Welcome to 2024 and a new, spring term! Let Musicroom help you as you plan the remainder of your music-making for the second half of the school year. Our contributor BP has handpicked existing, easy to use choir resources tailored for both primary and secondary pupils. From repertoire and method books to warm up exercises, check out our recommendations for inspiring, easy wins for the classroom, assemblies, and concerts.
Pop Songs for Primary School
Pop Songs for Primary School is a comprehensive song resource tailor-made for singing assemblies, school choirs, shows, and classroom music lessons. The book itself features 18 popular songs with piano accompaniment and guitar chords, sensitively arranged for primary voices. Also included are alternative two-part arrangements for each song, lyric videos with and without the vocal line, demonstration audio, sound-alike backing tracks, and printable lyric sheets. Including songs from Model Music Curriculum, this versatile collection offers a wide range of musical options for primary voices, making it an indispensable tool for every primary school.
Instant Primary Music Lessons
Shortlisted for the 2024 Music and Drama Expo Awards for Outstanding Publication, Instant Primary Music Lessons is a comprehensive resource featuring 33 classroom music lessons and a wealth of ideas. An accessible inspiration for general primary teachers and a time-saving tool for music specialists, this beautifully presented resource provides crucial information for each lesson, including: musical objectives; a concise guide to a focused classical work; required preparation and resources; useful lesson-specific knowledge; activity explanations with related musical examples; diagrams and illustrations; a glossary of musical terms; and an index of musical pieces. Additionally, it offers audio for the classical music used in each lesson and 33 teaching videos for preparation, demonstrating how each activity might be delivered. An invaluable asset for efficiently organising and enriching music classes.
In a recent review for Music Teacher Magazine, Jimmy Rotheram appreciated the book’s departure from traditional ‘Music Appreciation’ lessons and praises its diverse listening activities, which range from doodle-and-listen to full-body-percussion, fostering engagement and learning potential. Rotheram also highlighted the book’s value for specialists and suggests it as a welcome additional resource, considering its cost-effectiveness at approximately £1 per lesson with accompanying videos.
Novello Primary and Easy Chorals
With Novello Primary Chorals, singing becomes an exhilarating experience for children. With catchy tunes featuring contemporary pop favorites like Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” to the dancing sounds of “Easy Abba” and the soulful rhythms included in “Easy Soul” and “Easy Gospels,” this series offers a diverse repertoire tailored for choirs of all types. For slightly more advanced singers, the Novello Easy Chorals Series further enriches the musical journey with flexibly scored pieces, ranging from one to three easy parts, accompanied by invaluable tips on vocal technique and choral practice, with exercises inspired by each piece. Every book in the series includes access to SoundCheck, powered by Match My Sound, enabling live feedback for rehearsals. These books will prove valuable tools towards both starting and developing singing programs within your school.
Red Hot Songs Library
Whether you’re exploring the pentatonic scale, experimenting with ostinato patterns, searching for fun classroom songs and warmups, looking to include folk tunes in the classroom, or a compilation of 150 classroom songs, each book in Red Hot Songs Library series offers a fantastic resource for primary and secondary school teachers. The series provides a refreshing approach to teaching singing that is both fun and successful, with piano accompaniments and versatile backing tracks for practice and performance. As Sarah Watts herself attests, “The Red Hot Song Library is a really useful collection of song books and a great resource for any music classroom.” Join the many educational professionals who enthusiastically embrace Sarah Watts’ music and make the Red Hot Song books an essential addition to your music classroom.
Bright Star, a dynamic collection by Gareth Malone and Catherine de Sybel, invites the entire school to join in joyous singing with its accessible secular songs. Covering diverse topics like life choices and friendship, each song is accompanied by demo and backing tracks, suitable for small groups, choirs, or whole-school participation. Dale Wills, in a 2020 Music Teacher Review, praises Bright Star‘s inclusive approach, noting, “The cleverly thought-out melodic contours offer flexibility and easy engagement without compromising quality.” Recognised as a valuable and light-hearted resource, Bright Star emerges not just as a musical compilation but as a tool for fostering community and addressing student concerns through the power of song in schools.
Pop Warm-Ups & Work-Outs for Choir 2
Building on the success of its predecessor, Pop Warm-Ups & Work-Outs for Choir 2 introduces the latest pop song melodies to inspire students in singing with enthusiasm. This valuable resource includes ten songs that reinforce fundamental choral skills, covering breath control, ear training, vowel shapes, resonance, range extension, and head voice development. Suitable for both changed and unchanged voices, the warm-ups are accompanied by professionally produced audio recordings available for digital download. With songs like “Ho Hey” and “Moves Like Jagger,” this sequel is designed for secondary schools, providing an engaging and effective tool for vocal development and musical exploration.