23rd February 2001 at 00:00
THE I CAN'T SING BOOK. By Jackie Silberg. Brilliant Publications pound;10.95

This ardent and thoughtful book is for people who work with preschool children and want to share the pleasures and benefits of music with them. It does not contain a single crotchet or quaver, but it is packed with good sense, enthusiasm and inventive ideas.

The I Can't Sing Book shows how music can contribute to children's powers of using language, spatial reasoning, understanding sequences and making sense of the world. Jackie Silberg then gives four or five brief, clear descriptions on each double page f activities that bring the ideas to life.

Those involving rhythm draw on both nature and machines as well as the patterns and durations that we find in bodily actions and in natural speech. Sound itself, and its companion silence, are explored in another chapter.

There are dozens of animated games involving the use of words and of nonsense, using chants or call and response patterns, and setting new phrases to familiar melodies. Other pages give lucid accounts of how to make simple instruments. All generations can benefit from Jackie Silberg's fertile imagination.

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