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History - BBC's 'Singing Together'

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GUEST,bill 10 Apr 06 - 03:30 PM
Liz the Squeak 18 Mar 05 - 04:34 PM
IanC 18 Mar 05 - 03:59 PM
Cobble 18 Mar 05 - 03:08 PM
Cats 18 Mar 05 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,Sheila 18 Mar 05 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,Flamenco ted - can't log in 18 Mar 05 - 11:57 AM
GUEST 18 Mar 05 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,Jeanie 18 Mar 05 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,Jeanie 18 Mar 05 - 10:52 AM
Liz the Squeak 18 Mar 05 - 09:24 AM
GUEST 18 Mar 05 - 07:16 AM
Jeanie 18 Mar 05 - 07:06 AM
GUEST, Hamish 18 Mar 05 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,Jon 18 Mar 05 - 06:49 AM
Liz the Squeak 18 Mar 05 - 05:39 AM
Jeanie 18 Mar 05 - 04:50 AM
IanC 18 Mar 05 - 03:44 AM
Sooz 18 Mar 05 - 02:53 AM
GUEST,Mr Happy 17 Mar 05 - 09:41 PM
GUEST,Irene Shettle 17 Mar 05 - 08:24 PM
Liz the Squeak 17 Mar 05 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Irene Shettle 17 Mar 05 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,Jon 17 Mar 05 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,Jon 17 Mar 05 - 04:33 PM
Liz the Squeak 17 Mar 05 - 04:20 PM
GUEST,Jon 17 Mar 05 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,Irene Shettle 17 Mar 05 - 03:58 PM
IanC 17 Mar 05 - 08:40 AM
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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST,bill
Date: 10 Apr 06 - 03:30 PM

I sang aunt hessies white horse 'oh have you seen aunt hessies horse.........don't you call him snowy...........does anyone know the full song. I would be grateful. thankyou


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 04:34 PM

We had a big reel to reel that lived in the headmasters' office. He recorded the programme and then sent the R2R round with the 'Reel Monitor' and a large amount of booklets with the words.

LTS


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: IanC
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 03:59 PM

Sheila

Before tape recorders were popular, we all sat cross-legged in front of the radio in the school hall and sang with it. Later, with tape recorders, it was obviously easier.

Each term there were 10 or 11 songs, which we learned. Some of them would repeat every few years, it seems, but it gave you a fairly large "vocabulary" of folk songs in common - as well as the ones you knew from other sources (like yer mum and dad etc).

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: Cobble
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 03:08 PM

We used to have about 4 or 5 classes get together in the fiftys, to sing with the radio. AHHHH memorys.


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: Cats
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 03:00 PM

If you did Singing Together like me, then we are all showing our age! I remember, in particular, 'Aunt Hessies White Horse' as being some kind of intro, and crying when we sang 'Shenandoah'. My headmistress was really worried about me... a song making someone cry, unheard of! I think I was about 7 at the time.


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST,Sheila
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 12:51 PM

I'm curious how this all worked. Was the program piped into a classroom or auditorium once a week? If there were roughly 10 songs/book, were the programs ever repeated? Did everyone in England learn these wonderful songs in these great collections? How long was a teaching period? Was the song presented with an accompaniment? Was each student given a book to keep per term? Etc. Thanks for your input.


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST,Flamenco ted - can't log in
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 11:57 AM

eh by gum!!! Spring 1970 has a song called "Mango walk" and I can still remember the tune and half the words, but not what I did yesterday!!


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 10:58 AM

MY teacher used to get upset when time came for us to pretend to be trains. We didn't go 'chuff-chuff' like a steam train. Being Londoners we went 'hooooomm' like the tube trains which were the only ones we'd seen.


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST,Jeanie
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 10:53 AM

Sorry for the thread creep, by the way :)

-jeanie


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST,Jeanie
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 10:52 AM

Yes - a teacher's words have incredible power to lift someone up or deflate them, don't they ? Thank goodness, teachers are taught to include a lot more self-evaluation nowadays: "How did you feel your scene went ?" "Is there anything you would have done differently ?" (opening for the teacher to make subtle suggestions here) and praise from the teacher and the rest of the class: "What did you especially like about this group's dance ?"

