Book Review – Jolly Music for Beginners

“Jolly Music for Beginners” by Cyrilla Rowsell and David Vinden

This book is a comprehensive classroom scheme for Early Years and KS1 classes to teach singing and musicianship using the Kodaly Approach. I haven’t tried the scheme with school-age groups.  However I’ve used it to good effect with pre-schoolers and on a one to one basis with my younger piano students.

Many of the songs in this book are also contained in “Songs for Singing &​ Musicianship Training” by David Vinden and Yuko Vinden.  This is an excellent reference book for the Kodaly Approach and solfa, and has lots of songs in it slowly increasing in complexity. However with Jolly Music the songs have been made into a full scheme of work with detailed lesson plans and audio CDs. You can also buy a Big Book to go with it.  I love it and so do my children.

If you’re new to the Kodaly Approach and want to learn yourself then it’s not the best resource since each book only covers a small amount of content. However it’s great for identifying creative ways to be repetitive with the skills and information.  You could use it without a deeper understanding, or gain your personal understanding elsewhere and then use it to help your teaching.

Have you used Jolly Music?  Or perhaps another Early Years scheme.  Why not share your thoughts below?

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