Teaching Music Through Harmony Signing
Written for music educators from K - 5 onwards, First Instruments is a practical guide to teaching musical ideas through the first instruments we develop in early childhood, laying the foundation for how the collective creativity the book presents can sustain a lifelong commitment to music-making: voice and hand gestures. Founded on the belief that all children are musical, the book gives music teachers the necessary tools to develop students' confident
understanding of pitch relationships through improvisation and composition. Author Nicholas Bannan, a veteran pedagogue and children's choir director, accomplishes this in a classroom-tested system that combines
Kodály hand signs with extended use of physical motions that together result in deeply embodied musical knowledge. By participating in the book's many group exercises, students develop this knowledge that ultimately paves the way for acquisition and functional working knowledge of harmony that tends to elude most theory students. As Bannan shows, all effective music teaching needs to involve singing as the portal to a secure and transferable response to pitch. First Instruments
encourages educators to draw on games, tasks, and activities in relation to their own curriculum planning. Marrying the development of fluent singing abilities with harmonic understandings, this approach supports
musical creativity that is not dominated by the conventional features of a particular genre or style, but instead liberates the musical imagination and enables the exploration of musical styles from throughout history and all over the world.