When watching mimes and "freeze frame pictures" (drama teacher's staple diet), I quickly learned, the hard way, not to go for the obvious interpretation and to keep my mouth shut until I found out what was occurring - eg. I have had Vikings who I thought were bandaging each other after the battle very indignantly tell me that of course not - they were giving each other tattoos. The indignation was genuine and totally justified - I had broken the spell of the world they had just created for themselves.

The worst thing a teacher ever said to me (and I can still feel the hurt to this day, like you and your bird dance, Liz) was after I had spent ages using every coloured pencil to draw a picture of Jesus wearing the brightest clothes imaginable. My teacher told me it couldn't possibly be Jesus, because he always wore white.

I hate to think how many times I may have unwittingly used the wrong words to a child at the wrong time. All a teacher can do is try to keep aware of the pitfalls of ill-chosen words, accentuate the positive, give genuine praise - and remember what it was like to be 7.

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 09:24 AM

My major bugbear was that I had to interpret the music the way my teacher interpreted it... hence the comments about my baby bird not being graceful. I thought it sounded like a baby bird trying to flutter, when she thought it was an adult swooping and diving.... I never did fit into anyones' particular 'box'.... Some waltz to the rhythmn in their heads, others polka.

LTS


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 07:16 AM

Music and Movement:"Now children, get spaced out"! No wonder the sixties happened.


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: Jeanie
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 07:06 AM

I think the trouble with the old style "music and movement", whether it came from a particular broadcast or was devised by a teacher, was that the role-plays were taken in isolation and totally out of any context. In the context of a whole class devised drama story with movement, with the teacher taking on a role themselves as the mentor/facilitator, being a daffodil, a rat in a sewer, caterpillar, a row of teeth, a *whatever* becomes real and decidedly not a "sadistic" or "cringe-making" experience. As I said, the first person who has to totally suspend disbelief is the teacher. Then, and only then, can such lessons become magical and fun learning experiences.

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST, Hamish
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 06:51 AM

I'm with Liz on the "argh!" reaction. At this distance I can't exactly remember what the problem was, but it, The White Heather Club and Jimmy Shand contributed to my aversion to folk music which lasted until I discovered that it wasn't meant to be civilised. (Thank you Hamish Imlach!)

"One misty moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather, dah-de-dah an old man, clothed all in leather" always gave me the creeps. I imagined a leathery-skinned monster - before Dr. Who, mind you - a sort of humanoid woodlouse. (I'm almost getting a panic attack now!)

And music and movement, too. Surely designed by a sadist to punish the 90% of us who didn't have a clue about what dance a daffodil would do to Mussorgsky.


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 06:49 AM

I suppose I should post what I've posted at folkinfo as part of trying to find a answer.

A couple of answers for you Ian from my limited range of pamphlets.

1967- Spring 68 Were produced by George Dixon.
Autumn 68 to the end of my collection (Summer 86) were produced by Douglas Coombes"
The last one I have wich credits William Appelby as broadcaster is Autumn 1970.


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 05:39 AM

I'm so glad that Limpits' school prefers to make their own music and has a very talented group of teachers to help them. Her school has 4 choirs, an orchestra, recorder groups, put on at least one music concert a year and a music/drama show a term. Not a 'Singing Together' booklet or 'music and movement' torture session to be seen!

Oh, and this is just a primary (nursery age to 11yrs) school, 3 choirs cover years 2-6 (6-11yrs) and the fourth is made up of teachers, parents and grandparents. Philip Glass and Salvador Dali would be proud of the orchestral arrangements created by the children themselves - last Monday's effort had 'Yellow Submarine' with whale noises and barking dogfish interludes.

LTS


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: Jeanie
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 04:50 AM

Liz - the BBC are still broadcasting musical plays for schools (like the 'Alice in Wonderland' you mentioned) - and very good they are, too. I came across a wonderful version of 'Macbeth' not long ago when doing a day's supply teaching in a junior school - liked it so much, I ordered the book and CD for myself ! Each song is in a different style (jazz, rap, reggae, lament etc.) and as well as looking at different styles, they learn about sequences, minor keys, counter melody and so on - plus being introduced to the story and characters in a fun way. The two hired murderers sing a kind of punk song, like East End thugs, and the bit I was doing with them was Macbeth and his missus singing jazz with some improvised scat.

