Purposeful Pathways 1

(24 customer reviews)


Purposeful Pathways CD1 has been revamped with new Promethean ActivInspire visuals!

For downloadable files of the Hands-On Manipulatives, and Electronic Visuals at a $5.00 discount, follow this link… https://musiciselementary.com/product-categories/mie-downloads/

An MIE Publication


by Roger Sams and Beth Ann Hepburn.

“Purposeful Pathways: Possibilities for Elementary Music Classrooms” is an extensive collection of curricular materials for learning music by making music. Based on the philosophies of Orff Schulwerk, Kodály, and eurhythmics, this collection of developmentally sequenced learning activities offers elementary general music educators diverse choices for how to present folk song from diverse cultures and original material, including lessons in singing, literacy, movement, improvisation, composition, and instrumental ensemble. Each lesson is a collection of learning pathways, to be selected by the teacher, that unfold over time offering possibilities for differentiated instruction and flexibility in diverse classroom settings. This flexible design makes this resource helpful to all teachers, first year to seasoned educators!

Printable manipulatives for composition activities are available as a free digital download with the purchase of the book.

Electronic visuals (in SMART Notebook, Promethean ActivInspire, and PowerPoint formats) are available as an additional purchase in CD-ROM and digital download formats.

Purposeful Pathways 1 Curricular Content

Rhythm Content:

steady beat

quarter note

two eighth notes

quarter rest

Melody Content:




Name Riddle
Burnie Bee
Engine, Engine Number Nine
Mince Pie Fly
Cobbler, Cobbler
Young Animals
Rain on the Green Grass
The Mill Wheel
Barber, Barber Shave a Pig
Simple Simon
Shoemaker’s Dance
Bubble, Bubble, Bubble!
Lucy Locket
Duérmete, Mi Niña
High in the Pine Tree
Davy Dumpling
Humpty Dumpty
Jelly in the Bowl
We Fish
Hickory Dickory Dare
Horsing Around
Charlie in the Tub
Johnny’s Gone to Tea
Pease Porridge Hot
Wee Willie Winkie
Apple Tree
Johnny on the Woodpile
Little Sally Walker
Counting Out Rhymes
Garden Gate

Purposeful Pathways is endorsed by leading experts in all three pedagogical approaches utilized. Here’s what the experts are saying:

“This book is a collection of music lessons to introduce beginning students to the excitement of discovering and learning music by making it. The variety of musical pathways presented becomes a road to rhythmic and melodic literacy, with clearly mapped goals and objectives. The journey is enriched by the variety of musical elements and behaviors included, providing many choices for exploring each of the 30 examples in the collection. Movement ideas enhance opportunities for students to actively explore musical material.

The expert guidance of two experienced author/teachers is evident on every page, and is highlighted in special inserts called Teacher Talk. Icons, charts, and drawings add to the playful presentation of the material ñ many of which are available in an optional CD-ROM. The carefully selected collection of songs and rhymes provides artful early encounters with music, establishing a solid foundation for future musical experiences.”

-Jane Frazee
Founding Director, Graduation Programs in Music Education, University of St. Thomas
Past President, American Orff-Schulwerk Association

“Purposeful Pathways provides the music specialist with valuable tools to integrate singing, playing of instruments, and creative and purposeful movement. While these lessons can be used across many elementary grade levels, Roger and BethAnn have created movement ideas for young children to imitate animals or characters and explore rhythmic pathways, and movement for later grades that coordinate specific durations or rhythmic ostinato patterns with the text and music. This book would be helpful not only for new teachers, but for experienced music educators interested in learning how to integrate our learning approaches.”

-R. J. David Frego, Ph.D.
Chair of the Department of Music, The University of Texas at San Antonio
Past President, Dalcroze Society of America

“Whimsy all but leaps off the pages of this wonderful collection of creative activities for developing music reading, improvisation, composition, and instrument playing skills. Fresh melodies composed to time-honored rhymes are paired with clever ostinati leading to simple and effective instrumental arrangements incorporating movement and song. The Teacher Talk sections contain gems and jewels of advice that can only come from extensive experience with children. I am excited to use many of the ideas with my education majors! You will certainly be successful with these pathways in your classroom!”

-Jill Trinka, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor, Coastal Carolina University
Past President, American Association of Kod·ly Educators

Additional information


Book, CD-ROM

24 reviews for Purposeful Pathways 1

  1. Lindsay Hatfield

    I bought this last year for my elementary classroom—I have had such a success with it! The visuals are bright, catchy, and have been a great tool!

  2. Jesslyn Hall

    I love how easy the book is to follow and how it is set up by rhythmic and melodic concepts. The book is a great resource and has so many great ideas for each song, and you don’t have to do everything if you don’t want to. You can pick what you want to focus on. I highly recommend this book to any Elementary Music Educator.

  3. Rebecca Volle

    I love this series of books! I just recommended Purposeful Pathways to a new music teacher earlier this week. There are multiple music concepts provided in each lesson.
    I recently attended a Prof. Dev. session with one of the authors. The activities are solid in standards-based music learning and designed with elementary students in mind.

  4. Christopher (verified owner)

    This curriculum is a must for every general music classroom. Each repertoire item is multi-modal and thoughtfully constructed. Learning activities are structured tightly enough that they can be followed closely, but flexible enough that they can be differentiated to students of many different ability levels. I’ve used Book 1 repertoire for grades K-5 with adaptations from the written text. Electronic visuals are a great bonus too.

