“So far I’m using Hello as my Hello song in prep, level 1 & 2, Edna the Elephant for teaching the beat using percussion instruments and Move with the Motion for the level 3 & 4 students. My students are loving them!”
Natalie Wickham, Mitcham PS
“I have been meaning to write to you about Beat Street which you gave me at ECCPA. Congratulations on another great CD. Yours and Susie’s voices sound fantastic, as always. Bruce’s youngest daughter loved the Aussie Rules track and listened carefully to make sure you mentioned all the teams! I think Edna the Elephant is my favourite song.”
Jennifer Smith – Director, Mini Maestros
“I’ve just listened to the whole Beat Street CD and just wanted to say how great it is, especially now that I have heard the tracks that weren’t included in the sample CD.
Especially love Funga Alafia, Rum Tum Tum, Making Waves, Haida & Fantastic Elastic, which are great for early childhood…I was cleaning out a cupboard (one of my goals whilst on leave) but had to stop to dance & move as I imagined using your tracks in my classroom.
Thanks so much to both of you, for yet another great resource!!”
Sue Jetten, Director, New Hope Baptist Preschool, Melbourne
“I’ve just listened to Beat Street! Great job Susie and Phil. It’s beautifully produced, the songs are fun and it took me back to when my babies used to listen non-stop to Rainbows and Bop in the Bath. The kids will be very excited to hear how the songs turned out!”
Mark O’Leary, Director, Young Voices of Melbourne
“Dear Susie and Phil, Just wanted to say how much I’m loving using ‘Beat Street’ with my kids. So many great songs to use both in my class and with the choir. Lots of scope to take each song in different directions too. Love your work,”
Hilary Fairlie, Kingsville PS, Melbourne
“The most celebratory part of the course was hearing the students really engage in singing, moving, improvising and playing. To use your CD’s as backing was a huge motivator and uplifting once we were ready to put things together. The sounds they made reverberated around the UNI and the group had an appreciative group of staff captivated by the sound they made. I told the students that you devote yourselves tirelessly to the creation and delivery of music that is accessible and can form the basis to which much embellishment can be added. They lost themselves in “Life’s a Celebration” They asked me to let you know that they found the words, lyrics and opportunity of vocal and movement improvisation so uplifting. Many said they found themselves going around the house singing and dancing. For many of the participants who suffer from a mental illness the music is a great anti depressant tonic.”
Kerry Allen, ELC educator, Canberra, ACT
“I did ‘The Fireman’s BBQ’ with my Preppies today, played the instruments, did the voices, used the BIG book etc. One little girl sitting on the floor in front of me just looked up and said quietly and gently, “Ms Arney, I LOVE this story”! Thank you!”
Sue Arney, teacher, Melbourne
Thank you for the wonderful presentation you directed yesterday as part of our Harmony Day Assembly. I thought the song ‘Down Under in Australia’ was particularly well done and appropriate. The words of the song spoke of everyone belonging and the beauty of acceptance and harmony. I found the actions you devised for the children particularly moving and they invited the children to authentically engage with the song and the concept that everyone belongs in Australia. I was especially happy to see the inclusiveness of the Indigenous culture in the song.The ‘Hearts in Harmony’ song was similarly well chosen and appropriate to assist children in learning the benefits of compassion, connectedness and citizenship. It is wonderful to have age-appropriate songs that express the underpinning of these important concepts and ideas for our students. Well done to both of you for your excellent choice in music and for taking the time to so beautifully enhance the learning process.
Kind regards, Jane Cronan,
Primary Years Programme Coordinator
I really am a fan and would recommended ‘Welcome to Music’ to all teachers and especially to new teachers who are often hesitant to use their own voices – the CD’s are so good that they soon have everyone singing along in spite of themselves. I am not a trained music teacher but have had 50 years teaching mostly early childhood using lots of music. Since I first attended a workshop with Susie and Phil I have used 6 of the ‘Welcome to Music’ series constantly with great results. Currently I am teaching the Junior Choir ‘Banjo the Bunyip’ and the kids just love it (as do I). My Preps just love ‘Luna Lagoon’ Today I was teaching some quite difficult year 4’s ‘Percussion Pop’ – they became really engrossed in working on the 2 ostinati and most left the music room either chanting ‘pop pop pop percussion pop’ or singing ‘sing …say…move, dance, play’. It is such a good thing to see.
