We started out by just listening to the CD at home every day. We have mostly used the CD, but I play the guitar so sometimes I pull that out and we sing (and dance) without the CD as well. It was great to have the songbook so that we are able to do that. We have also enjoyed listening to it in the car.
|Singing together in a circle|
The Music Together Family Favorites Songbook for Teachers has music with guitar chords for each song as well as multiple ideas to use with the songs. The book is soft cover and spiral bound. The only problem I've had with it is that it isn't really sturdy enough to stand up at the piano without something behind it. You can see how it bends back a little in this picture.
|One handy feature is that in the upper corner of the page with the music is a picture of a CD|
with the track number of the song so you don't have to find the case
to find the track you want on your CD.
The songbook is divided into 3 sections:
The Opening Section discusses the fundamentals of the Music Together approach including an introduction to their philosophy, a discussion of types of songs and activities, how to work with instruments and props along with adaptations for children with special needs. I really would have loved to have this on hand when Connor was in Early Intervention. At one point, we were in a class on a farm that I led music for. This would have been perfect for that. (20 pages)
|Connor dancing to one of his favorite songs|
The Middle Section is the bulk of the book and contains the nineteen songs with the CD track number as mentioned above. Each song is introduced by a personal note from Ken Guilmartin (founder and director of Music Together) and is followed by several teacher pages that include ideas for use with 4 different groups: All ages and settings, infants, preschoolers and older children and children with special needs. You will also find a box that lists titles of activities, the music details (key, starting pitch and meter) and finally a list of the instruments used for that particular recording). (80 pages)
The Final Section is a reference section that includes information about the Music Together program and how to become involved with its licensed applications. Reference material include a glossary of music terms used in the book and a guitar chord chart. (12 pages)
I have found that my children love these songs (and I get them stuck in my head too...right now I have Biddy Biddy in my head.) They love to listen and sing. They love to use rhythm instruments to play along and they love to run and dance to the music.
|Dancing with Teddy (the kids LOVE this)|
|Let's all click our sticks today!|
|More stick clicking|
Music Together Family Favorites CD includes a 32-page booklet with fun music-making activity suggestions. The booklet (pictured above) is attached to the CD case. Each page has simple ideas to use with each song. For example, with Playin' in the Kitchen there are suggestion for making your own rhythm instruments.
|The booklet in the CD|
In our home, we have some purchased rhythm instruments and I've made some for the kids to use as well. Music together sells lots of rhythm instruments and how cute are these castanets? They also have drums, percussion sets, shakers and tambourines. (I would love to have them all!)
I'm thinking Family Favorites 2 and the Lullabies CD will make great Christmas or birthday gifts for my younger children. (Along with a collection of rhythm instruments.)
Take some time to listen to song samples and see what you think. We highly recommend this CD. I recommend the book to those that would like to have the sheet music and additional ideas for the songs. Some of the instructions are really more geared to a classroom setting, but there is plenty you can find to do with your family as well.
Though this is a recommended for early childhood (up to about age 7) we are finding that we all enjoy the variety of songs. I even hear my 12 year old singing the songs as he is sitting at the computer. Fun for the whole family!
Purchase Music Together Family Favorites CD for $14.95 or download mp3's for $9.95. Individual songs may also be downloaded for $.99 each. The Music Together Family Favorites Songbook is $29.95 or save $5 and buy them as a set for just $39.95. Use coupon code “Schoolhouse” at checkout on the Music Together store, and save an additional $2 the combo purchase.
See what others are saying about Music Together on The Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.
A Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award
Earlychildhood News Directors’ Choice
Earlychildhood News Judges’ Selection
National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
NAPPA Gold Award
iParenting Media Award
Learning®Magazine 2008 Teacher’s Choicefor the Family
Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice
Children's Music Web Award
Mom's Choice Gold Award
Parent-Tested Parent-Approved Award
disclaimer: I received Music Together book and CD in exchange for an honest review