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Ages 5–7

6580RB

RIC-6580 3.4/465


First published 2006

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All rights reserved. This publication is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced, by any process, without the written permission of the publisher. Nor may any part of this publication be stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise. The opinions expressed in the publication are those of the author. While reasonable checks have been made to ensure the accuracy of statements and advice, no responsibility can be accepted for errors and omissions, however caused. No responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting on, or refraining from action as a result of material in this publication, is accepted by the author, Dr Robert G Smith.

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Dr Robert G Smith URL: www.octa4.net.au/bobsmith e-mail: drbobsmithau@yahoo.net.au

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Early Childhood teachers in schools in the Northern Territory, interstate and in New Zealand for encouraging creativity in their children and, in particular, Ros Burrows of Tennant Creek Primary School for her enthusiastic support and input, Northern Territory Music School, family, friends, students and colleagues Special thanks to Dr Margaret Fletcher, Griffith University, for her thoughts and input towards an intercurricular approach to creative music making in early childhood.

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Acknowledgments

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Dedicated to three amazing women who provided and provide me with generous and unselfish support. To the late Helen Long who, as my piano teacher from the age of six to eighteen, set in place the foundations for a life in music education. To my wife Sue Wright who, through her own sacrifices, allowed, encouraged and enabled me to pursue it. And to my late mother, Winifred Smith, who inspired my writing this and the following book and music.


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Contents The theoretical background

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Introduction .............................................................................................................................................................................. iv Music and creativity across key learning areas in the early years of childhood .............................................................. v – ix Introductory lesson ........................................................................................................................................................... ix – xi

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The music

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Butterfly ................................................................................................................................................................................ 2–3 Cane toad .............................................................................................................................................................................. 4–5 ABC song ............................................................................................................................................................................... 6–8 Counting song .................................................................................................................................................................... 9–12 I’m a frill-necked lizard ................................................................................................................................................... 13–15 Ickle, wickle ...................................................................................................................................................................... 16–17 Wickety, wackety ............................................................................................................................................................... 18–19 Granny’s shopping trolley ................................................................................................................................................ 20–21 Tit for tat ........................................................................................................................................................................... 22–23 Let’s go out to the wildlife park ........................................................................................................................................ 24–25 Tell us your story ............................................................................................................................................................... 26–27 Bunny hop ........................................................................................................................................................................ 28–29 Edna Echidna ................................................................................................................................................................... 30–31 White ant ........................................................................................................................................................................... 32–33 The little star ..................................................................................................................................................................... 34–35 The dinosaur ..................................................................................................................................................................... 36–37 Racing the pony ................................................................................................................................................................ 38–39 Kites ................................................................................................................................................................................... 40–41 A long time ago ................................................................................................................................................................. 42–43 Swim, little turtle .............................................................................................................................................................. 44–45

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And, in addition …

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Appendix 1 – A glossary of musical terms and song references ...................................................................................... 46–47 Appendix 2 – Accelerating music literacy ........................................................................................................................ 48–52 Exercise .............................................................................................................................................................. 53 Appendix 3 – Song lyrics .................................................................................................................................................. 54–56 Further reading ........................................................................................................................................................................ 57

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Introduction Poetry and music I derive a lot of satisfaction from playing with sounds, both as a musician and as an amateurish (but enthusiastic) poet. As a musician I enjoy words that somehow impact on me in musical ways. This may be a consequence of their rhythmical characteristics, their unique sonority, or the melodic profile a particular line of words in verse suggests.

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Of course there is a sense in which poetry actually conveys concrete messages and a poem can relate a story or idea as effectively as a piece of prose. Nevertheless, for me it remains the very musical quality that arranging words into verse that appeals. If my beliefs about the musicality of both are appropriate, then supporting a poem with a piece of music ought to be a relatively easy task.

I have no idea how many of these song-words, songs and other literary and musical offerings will appeal to your circumstances. I know that for a whole range of reasons I have enjoyed being a catalyst for the creation of the works herein. I don’t guarantee they’ll all work for you, but I hope you’ll share them with your classes and children.

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My enjoyment may even relate to the tonal texture of sequences of lines that somehow come together in an almost harmonic way. A collection of words, arranged in an appropriately aesthetic way, doesn’t need to make concrete sense for me to be moved by its collective impact.

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This said, no single process or set of strategies has been the sole template for the evolving poems and songs. Sometimes music came first, sometimes the words. Sometimes children had wonderful ideas but difficulty in letting them freely into the world. Some songs pursue particular themes or concepts; others are presented solely for the pleasure of performing them.

Change the words or music if you wish!

What I must emphasise—and it will become apparent that this is almost an obsession with me—is that almost nothing in the collection is set in concrete. In other words, you and the children you work with are encouraged—no … urged—to experiment with changes in any and all of them. If your children have ideas for new verses, please add them. If a note or two in the music doesn’t appeal and your children have their own ideas about how the songs ought to be performed, encourage them to make these changes—anything goes here. The more creative your approach, the greater my guarantee that the originals offered you will become jumping-off points for even more exciting works.

and scaffolding those musical qualities through music with similar characteristics. The collection of poems and musical settings that follow are a shared attempt to do that.

