A Little Birdsong

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A LITTLE BIRDSONG. By Emma Hutchinson. (Music House Publications, 14.99, tel: 020 8222 6933) Reviewed by Susan Young, university lecturer in early childhood and music education

A LITTLE BIRDSONG. By Emma Hutchinson. (Music House Publications, 14.99, tel: 020 8222 6933)

Reviewed by Susan Young, university lecturer in early childhood and music education

This is an attractive book containing a collection of 36 songs, including several nursery rhymes, traditional children's songs and songs composed by the author herself.

The book comes with a CD of all the songs accompanied by live instrumentalists - a welcome change from the synthesised production heard on many children's CDs. The pace of the singing, quite slow, is well suited to young children and the words are very clear.

The CD will also be helpful for practitioners who would like to increase their song repertoire.

There are brief activity ideas for each song, which are separated into two age groups: one- to two-year-olds and three- to four-year-olds. While useful, I believe many of these ideas would be too demanding for the very youngest and not demanding enough for the oldest.

It is good to see pointers for 'what are they learning' included, but it would have been beneficial to include information about what might be expected musically of children at different ages and how their learning might be supported and structured.

Everyone would find something useful in this book, but I believe few would find it 'the definitive guide to music in the early years', as it suggests.

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