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Patriotic songs for small children's choir

I am looking for patriotic arrangements and ideas for a small, newly formed singing group.  This is for a private school of music where I teach musicianship and singing (choir) to kids ages 5 to 9 in a group setting.  It is a small group of about 9 students currently.  We are asked to perform patriotic music for community events from time to time, and I am really struggling with repertoire ideas accessable to this age group.  Unison is probably best at this point, optional 2 part music might work. 
 
We have sung "America" (My country 'tis of thee...), "America the Beautiful" and "You're a Grand Old Flag"(with sign language) at two other events with the Mayor this year.  We have been asked to sing in January at another mayoral event and I'd like to do different music.  I suppose music with an Americana theme would work, too.  I would appreciate suggestions. 
 
Thank you,
Terri
Replies (18): Threaded | Chronological
on November 5, 2012 9:17am
Hi Terry,
 
I've arranged an entire program for solo or unison voices with minus tracks entitled, American Revolutions, from which individual songs can easily be pulled: http://choirworks.com/index.php/unison-solo-rounds/american-revolutions-a-patriotic-program
 
My children's choir has had fun doing the 'Liberty Medley' and a personal favorite in this program is Gershwin's 'Yankee Doodle Blues.'
 
Hope you find something useful.
 
Best,
Ryan
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 9, 2012 9:56am
Thank you, Ryan.  There is quite a bit of material on your website.  I will spend more time browsing and look into the "Libery Medley".  Thank you! -Terri
on November 5, 2012 6:40pm
Teresa Jennings, at Music K-8 magazine, has a couple of lovely collections of American patriotic music. One is "Sing for the Red, White, and Blue", which has the ones you mentioned plus a few more. "There Are Many Flags in Many Lands," "Stars and Stripes Forever", and a version of "Yankee Doodle" are included.  You get the piano accompaniment and you can buy the accompaniment CD if you like.  All are easily accessible for kids and can be taught either in writing or by rote.
 
 
 
 
Donna
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 9, 2012 9:41am
Donna, This is exactly the kind of material that will be useful for my class.  Thank you so much! -Terri
on December 9, 2013 3:12pm
For my tastes, it's rare when a contemporary song can stack up against songs of history and with history, but two that do, in the "Americana" category, are Music K-8's Free at Last, based on the ending to Dr. King's "I have a Dream" speech, and Johnny Appleseed.  Free at Last is set in contemporary gospel style, with wonderful instrumentals on the accompaniment track, led by sosprano sax. It may overwhelm nine singers.  Johnny Appleseed has a bluegrassy accompaniment.  Both have hand signs that can be used with the refrains.....but as I write, I'm thinking that I may have made up the Johnny Appleseed signs.  Anyway, feel free to contact me if you need the signs.
on November 6, 2012 7:08am
I second the suggestion to look at Music K-8 website; they have a great selection of music.  
 
The school where I teach does a different patriotic song each month for daily assembly.  We include the ones you mention, but the students also love "This Land is Your Land", "God Bless America", and "God Bless the USA".
 
Maybe since the event is in January near MLK Jr. Day, you could do some African-American spirituals?  I'm planning on teaching my middle schoolers "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing", in simple 2-part harmony, but there are plenty of good ones out there.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 9, 2012 9:45am
  Spirituals would work, depending on the piece.  I was also thinking of Copland's "Simple Gifts".  Great ideas, Rebecca. Thank you! -Terri
on November 7, 2012 8:14am
this is perhaps a bit ahead since Vet. Day is almost over, but there is a piece that works well for Veteran's Day and could also be used for Memorial Day. There are 2 verses, and an optional 3rd Christmas verse. Interestingly enough, I teach music at 2 Catholic schools (about 25 miles away from each other) and it was requested by homeroom teachers at both schools. The piece is called Thank You Soldier. here is a link for more info on how to purchase and a recording: http://www.restored.faithweb.com/thankyousoldiers.html
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 9, 2012 9:48am
I am so happy you have shared this piece, "Thank You, Soldier".  It may not work for our January engagement, but I do see using it in the future.  Great text, wonderful piece.  Thank you! -Terri
on November 8, 2012 3:25am
Hi Terri -
The "Thank You, Soldiers" by Michael Souders (as mentioned above) is a wonderful selection and would be very appropriate for your unison elementary choir. The free music comes with piano accompaniment - you can purchase a synthesized accompaniment track if needed. To get an idea of the song, a YouTube performance can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rl_KEyUHCTc. It was such a hit at our fifth grade spring concert that the high school choir performed an SATB version the following Veteran's Day and Christmas!
Best wishes,
Mike
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 9, 2012 9:54am
Nice performance, Michael.  It was great to hear the song done in a live performance by that age group.  It is definitely one to look into.  I am not sure what you meant by "free music comes with piano accompaniment" or where I could obtain it.  I did locate a copy for purchase through Alfred Publishing, though.  Thank you! -Terri
on November 10, 2012 3:32am
Hi Terri -
Thanks for the kind words. My apologies - you are correct. The free music offer ended in May 2011. The song is now available through Alfred.
Best wishes,
Mike
on December 7, 2013 9:50am
Hi, You have shared a good list of songs for kids. I am looking for some number songs for kids. Please share some more song on this theme.
Thanks
 
on December 9, 2013 9:32am

The Spiritual Children Go Where I Send Thee has always been a hit with my elementary students, and the 1939 recording made by John Lomax of five (?)  black inmates at the Arkansas State Prison is a nugget of music history and available on YouTube (but entitled "Children Go and I Will Send Thee").  I was introduced to this song by my principal prior to my very first choir concert--"Mr. Brush, make sure you end with Children Go Where I Send Thee, and invite former students and the audience up--it's always been the ending to our Holiday Concert."  This has been recorded my many artists in almost every genre.
 
The Rattlin' Bog or The Bog Down in the Valley-O is a cumulative song (egg in the nest, on the twig, on the branch, on the limb...) without the numbers, but children could hold up number cards or some-such).  Old MacDonald and She'll be Comin' Round the Mountain are the same type.  For preschool and K there are many fingerplay songs like 5 Little Monkeys (...jumping on the bed, one fell off and then there were 4...).
on December 10, 2013 11:45pm
Billy, 
See my reply below... 
Terri
on December 10, 2013 11:44pm
Bill Mody,
 
One song that comes to mind with "numbers" is, "Chatter With the Angels" arranged by Betty Bertaux (Boosey & Hawkes/ Hal Leonard).  It is based on an African American Folk Song.  The middle section uses the text/tune, "There was one, there were two, there were three little angels...." and so on. It is for unison/2-part treble voices.
 
Terri
on January 9, 2014 3:08pm
Hi Terri,
 
I am a NYC songwriter, and many children's choirs across America have performed my patriotic and inspirational songs. Please check out my website www.AmericasSongwriter.com. I am happy to supply free samples of my sheet music and SATB arrangements.
 
Best wishes,
Hank Fellows
on January 12, 2014 12:21pm
I should also add "American Tears" from Music K-80 as a good patriotic song.  It's easy to learn. My 5th graders always loved singing it!
 
 
 
Donna
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