Sounding Childhood

Part 2: Songs for School and Play

Victorian Songs for School and Play
An Overview:

Victorian children would also have had opportunities to sing secular music, in the home and at school, particularly after the Education Act of 1870 which made education public and mandatory to all English children.  When not offered through the churches, schools would be free to teach more secular tunes.  I am sure that children would have sung some of their favorites in their play as well, adapting the words to suit their fancy.  Towards this end, I have begun research of British nineteenth-century children’s song books, although I also consulted American song books and early twentieth century books, knowing that favorite English songs would be disseminated broadly and would have staying power.  I have collected old song books, found quite a few on Nineteenth-Century Collections Online, and researched from the Ball Collection of children’s books at the Lilly Library at Indiana University Bloomington (score-images used with their permission).  With over 25 songbooks at my disposal, I selected about 20 songs to represent three basic categories: “Fun,” “Sentimental,” and “Serious.” 

In June 2017, I once again collaborated with Dr. Jessica Raposo, Director of Music at Indiana University East, to audition and train 16 young singers—all girls this time as it turned out—to learn these songs, then record them.  The results are presented on this page.  It was a wonderful experience and I am very grateful to them for giving of their time and energy over the course of one week! 

2017 Victorian Song Camp Singers:

(in order of age) Mikayla Petersheim age 8; Anabella Triana age 8; Caleigh Collins age 9; Noa Cox age 9; Suri Onder age 9; Reagan Phillips age 9; Josie Roller age 9; Olivia Roller age 9; Ada Smoker age 9; Avery VanDervort age 9; Ayla Bales age 10; Anna Claire Ream age 10; Grace Stewart* age 10; Eden Judd* age 12; Kaitlyn Stoner age 12; Ashley Madill age 13.  (*members of the 2015 Hymn Camp!) 

Co-Directors: Alisa Clapp-Itnyre, Jessica Raposo 
Pianist: Caryl Bailey
Sound Engineer: Chris Robinson 
Costumer: Sharon Walker
Location: Central United Methodist Church, Richmond IN
Recordings are also archived with IU's Media Collection Online.

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