Dr. Mark Turner

Tips for Elementary Music Specialists
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Your Professional Library:
Books You Should Own

by Dr. Mark Turner
Associate Professor of Music
Early Childhood and Elementary Specialist
SFA School of Music


Every professional should have a library of resources. To remain effective in the classroom, you will probably call on your knowledge of Dalcroze, Orff, Kodály, and Gordon, to name a few. Listed below are a selected list of texts that comprise a basic elementary music education library any, (many more could be cited).

Folk Song Anthologies:

  • Locke, Eleanor G. Sail Away, (New York: Boosey and Hawkes, 1988)
  • Erdei, Peter and Katalin Komlos 150 American Folk Songs, (New York: Boosey and Hawkes, 1974)
  • Johnson, Richard. Folk Songs North America Sings, (Toronto: Caeat Music, 1984). Distributed by Hal Leonard.
  • Jones, Bessie and Bess Lomax Hawes, Step it Down (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1987)
  • Jill Trinka's Folksongs, Singing Games, and Play Parties.
  • Rao, Doreen We Will Sing. (New York: Boosey and Hawkes, 1993)

Music Education Texts:

  • Frazee, Jane. Discovering Orff, (New York: Schott, 1987)
    A standard text for implementing the Orff process into your classroom.

  • Steen, Arvida, Exploring Orff, (New York: Schott, 1992)
    A companion text to Frazee's text. Provides more lessons and idea for those interested in Orff.

  • Chosky, Lois. The Kodály Method, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1988)
    The definitive guide to implementing the Kodály method. Provides step by step instruction as to how to sequence daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly lesson planning. A great resource.

  • Chosky, Lois, Robert M. Abramson, Avon E. Gillespie, and David Woods, Teaching Music in the Twentieth Century, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1986)
    A little bit of everything. This text provides an overview of Orff, Kodály, and Dalcroze. If you can only afford one text, this is one of the best for your money.

  • Valerio, Wendy, H., Alison M. Reynolds, Beth M. Bolton, Cynthia C. Taggart, and Edwin E. Gordon. Music Play. (Chicago: GIA Publications, 1998)
    Recently, Gordon's learning theory has piqued the profession's interest. While geared to early childhood music specialists, this text provides the basics to understanding Gordon's ideas.

  • Shehan-Campbell, Patricia, Carol Scott-Kassner. Music In Childhood, 2nd (New York: Schirmer Books, 2001).
    A text that covers traditional methodologies/processes for making music with children but provides opportunities for developing each specialist's personal method of musical interaction. This is a great resource.

  • Wiggins, Jackie. Teaching for Musical Understanding. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001).
    A wonderful text that concentrates on child-centered music instruction. This is my personal favorite.

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