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SSB children’s music curriculum unveils major redesign for fall ’98

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The first major redesign of Southern Baptist children’s music curriculum in almost 30 years will be unveiled with the Fall 1998 publications for pupils and their leaders.
Rhonda Edge Buescher, preschool/music team leader for the Sunday School Board’s music ministries department, said an emphasis on spiritual objectives, along with music education goals, will be paired with a more user-friendly approach in the Children’s Music Series for churches using traditional or blended music. She described the new approach as “a work in progress that will continue to be refined and improved with each quarter.”
The last major changes for traditional children’s music curriculum came in 1970. A new curriculum for praise and worship, “Made for Praise,” was introduced in 1996.
“Music and Me” is a new resource for use with 3-year-olds. Other publications in the series are “Music Time,” a 24-page, full-color magazine for ages 4 and 5; “Children’s Choir,” a 56-page publication for small churches combining grades one through six; “Music Makers,” 56 pages, including 24 activity pages, for grades one through three; and “Young Musicians,” 56 pages, including 24 activity pages, for grades four through six. Both “Children’s Choir” and “Young Musicians” offer suggested adaptations for use in homeschooling.
Buescher said while publications are available individually, age-group packs will be offered to include a teacher’s guide with reproducible loose-leaf activity pages, an instructional video for leaders, visual teaching aids that replace resource kits and a CD and a cassette of the music and activities for the age group. Additional cassettes are available separately; all other components are available only in packs. Age-group magazines are available per copy for each child.
Instructional videos feature master teachers modeling music education concepts that may be difficult to explain in a lesson plan. The numerous spiritual activities, which are self-explanatory, are not included in the videos, Buescher explained.
Among advantages of the new series are multiple uses for choir, Christian school or homeschool settings; a balance between spiritual emphases and music education objectives, user-friendly format for lesson plans instead of a magazine format; bright colors and eye-catching art; recordings produced by Ted Wilson and Janet McMahan-Wilson, who also have produced public school series recordings for Silver Burdett and Ginn; video demonstrations; and cost.
An entire quarter’s music, activity pages, lesson plans, recordings, video and teaching aids for an age-group children’s choir, Buescher said, compares to the cost of one adult choir anthem for one Sunday. Approximately $70 of resources is offered for $44.95, and the reproducible teacher’s guide increases the saving in proportion to the number of teachers. –30– A sidebar profiling the content of each title in the Children’s Music Series is posted in SBCNet News Room under the filename series.txt.