Cass-Beggs, Barbara

Barbara Cass-Beggs (b Cass, m Beggs). Teacher, folksong collector, singer, b Nottingham, England, 10 Nov 1904, d Ottawa 13 Sep 1990; ARCM 1927, LRAM 1928. She studied voice, piano, pedagogy, and composition at the RCM, where her teachers were Basil Allchin, Percy Buck, C.C. Collier, Reginald Jacques, and Herbert Howells. She taught music to young people 1929-39 and gave song recitals in London and Oxford. Moving to Canada in 1939, she continued her work with youth as director 1945-52 of the University Settlement Music School in Toronto. While teaching 1955-64 at the Regina Cons she founded the Regina (later Saskatchewan) Junior Concert Society, of which she became honorary president for life. Also during this period she began collecting Canadian folk songs for teaching purposes. The recording Folksongs of Saskatchewan (Folk FE-4312), released in 1963, reflects her findings. She initiated music courses for teachers of pre-schoolers at Algonquin College, Ottawa, in 1969, and taught music to children privately 1972-6 in Vancouver and thereafter in Ottawa, where she also lectured at Algonquin College. Cass-Beggs was vice-president 1968-71 and 1972-4 of the CFMS (CSMT).

Her method, which uses principles established by Orff and more especially Kodály, attempts to help children discover the relation of music to the other arts. It also is concerned with basic training in pitch and rhythm. In 1983 Cass-Beggs named her program Listen Like Learn and, under that title, held a conference and organized new training courses and parent/baby music classes, first in Ottawa and later in Vancouver and other Canadian cities. In 1984 she presented a paper at an international conference on education and technology in Tel Aviv, and in 1986 she was invited to give parent/baby classes in Vienna. In 1988 she was invited to give similar classes in Jerusalem and Haifa, and on a return visit to Israel in 1989 she set up a Listen Like Learn Association. In 1990 she presented a paper entitled 'How music is first introduced' in Finland at the ISME conference on early childhood education.

In 1982 Cass-Beggs was awarded the Children's Service Award by the Association for Early Childhood Education.

Her son was the music producer Michael Cass-Beggs.


Barbara Cass-Beggs, 'Junior Concerts,' CMJ, vol 6, Spring 1962

Eight Songs of Saskatchewan (CMS 1963)

A Festival Pageant (Waterloo 1964)

Seven Métis Songs of Saskatchewan (BMIC 1967)

- and Cass-Beggs, Michael. Folk Lullabies (Oak 1969)

- and Fowke, Edith. 'A reference list on Canadian folk music,' CFMJ, vol 1, 1973

To Listen, To Like, To Learn (Toronto 1974)

Canadian Folk Songs for the Young (Douglas 1975)

Your Baby Needs Music (Vancouver 1978, 2nd edn 1990)

Folk Carols for Young Children (Ward Lock Educational 1980)

A Musical Calendar of Festivals (Ward Lock Educational 1983)

Your Child Needs Music (Oakville 1986)

Baby's Day (Kingston, Ont 1986)

'A unified approach to music, as related to children aged two to six,' CME, vol 28, Mar 1987

'How music is first introduced,' Ostinato, vol 17, Jan 1991