This path was created by Donal Hegarty.  The last update was by Alisa Clapp-Itnyre .

Sounding Childhood

Part 2--Songs for School and Play

Victorian Secular Songs, for School and Play


Victorian children would 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 (images of those scores are used with their permission).  My research is certainly not done, but 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: for each song you click, you will see the score, be given some background information, and have a recording of the girls singing it.  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!

SINGERS: Victorian Song Camp, June 2017:

(in order of age)
  1. Mikayla Petersheim           age 8
  2. Anabella Triana                 age 8
  3. Caleigh Collins                   age 9
  4. Noa Cox                               age 9
  5. Suri Onder                          age 9
  6. Reagan Phillips                  age 9
  7. Josie Roller                         age 9
  8. Olivia Roller                       age 9
  9. Ada Smoker                        age 9
10. Avery VanDervort              age 9
11. Ayla Bales                            age 10
12. Anna Claire Ream              age 10
13. Grace Stewart*                   age 10
14. Eden Judd*                         age 12
15. Kaitlyn Stoner                     age 12
16. 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


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