The Best Music for Entering a General Music Classroom!

I needed special music for my students to walk into the classroom. It was important that they feel energized, but also walk in calmly. My goal was to set the mood with moderate tempo music.

Balitemple

This CD is my absolute favorite.

The style of music is called Degung from the Western Javanese island of Sunda. It includes instruments tuned to the pelog modal scale: saron-metalophone, gambang-xylophone, various drums, gongs and the suling-flute.

The music is created with layer over layer of interconnecting parts. The ensemble playing is hypnotizing and sharp. This recording is also available in the Mp3 format. Listen to samples through the link below.

PRODUCT
Learn more from Amazon: Degung-sabilulungan- Sundanese Music of West Java vol. 2
amazondegung

My personal story: I had the fortune of visiting the island of Bali in the 1990’s. While visiting a city called Ubud, we chanced into a music shop. I asked the cashier for steady, moderate background music. He showed me a cassette of this and I bought it. When I got back to the States I used it for class and eventually made cassette dubs because it was wearing out.

I eventually lost the original cassette but kept my copies as a valued classroom tool. I even used it for sleep music for my young daughter. The only identifying detail I remembered about the CD was that it was called ‘Degung’.

The copied music degraded further and further because I would listen to it almost everyday for years. Reluctantly I thought, let me look and see if I can find a similar CD that has Degung music. I pulled up CD samples online and played them. Some sounded okay but I kept searching. Finally I tried one particular CD. I clicked the first song and magically I heard MY Degung cassette music I had bought over ten years prior.

This is the music.

Scout Songs

Land of the silver birch, home of the beaver
Where still the mighty moose wanders at will
Blue lake and rocky shore, I will return once more
Boom de di boom boom, Boom de di boom boom
Boom de di boom boom, Boom.

A well done Scout Song collection is a wonderful source of Patriotic songs, Nature songs, and Silly songs. I recommend these two sites. I haven’t yet found an online list of Scout songs with the music notation. But seeing the names may jog your memory.

Scouting Songs
MacScouter: Songs for Scouts and Scouters

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Drums for Classes on a Budget

A whole set of these Remo Kidsand Remo Rhythm Club percussion instruments were purchased for my school before I got there. Lucky me, we had about 6 of them.

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Remo Rhythm Club Floor Tom (not pictured)
Remo Kids Gathering Tom
Remo Rhythm Club Bongos
Remo Rhythm Kid Conga

They are fairly light for the big, deep sound they make. I was concerned that you can’t tune them, but I used them for the four years I was there and they never lost their tone. The congas are great for a make-shift marching band. I used them for the patriotic and the holiday concerts.

American Folk Songs for Class

I was trained using the Kodaly method for teaching general music. As a teacher’s aide at the Third Street Music School Settlement, I got to witness first hand how to teach music concepts using these traditional songs. The music and lyrics are printed in a readable, clear format. They include songs like ‘Peep Squirrel’, ‘I Wonder Where Mariah’s Gone’ and ‘I Bought Me a Cat’.

These two books not only have a treasure chest of songs, they categorize them so you can find the perfect song to teach a specific concept.

PRODUCT
Learn more from Sheet Music Plus: 150 American Folk Songs by Peter Erdei
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Learn more from Sheet Music Plus: Sail Away by Peter Erdei
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