Can I Play You My Song?: The Compositions and Invented Notations of Children

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Author and educator Rena Upitis has written a unique book to help regular classroom and private music teachers recognize and foster children's attempts at notating music as they engage in improvisation and composition. Through a colorful, engaging narrative, Upitis describes a "whole music" classroom where teachers, using a child-centered environment, can introduce activities encouraging children to compose and notate their own works. Familiar techniques from a whole language classroom -- such as the use of writing folders and conferencing -- are refashioned in a music context.

Including over seventy examples of children's invented notations, comparing the development of music notations with invented spellings, Can I Play You My Song? is full of ideas for individual projects, small group compositions, and full-class works.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Students and professionals in music education, as well as classroom teachers, will find numerous and diverse ideas for classroom music composition projects.”–Choice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780435087050
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 5/18/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 187
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Rena Upitis (Ed.D., Harvard) teaches music at the Faculty of Education at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. She has taught music at elementary schools in both Canada and the United States and has published widely on music education, including the book This Too Is Music (Heinemann, 1990). A trained pianist, cellist, vocalist, and composer, Rena's compositions include arrangements of Latvian folk tunes and a children's musical. She lives in the country near Kingston in a restored limestone schoolhouse.
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Table of Contents

1 "But I don't know how to read music--how can I teach it?" 1
2 Creating a Rich Music Setting 19
3 The Development of Children's Invented Music Notations 41
4 Interactions Between Performance and Notation 79
5 Enhancing Children's Invented Notations 103
6 A Whole Music Approach to Becoming a Musician 145
Appendix A: Issues of General Cognitive Growth 153
Appendix B: The Nursery Blues 163
Glossary of Musical Terms 173
References 183
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