Children are still moving around school halls and classrooms, often to music, pretending to be people and things other than themselves - (I confess to being one of those who inflict this upon them ) - but it has got a lot less "twee" than it used to be. The trouble is, and always was, that unless the teacher is committed to what is happening, or if the teacher is embarrassed and feels it is an ordeal to make sounds and move about, the children will too - and their natural enjoyment goes out of the window. Hence all the cringing memories people have about these classes. If a junior school has a permanent member of staff who is committed to the subject and isn't afraid of music, movement and drama, they are very fortunate. It is so much luck of the draw.

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: IanC
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 03:44 AM

"Singing Together" was fully titled "Singing Together: Rhythm & Melody".

Here's the 1948 Singing Together booklet.

:-)


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: Sooz
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 02:53 AM

There was another programme for younger children. I think it was called Rhythm and Melody. I remember being pleased when I graduated to Singing Together!


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST,Mr Happy
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 09:41 PM

I started experiencing 'Signing Together' from 1955 to 1961- Ah!, what a joy!

Does anyone has copies of booklets from those years?


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST,Irene Shettle
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 08:24 PM

Don't remember daffodils - do remember (and I wish I couldn't!) crawling around the floor to "Mars" from the Planet Suite, pretending to be some sort of creepy crawly - definitely NOT my forte......


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 07:37 PM

Oh no... Music and Movement... Being a daffodil to Grieg's wossname....

ARGHHH!!!

LTS (who never quite got over being told her bird was not graceful - I was being a baby bird learning to fly in the fast passages!)

LTS


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST,Irene Shettle
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 07:33 PM

Had another look at the Doncaster Music Service website, and found out the following about William Appleby. He was a young teacher at Doncaster Grammar school when he was appointed as the first music organiser for the local education authority there in 1947. The site states that he was "a highly successful trainer of choirs (and) subsequently became nationally known through his work as a presenter of the BBC's Singing Together programme." It seems from the site that he was responsible for flourishing instrumental music in the area, and died in 1973. A music centre in Doncaster is currently named after him.

In my previous post I got the title of the book of songs wrong - it should have been "Sing Together". I'm still on the lookout for further information. Having looked at the folkinfo.org site I got a distinct blast from the past at the mention of other schooldays programmes like "Music and Movement" (I loathed that one .... music yes, movement no!)


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 04:37 PM

I can't find the CD but I think an effort made by Kernow John here at Mudcat does run earlier than that but I feel pretty well convinced not back as far as 1948.


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 04:33 PM

Yellow Bird was page 4, Summer 76 Liz. Jamaica Farewell was summer 1974 page 2. I can cover some of it here but not all. The program is older than I realised (I'd have guessed at mid 50s) and still runs.


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 04:20 PM

It was still going in the '70s which is when I remember them. I might even have one of their booklets somewhere. I remember learning 'Yellow Bird' and 'Jamaica Farewell' from it.

It may have been a different series, but the Schools radio used to do plays that you could get the booklets for, learn the songs via the radio and put on your own show at school. We did 'Alice in Wonderland' and I was narrator... I was always the narrator.

LTS


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 04:16 PM

sorry about that over there Ian. I did post your question to the BBC board which I visit but so far nothing has turned up their either.


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Subject: RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: GUEST,Irene Shettle
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 03:58 PM

Ian, I don't know who started it, or anything about the stages etc, but do remember William Appleby, whose name appears on the book of songs published under the title of Singing Together and was certainly obtainable three years ago. I've just googled his name, and found out that there is a music centre named after him in Doncaster, and there is information printed about him at www.doncastermusicservice.org.uk/dms.htm (sorry - no matter how many times I've tried I just don't seem to be able to negotiate the blue clicky thing!)

All I recall is fond memories of sitting down at school in the fifties and singing along to the programme. Thanks to you, I'm probably going to be googling for a bit longer tonight!! (:-)


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Subject: History - BBC's 'Singing Together'
From: IanC
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 08:40 AM

I tried this in FolkInfo, because they're doing a lot of work on "Singing Together". Not a great deal of luck so far, so I thought I'd try it here ...

Like quite a few people, I suppose, I think of "Singing Together" as being something associated with my childhood. Looking at the BBC website, I learn that the series is still going. What's more, I just bought a copy of Autumn 1948's Singing Together ... so it's been going rather longer than I had thought.

Does anybody know ... when it started, who came up with the idea, what significant stages the project has gone through and who presented it over the various decades.


Thanks for any info.

:-)
Ian


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