Many of these resources are also on other parts of the website, but I thought it might be nice to collect them all into one location under their main heading, so you can find things easily as you do your own research and reading. On this page, they are not organized by form, as they are on the Scope and Sequence pages for each subject. I hope this will help you find online public domain links and other website sources easily! Enjoy!
Sol-fa and Singing
Hymns at Home – a nice Hymn singing Resource
Little Songster: Folk Songs for little ones
Drill, Dancing and Games
Cecil Sharp Dance Resources (Mason Used his books in the PNEU) I believe the series I have linked is the series the PNEU used after Mason’s death.
Music At Home – A CM/Classical Music Appreciation Course – Free online
A Musical Journey – A website with composer studies by Megan Hoyt
Simply Music is another newer piano method that looks to have a similar approach as Mason did.
Online Live Piano Lessons: My friend Jessica Shao, who was homeschooled, offers online, live piano lessons via skype. She is currently reading Home Education and is interested in learning more about Mason. She will be helping me record many of the piano pieces for this site. She isn’t currently teaching using Mason’s methods, but I am hoping to work with her on this and see if we can offer something like this in the future. Either way, she’s a lovely musician and her live, online skype classes might be nice for those who maybe don’t have a good teacher near you!
Hoffman Academy – Free Piano Lessons online (probably not like Mason’s teaching, but if you need something free to start with, it’s better than nothing – Some of the content is now only accessible through a membership which is about $180 per year, but the main piano videos seem to be free still)
Modern Music Education Programs
These programs utilize many of Mason’s philosophies and methods today. These are not exact replicas of what she was doing, but I believe that music and movement was important to her, as was training the ear and body through pitch and rhythm and then training the eye to sight-sing. Music Appreciation and enjoyment above performance was also a key philosophical principle. All of these follow similar structures of concrete to abstract/ear before eye methods. They almost all include a rhythmic movement component that Mason also employed. I think if you read the philosophical statements on these websites, you will learn a lot about Mason’s philosophy of music as well! I am still researching and learning myself to fin out how these programs and philosophies do and don’t fit with Mason’s Paradigm.
Curwen ( this is the man who wrote the Tonic Sol-fa System and Mason used it almost exclusively for singing)
A History of Curwen – About the origins and foundations of the Kodaly Approach. See pages 7-14, although the entire publication would be interesting to read!
Public Domain Books
Singing and Sol-fa
Tonic Sol-fa by John Curwen, this book will help you understand the philosophy of Sol-fa. Mason first used this book in upper forms, but eventually used two books with Sol-fa lessons in them called Ten Minutes’ Lessons in Sight Singing (this book isn’t online, but video lessons and pdf content from it are available to members of this site!) and Fifty Steps in Sight Singing.
Fifty Steps in Sight Singing by Arthur Somervell for Sol-fa
The Joyous Book of Singing Games Form 1b Singing and Drill book for before children started Formal Sol-fa Lessons, also used in Form 1b for Drill time, in lieu of formal Dancing.
The National Song Book – used for Folk singing Forms 2 and up – it would be good to find a similar song book for North America!
French Songs and French Rounds and Nursery Rhymes
Christmas Carols: Old and New by Sir J. Stainer – Christmas Carols were sung in lieu of Folk songs and National Songs during Winter term using this carol book.
Another Carol Book For Winter Term: The English Carol Book
Hymns for Little Children – a Book Used for Hymn Recitations in the PNEU – to be used when children were to recite 2 hymns per term
Songs of Praise – A Singing Hymnal used in later years of the PNEU after Mason’s death when they added Hymn singing to Bible Lessons on the PNEY
Drill, Dancing, and Games
The Board of Education’s Syllabus for Phyiscal Exercises – Book used in the PNEU
Drill for the Standards by A. Alexander – Book from PNEU Programme Form 3 (Middle School ages) listed in the appendix of Mason’s Volume 3: School Education. In the Appendix, the chapters listed for that term’s program were Grecian Exercises and Marching Drills. This Book contains musical accompaniment for all the Drills scheduled.
Rhythmic Games and Dances Mason used this or the Joyous Book of Singing Games for Drill in Form 1b, then in 1a formal Sol-fa and dancing were introduced.
