And do you know what? Like I said, even if you don't have that book. You can look at other books for songs that are within a five or six notes that start on the D above or right above middle C, and you can enjoy, um, singing and playing these songs, connecting, breathing, and moving with your pre K students.
Hi! I'm Ekanem Ebinne. I've been teaching school and studio music for kids for fifteen years. I love how preschool kids immediately focus on music and stay engaged longer when I use movement and development insights from Gordon Music Learning Theory. And I love hearing from teachers who took my training and found the same success with their own students. Join us on Facebook, take the free Five Day Studio De-stress Challenge, and subscribe to our mailing list to get new blog posts as soon as they're up.