May This Light Shine: New UU Children's/Youth Songbook
General Assembly 2006 Event 3048
- Melodie Feather, Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network (UUMN) Board Member
- Wendy Bartel, UUMN Children's Songbook Project Coordinator
- Sarah Dan Jones, UUMN Secretary
- Susan E. Peck, UUMN Board Member
Prepared for UUA.org by Margy Levine Young, Reporter; Jone Johnson Lewis, Editor
About 50 eager singers, musicians, and music appreciators came to hear songs from May This Light Shine, the new songbook for children and youth. The songbook was a project of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network (UUMN), led by Wendy Bartel, starting in August 2003. The book comes in two forms—a singer's book and an accompanist's version. The 30 songs were chosen to be used intergenerationally, and they don't require a piano. Melodie Feather, UUMN Board Member, led the group in simple songs, rounds, and songs in harmony at varying levels of simplicity from the book, with guitar accompaniment by Sarah Dan Jones, UUMN Board Member; piano accompaniment by Susan E. Peck, UUMN Board; and vocals by Feather and Bartel.
A dozen participants held hand chimes that rang in a range of pitches. Like hand bells, hand chimes play a single note and can be used to create a hand chime choir for a much lower price than traditional hand bells. The group played the hand chimes with several pieces to add chords to the singing.
Boomwhackers were also handed out—plastic tubes that play a soft note when bonked against something—the chair-back in front of you, your hand, or your head. Each boomwhacker has a color and label to indicate what note that they play—a chromatic series makes a rainbow and costs about $70. They are available from many music stores and from Boomwhackers.
One participant leads a boy's music group at her congregation and asked about songs that work particularly well for use with lots of instruments. Feather indicated that some of these songs will be used in the new Tapestry of Faith religious education curricula from the UUA.