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Early Early Childhood Songs
Early Early Childhood Songs
by Ella Jenkins

Ella Jenkins, with the help of three and four year olds from the Lake Meadows Nursery School, performs classic songs that have been sung by a generation of children. Instruments heard include the banjo, harmonica, accordion, piano, guitar, tambourine, wood block, and kazoo. The songs' simple lyrics, repetitive phrases, and rhythmic quality make them a good first step into music for the very young. This recording can be listened to and enjoyed just about anywhere; in the car, at home, alone or together.

Age: 1 Year-olds | Title: Early Early Childhood Songs  |  Artist: Ella Jenkins  |  Label: Smithsonian Folksways

Ella Jenkins, with the help of three and four year olds from the Lake Meadows Nursery School, performs classic songs that have been sung by a generation of children. Instruments heard include the banjo, harmonica, accordion, piano, guitar, tambourine, wood block, and kazoo. The songs' simple lyrics, repetitive phrases, and rhythmic quality make them a good first step into music for the very young. This recording can be listened to and enjoyed just about anywhere; in the car, at home, alone or together.

This is a very organic sounding album, as listeners will feel like they are in the room with Jenkins and the children. The first seven tracks are instrumental because they are intended to be a quiet listening period where children learn to recognize the songs on their own (making them personal) and perhaps hum along. The instrumental songs primarily feature the harmonica, guitar, and banjo. The next nine tracks are interactive mini-musical lessons. In Skip To My Lou, Jenkins plays the first verse on her mandolin and encourages the children to guess the title on their own. It takes the whole verse, but one child finally yells out the correct name. Jenkins then sings the whole verse with the children, including some additional verses your little one may not know yet, such as "Red wagon painted blue" and "Had one dollar, wish I had two." Jenkins teaches the children what a kazoo is, and what it sounds like, in This Old Man. She plays the whole first verse of the song on the kazoo and has the children guess what song it is. This is a great counting song, since the tune is repetitious and the lines always change to rhyme with the number, one through 10. In Pop Goes the Weasel, Jenkins introduces everyone to the sounds of the tambourine and wood block.

Your little one will very likely feel encouraged to join in especially when they hear the other children on the CD. Your child can sing solo in Mary Had a Little Lamb, or wait a verse and sing with the whole group of children They can yell out "Pop Goes the Weasel" at the right time with the rest of the group, or they can learn the Japanese version of London Bridges with Jenkins and revel in the accomplishment of singing a whole song in another language, ""Moi-she, moi-she, an-noh-nay/An-noh-nay/An-noh-nay." In Ba-Ba Black Sheep, Jenkins points out that the tune is the same as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, a connection that your little one may not have realized on their own yet. Can they think of another song with the same tune? How about the ABCs? In Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, one child is easily heard singing excitedly over everyone else, letting your child know that it's okay to sing louder if they know the words.

I listened to this CD with my one-year-old friend, Mosley. He really enjoyed Twinkle Twinkle Little Star when Jenkins asks the children to hold their hands out in front of them and have them 'twinkle' like the little star. I lifted my hands and showed Mosley how to do it first, and he had a blast 'twinkling' the whole song and repeating "Twinkle star! Twinkle star!" I think he may even have a new nickname now!

--Audra

Ella Jenkins is a prominent children's folk singer, whose career has spanned four decades and visited all seven continents. She was dubbed, "The first lady of the Children's folk song" by The Wisconsin State Journal and has appeared on Mr. Rogers and Barney. Jenkins has released a total of 28 records and 2 videos since 1957. Jenkins was also rewarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Recording Academy. "Growing Up" was released in 1969 from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Jenkin's best-selling song, You'll Sing a Song and I'll Sing a Song is also the best-selling record ever for the record label, Folkway Labels. The record's title song was added to the National Recording Registry in 2007, joining other collections of sounds that are considered culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.

1. Mary had a Little Lamb - 1:18

2. The Farmer in the Dell - 1:40

3. Skip to My Lou - 1:46

4. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - 2:03

5. London Bridge - 1:28

6. This Old Man - 1:34

7. Pop Goes the Weasel - 0:40

8. London Bridge - 4:00

9. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - 1:14

10. ABCs - 0:55

11. Ba-Ba Black Sheep - 0:42

12. The Farmer in the Dell - 2:31

13. Pop Goes the Weasel - 2:48

14. This Old Man - 2:51

15. Skp to My Lou - 2:50

16. Mary Had a Little Lamb - 1:37

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