Music Teacher at Bribie Island State School (Queensland)
Hi Susie and Phil
Just a quick note to say thank-you for posting out “Everyone Sing” from your choral pack last week for our major piece for an Eisteddfod.
The lovely ladies in the office did ask me to let you know how we did in the competition and I am pleased to say that our senior choir won their section!! We competed in a section with 10 other Primary School choirs from across Gippsland and the students did an outstanding job on the day and were justly awarded first prize. The Adjudicators comments included “very well polished, strong diction and great movement through the key change and A’cappella Sections”.
We use your choir packages frequently and have also sung “One voice One Song” in previous years for competitions and performances. Thank-you so much for all your wonderful resources and your commitment to Primary School music Education I couldn’t do it without your fantastic ideas and
Professional development workshops.I have attached a pic of our grade six students and the Adjudicator, many of our grade 6 girls have been i teh choir since grade 1 and were very excited with the win!!
Cheers Bronwyne Kent,
St Laurence School Choir, Leongatha
I just wanted to let you know how much Kirsten’s son Finn LOVES your CDs. At 14 months he knows them off by heart and anticipates what is coming next. He loves the jokes and the children laughing. He stands over near the CD player and dances to let us know he wants the music on (and this is all day long).
He plays his instruments along with yours. He has about 6 CDs altogether but your 2 are his favourites. Of course Granmarg knows a lot of the songs so he probably catches my enthusiasm. Kirsten and I have sung to him since birth, one of us more in tune than the other!. I always knew you were a genius and it is so lovely to see the effect on one so young.
We played your CD ‘Funkey Monkey’ everyday. We danced to it and loved it. In the end, we girls just wanted to dance to the “Fairy and Elephant” Dance. That’s what we called it anyway because of the actions. The real name is Lo Yisa Goy. And every morning we danced to the Bossa Beat. It was just wonderful.
So you see, it is not just for little people, but for big people who want to forget that they are big people and think of themselves as fairies and elephants. You seemed to have added a couple of new things on to the site. It is a great site. I’d like to hear a little more of the music in the example, but it is great to hear what the song will sound like. As soon as I am able to, I am going to order the books and CDs.”
Glynis,4th year university student,Tasmania
Chongzheng Pr School just celebrated our 25th Anniversary with a Musical ….
I must thank you for allowing us to use 4 of your songs during the musical. The songs were so inspirational and appropriately in line with our story. In fact the song “Feel the Joy” was our finale piece.
Bridgette, Chongzheng Pr School, Singapore
Hi Susie and Phil,
In our recent UN Performance, I used your version of ‘Ipharadisi’ and ‘A Better Place’
I was inspired by the signing in ‘Imagine If’, that I used as part of last year’s UN Celebration and looked up the signing for ‘Better Place’. Thank you for all the wonderful material that you have created over the years. I am still using songs from the very early albums and every time, I feel as if we are sharing it together. I also meant to tell you that every year, in the second half of first term, Grade 1 study a unit called ‘Let’s Celebrate’. As part of it they visit a full range of places of worship and look at different practices and family traditions. Your song ‘Chanukah Chanukah’ is a lovely reinforcement of what they have discussed. It gives Jewish children in the classes added confidence to explain more of what they do or share as a family. Thank you
Susanne Khalek uwcsea, United World College South East Asia, Singapore.
I am Susie and Phil’s no 1 fan (strange at the age of 67!!!!)
I would like to add a quick story that you might like:
For the 4 weeks before the holidays I had a contract with a local primary school as music teacher (I have been an Early Childhood teacher for over 40 years but music has always been my special love).
On one day a week the teacher I was replacing and therefore I, worked at a Special school. When I had worked at the special school earlier in the year there was one child who as well as being ‘very’ autistic was very violent causing considerable injury to those working with him When he came to music I was told not to speak to him, approach him or even make eye contact with him. There was no real problem as his assistant kept an eye on him and he just wondered around the room in his own world. When I returned this time he had a 1 to 1 teacher and she asked me if I would give him ‘some music’ to which I agreed as long as there was someone else with him as he does not know me at all.
The first day he came to me he did not want to do anything and when we tried to do something like ‘Looby Loo’ which I was told he loved he became very upset, cried and ran from the room after hitting his teacher and knocking off her glasses.
On our next lesson I decided to use Susie and Phil’s music and some instruments. I started with ‘Welcome to Music’ and his assistant and I did all the clapping, moving etc and towards the end I took his hands to move them and he just let me.
