A Collection of Selected French-Canadian Children's Singing Games for Use in a Kodály-Inspired

November 18, 2009 / By: Amy Gallick

The problem of this study was to collect French-Canadian folk songs from an aural source and prepare analyses and pedagogic applications for use in a Kodály- inspired elementary music curriculum.  In examining the recording Children’s Game Songs of French Canada (Folkways FC 7214, 1956) for such use in Kindergarten through Fifth Grade, five research questions were posed which sought to identify features of the songs relating to game types and formations; extractable rhythmic and melodic patterns useful in the teaching of specific elements; rhythmic and melodic forms; and ways in which the songs might be used in a Kodály-inspired curriculum to develop music literacy skills.           Descriptive transcriptions and abstracts based on these transcriptions were created; reading pieces based on rhythmic, melodic, and form materials within the songs were composed; and each song was analyzed for extractable rhythmic and melodic patterns and formal features.  Extra-musical parameters analyzed were game type and game formation.  Each song was examined for pedagogic application in a Kindergarten through Fifth Grade Kodály-inspired music curriculum.              Most of the singing games were determined to be large motor movement games with dancing, although some of the game directions given in the liner notes accompanying the recording were unclear.  The songs were found to contain extractable rhythmic and melodic patterns useful in a Kodály-inspired curriculum, the majority of which would be most appropriate for instruction in third through fifth grades; and several forms useful in the teaching of specific forms were found, including motivic, phrasic, and sectional forms.  The songs were also determined to be useful for the development of skill areas typically nurtured within a Kodály-inspired curriculum.             Based on the results of this study, it is recommended that music teachers conduct further research on aural sources such as the recording used for this study.  Teachers may create transcriptions of the songs on such recordings, and compose reading pieces based on elements embedded within the songs in order to increase their students’ musical literacy skills.  In addition, this particular group of French-Canadian songs may be further researched, as other versions and variants of the songs may exist in folk culture.