  5. Sherri

    This book is awesome! Currently, I am taking Roger’s online course on this book, and it is great!! I just got done teaching Bernie Bee to my first graders, and they thoroughly enjoyed the lesson and learned so much. The different pathways give teachers multiple ways to teach each lesson. The accompaniments are age appropriate for the students. I highly recommend this book!

  6. Susan Kostenbauer

    I love how each song is broken into different lessons and you can use any or all of them to teach that song. Or if you need to, use one part to reinforce the same skill that you may be teaching with a different song.

    I love having access to the digital for my smart board and so do the kids.

    The whole book/lessons are very teacher and kid accessible. Thanks for the great resource.

  7. Sarah Williams

    I have been using Purposeful Pathways since I started teaching elementary general music 4 years ago. I actually attended a conference where Roger Sams was a presenter and he did a lesson from book one. I bought it there at the conference and have been using it ever since. It was my first proper introduction to the Orff Schuelwerk process of teaching. I went on to take Level I with Beth Ann Hepburn as well.

    I enjoy book 1 because of the simplicity of the activities that are available and the fact there is a index that includes the concepts taught in each lesson. With the way each lesson is organized, you can choose what aspects of the lesson you would like to use and what you may want to leave out. Each lesson includes movement, singing, literacy, and so much more! I highly recommend it!

  8. Bethany

    Fantastic resource for teaching in many different ways. I love how I can adapt this to my Orff based teaching and are a jumping off point for many songs. Great for new ideas!

  9. Rochelle

    This is an excellent resource. I love how it combines different elements of Kodaly and Orff. The pathways offer so many different directions you could go with any of the songs! I love this book and have used it for the last few years in my class. I took the online class this summer and have gotten even more excited about this valuable resource. It demonstrates how to teach multiple concepts with just one song. I would highly recommend this resource to anyone!

  10. Dorothy Weir

    I only have used the lesson plans you have offered in an email and have been very impressed. Someday I hope I can add this to my budget!

  11. Victoria

    I love Purposeful Pathways! My scholars are so excited to come to music as we sing the songs and do the activities provided. Using the CD is an added bonus for them as well. Coming to a school with no music program, Purposeful Pathways has been a huge asset!

  12. Margaret Kerr

    I love using Purposeful Pathways! It’s so easy to implement the lesson into my lesson plans. The kids love the activities and I enjoy how easy the instrument accompaniments are. What a great curriculum to have!

  13. janice

    I was out of the classroom for 12 years and Purposeful Pathways has been a lifesaver. My favorite aspect is that the rhythmic and melodic sequence is Kodaly based so the songs and rhymes are fit into my curriculum and provide inspiration for new units. The pathways are great for incorporating Orff, reading music and improvisation extensions. The songs can be revisited throughout the year or grades for review and deeper understanding. Don’t miss Roger Sam’s video lessons. They are GOLD!

  14. Meghan

    This is a fantastic resource for veterans and new teachers alike! It has all of the fun and joy while maintaining the highest quality. Activities are developmentally appropriate and accessible for my students. There are so many options for ways to expand learning with each song. The range of activities is unique, yet they’re all connected in a way that it feels cohesive and intentional. Purposeful is the perfect word for it.

  15. Sarah

    This book is an excellent resource! It contains many fun activities and songs for the early grades. It provides all of the information that is necessary to teach a successful lesson in a clear and concise manner. All of the activities can be adapted according to the teacher’s specific objectives. Visuals are helpful, and the book’s layout follows the learning progression from simple to more complex.

  16. Betsy Mast

    I use this book as my primary resource for first graders. They love playing the simple ostinatos while they are singing.

  17. Betsy Mast

    I love using this book. The songs, activities, and visuals on the dvd are engaging and easy to follow. I like how it provides different ways to teach the material using Kodaly, Orff, and Eurythemics. This series has helped me so much as I have started my career as a music teacher.

  18. Leslie

    Within the book introduction, the authors clearly state that “this is not an all-inclusive curriculum.” Yet, it is a fantastic base for a music curriculum! With the Purposeful Pathways series as a solid curriculum foundation, it requires very little work to complete our K-5 music curriculum by simply adding more folk dances, some listening lessons, and seasonal songs.

  19. Alli

    I love this book and series! It bridges Orff, Kodaly, Dalcroze and takadimi in an easy and accessible way, my students love it!

  20. Teri Wallis

    Excellent addition to your music curriculum. The lessons aid in singing, playing, rhythm, movement and improvisation.

  21. Christina

    I love the Purposeful Pathways series! As a K-8 music educator, I’m always looking for quality songs I can come back to year after year with my students. Purposeful Pathways 1 contains a plethora of quality literature to address beginning musical concepts such as Sol-Mi and quarter notes and eighth notes. I love the ability to pick and choose from within the lessons and to spiralize from year to year.

  22. Katie Hernandez

    This book is amazing! I love how the songs are broken down by rhythm and melody set. The lessons are easy to follow and give tons of ideas!

  23. Jason

    I love the way these books are designed with so much freedom to choose. Choose a song AND what concept(s) you want to teach with it. So many options already processed out for ONE song. As a PK-6 teacher, I can use the same song with more than one grade level and teach completely different concepts without scrounging up ideas from multiple sources.

  24. Nancy

    I love this book! I am a Kodaly certified teacher and I love how multiple methods of teaching are incorporated together so smoothly. It really gets me to expand my teaching in many ways!

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