I had 3 sets of the instruments for ‘The Biggest Band’ ready and as the instruments changed I would give him the different instrument and he began to move with the maracas and when we got to the claves he held my hand so we were tapping together – he didn’t want the tambourine but kept tapping with his hand still holding mine (very gently) and when the song finished he let me take the claves as I said “That’s the end of that song” and then he put his hand up to my cheek and then ran out of the room.
It was one of the best things that has happened to me in over 40 years of teacher. As I have said before I think Susie and Phil’s music is wonderful and I am sure that is partly the reason for my breakthrough with this young man.
Regards and thanks, Carole
I am writing to let you know of the success of “Funky Monkey” in our school. I recently introduced this as a part of my lessons on rhythm and singing to the junior school then into the middle and senior school where all the students loved singing and improvising beats, scatting and instruments.
In small groups children were asked to develop a scat rhythm to the beat of the music then adapt actions and percussion instruments in a group to perform ….. 9/10 groups were very enthusiastic and loved what we had designed. The juniors have designed actions with the song for our junior music festival in September. Thanks for a great song.
Sharon Hayman, Teacher, Shellharbour, Wollongong NSW
Hi Phil and Susie, I received ‘Sing Jam and Jive’ today. What a wealth of material I don’t know where to start, but I will tomorrow as soon as I go to school. I love the variety both in the content of the songs and their applications in the class, from simple stamp and clap to complicated improvisation. Thank you so much. An inspiration for me and my students.
Cheers from Jocelyn Lowinger, Melbourne
I bought this book when I was in San Jose for the Orff conference and finally got around to using it this week. My first graders absolutely loved the ‘Scooby Doo’ song and you would have loved watching them learn ‘Sing to the Heavens Above’. In one class, one of the boys must be the child of a music minister. He just took over and lead the whole class in appropriate gestures. Thank you for providing such a wonderful resource for younger students to experience jazz.
Sincerely, Sarah Miller,
NBCT – Music Specialist, Bryson Elementary
Simpsonville, SC USA
I love, love, love Sue and Phil Splitter’s books and cds. Bought their entire series. They are an entertaining couple from Australia. My current big time hits are ‘Fuzzy the Clown’ and ‘Luna Lagoon’. I have a Time – Life Book on Animals from Down Under. This works well with ‘Luna Lagoon’ where they cite an animal and an instrument like a saxophone will play as the kids dance around.Ellie Wong, USA
Bought Funky Monkey online and so get your newsletter… My kids adore you!All the best,
Dr. Robyn Horner, Assistant Head, School of Theology Chair, Assessment Review Committee
National Coordinator, Graduate Certificate and Master of Arts (Theology) Australian Catholic University St Patrick’s Campus
Hello Phil and Susie
In June I was very lucky to be sent to Adelaide to the ASME one day conference at Rose Park. It was a fun step in my journey back into the world of Music Teaching having been absent for 8 years.
By sent I actually mean my boss showed me the promo. and I jumped in the air screaming “Yes please yes please!”.
I participated in your ‘Take Orff with Improvisation’ workshop and felt like I had been doing it since I could walk.
Playing drums for the small group improv. session based on Old Shoe Blues. almost left me shopping for a kit the next day! I loved it! Now I am successfully passing on the enthusiasm for creativite teaching back at school.
With the handouts available I have been able to implement great strategies in the classroom based on your very clear examples. I have also been inspired to write my own songs based on the simplicity of what you demonstrated. Failure proof!
The students lap up the chance to include their own lyrics and vocal suggestions. WE are all engaged and the teachers are thriving on the knowledge.
My most memorable part of the June conference was learning and singing the parts of ‘Imagine If’.
Sincerely & Thanks
Mrs Tresma Strelan, Renmark SA
Hi Phil and Susie – I taught the song ‘Old Shoes Blues’ with 4 year-olds and Preps and Grade Ones using different challenges. They all went away singing.
We used instruments to play the little riffs and different groups stood up and sat down as they played, just like a jazz band. Of course they love to dance to it as well. I also taught Imagine if and the classes just loved it, felt the sentiment right away and sang it with reverence.
I used the signs to teach the words to the preps without giving them the printed words. ‘Hey Yo’ presented a real challenge with the e d c b, keeping it in the time. The children loved the scatting. The beauty of these songs is that in the Orff tradition, you can take on more challenges for higher levels within the song. Thanks for my weeks lessons.
Jocelyn Lowinger, Melbourne