Peasant Dances of Many Lands – Used in PNEU
The English Country Dance – by Cecil Sharp. These Volumes were used after Mason’s Death in the PNEU. They build from simple to advanced.
Here is a different version of the Country Dance book with 18 songs instead of 6 like Mason used.
Manual of Free Standing Movements for Forms 5 and 6 Drill time
L’umile Pianta Article on Music Appreciation – Page 75.
The Book Of Great Musicians – For Students in Form 2
The Listener’s Guide to Music for students in Form 3
Musical Ground Work – An ear training book for Form 4
Music and Its Story by R.T. While is the other biographical book Mason used for Form 4 and it will only be available to paying members at this time, since I am having to format it all myself. You might be able to find a printed copy online.
The Enjoyment of Music – Form 5
The World’s Great Men of Music ( I am uncertain at this time, which form this was used in, I need to do a bit more searching) It’s a nice resource of Biographies anyway.
Best Loved American Folk Songs by Lomax is a nice Modern book with tales of the songs included
The Book of Children’s Song Tales and others in the First Steps in Music Series by
Drill, Dancing, and Games
The Book of Playground Songs and Rhymes and others in the First Steps in Music Series by
Traditional Barn Dances with Calls and Fiddling I just ordered this and will update soon on it’s functionality!
A Touch of the Infinite by Megan Hoyt
What to Listen for in Music by Aaron Copland
Suzuki Method Books – Piano is linked and should be used with the Audio CD. Many other instruments available
Instruments and Music
Singing is best taught through singing and matching the pitch of another singing voice. But if you feel insecure as a parent or teacher about singing on pitch, then you may use a piano to help. You could also buy a small, rather cheap Glockenspiel or Xylophone to help you as a parent find a pitch. You could also download a Guitar tuner app to your phone and sing into it, and it will tell you what pitch you are singing and you can practice matching tones from that as well. You might also be able to try using a recorder.
Drill, Dancing, and Games
EducatiGet Ready To Square Dance CD This CD looks good. Apparently it’s fairly simple and the instructions are an online document included on the CD. I don’t have it, but might purchase it soon.
English Country Dances by Cecil Sharp: Here is a Play list of quite a few Cecil Sharp songs from the English Country Dance books Mason used.
I suggest doing a youtube search for English Country Dancing and you will get lots of other resources.
The Story of the Orchestra – an audio cd to listen to as you learn about instruments
The Composer is Dead – Audio book with Music to learn about instruments
The Story of… Brahms, Mozart, etc. My Children have enjoyed this series. It contains a biography story with a full hour of music that plays throughout the story of each composers life.
Meet the Composers – Books with CD. I don’t think that you would want to use this book to read aloud to your children, because it doesn’t seem much like a living book, but it might save you time as a teacher, if you need a quick tool to pull out on composers and to have a CD to go along. I don’t own this, but thought it might be helpful for some)
Lovely Peter and the Wolf Video to help children see how music and certain instruments can create imagery and tell a story!
Rhythm Sticks for practicing rhythm and beat are helpful for young children who aren’t developmentally ready for piano lessons.
Piano was the standard instrument that most students learned in the PNEU. I personally think it’s the best beginning instrument because it creates balance and symmetry in students physical body by allowing them to play with both hands. They also acquire the ability to read both Treble and Bass clef. I suggest learning piano from about age 6 -8 until Middle School and then adding a second instrument. With good ear training and sight singing/reading set up, a second instrument is fairly easy to pick up. If you can’t afford a more expensive instrument or lessons, I suggest trying to teach yourselves at home how to play Drums, Recorder, or even something like the Harmonica! Some Drumming lessons will be found on this website in member lessons.
Hand Drums are also a fun way to incorporate the body into rhythmic training.
My voice teacher in high school directed a recorder choir at her church and it was so lovely! So even though you might think of the recorder as a toy instrument, it’s really not. It is a nice beginner instrument for young children.
Harmonica Kit I included Harmonica on here because they are rather cheap to start out on and I think it would be really fun to have a resurgence of kids being able to play simple folk instruments for folk dancing!