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Capitalising on children’s creativity Hopefully, I’ve established that this collection will not simply be another of those ‘songbooks for little children’! I have a concern that almost every songbook that exists for children has not received any input by children.

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Have fun. Free up your creative spirit. Everyone has it. It just needs, like a wild spirit, to be allowed to escape once in a while, or even thrice in a while! We were born creative. The worrying issue is that many of us lose it in our early years in school. Here’s a chance to readdress that issue. Be part of the process of letting children find their inner creative self so that its visible presence becomes a permanent part of their external environment.

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Perhaps nobody believes children have the capacity or understanding to make up their own songs. I hope to set some of those misapprehensions in order. Many of the songs and their words that appear here have had significant input into their creation from children. This is a serious intention of this collection—to encourage children to invest imagination, energy and knowledge into the creation of their own literary and musical works.

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Enjoy!

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© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Once the musical characteristics of the poem are identified f o r e vofi e w pur posesonl y• and understood, it• should be r a case simply enhancing

As thespians iterate, ‘Break a leg!’

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Music and creativity across key learning areas in the early years of childhood

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Creativity, music and early childhood

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I propose that there is much we can learn from this notion of music as integral to living and to learning. Music education ought not simply to embrace ‘learning about’ music, but also ‘learning in’ and ‘learning through’ music. This is particularly pertinent to music in early childhood learning settings. Here music is cogently relevant as an effective learning tool employed to support literacy, numeracy and acquisition of skills, knowledge and concepts across a whole range of other learning areas.

Without doubt, Shakespeare lines up as among the most creative writers of English. Look, for example, at how his genius empowered him to create five quite extraordinary metaphors for ‘taking things to ridiculous extremes’:

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In Western settings we may be encouraged to view music only as occupying a distinct and discreet place as one of the arts. When we learn music we mostly learn about music. Conversely, in more tribal settings music may not be perceived as separate, but rather as integral, to all aspects of culture and living, even to the extent that no separate word exists for ‘music’.

for younger persons in Years 2 and 3’. Each comprises twenty original songs, many with lyrics by students and teachers, and summary units that relate the song to other learning areas.

‘To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw perfume on the violet, to smooth the ice, or add another hue unto the rainbow … is wasteful and ridiculous excess.’ (Shakespeare, cited in Ramachandran & Blakeslee 1998:198)

If we are to make sense of the critical role creativity has in a genuinely comprehensive education—which starts from the moment of birth—we need to give meaning to ‘creativity’. We might start by considering some characteristics of creativity.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Innovation relates to theo ideasn andl objects people produce, self•f orr evi ew pur pos es y• actualisation to an individual’s quality of life, and imagination

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Overview

I shall develop three overarching themes here. First, I investigate meanings for creativity and survey its role in early childhood education. The second related theme involves an understanding of the place of music in education and life. The third theme is the critical role music can play and the opportunities it provides, as a vehicle for creativity and for integration across learning areas during early childhood.

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to what takes place inside a person’s mind. (Hudson, 1987:171)

According to Galton, cited in Hudson, the creativity of an individual may depend on his or her ability to glean seemingly irrational ideas and use them constructively,

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Driven by this conviction, we are experimenting in early childhood classes in several schools across the Northern Territory with a range of projects where music has a significant role in supporting general learning. This overview surveys some of the processes and strategies that are evolving, and the products that are beginning to emerge.

‘… that future change can now be anticipated, and action devised to pre-empt, or make change happen.’ (Richardson, 1999:171)

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These themes are the basis for this publication and other collaborations between me as writer, composer and educator, and early childhood teachers and students, both in Australia and New Zealand. The first is Creative musical experiences (ages 5–7), for very young persons in kindergarten and Year 1. The second is Creative musical experiences (ages 8–10),

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Certainly people have varying abilities to freely form associated ideas and then employ these as useful outcomes. Then, where they have a choice, individuals tend to find their lifework in respect of such competencies. Many regard the prevailing ‘guru’ of creativity as the American academic, Robert Sternberg, who also believes that creativity has several distinctive characteristics. These include the ability freely to move between conscious and unconscious thought processes and, related to this, that creative individuals have low cortical activity. This has particular relevance to the context of this

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presentation given that, with less developed frontal lobes, children are customarily more imaginatively creative than adults. Sternberg claims too that creativity operates largely in the more ‘big-picture’ right brain.

make music and tell stories. Students use directed and focused play to create and interpret their ideas in the arts.’

‘Correspondingly, creative individuals are better at nonfocussed thought—at suggesting connections between ideas rather than solving problems.’

Before we begin examining the critical role of creativity as a developmental facet of early childhood, let’s first consider the notion of childhood. As a specific period in an individual’s life ‘childhood’ is a relatively recent concept. One look at a Breugel painting, for example, confirms that at that particular moment in Western history, children were seen, visually at least, as little more than diminutive adults.

(Winston, 2003:455)

It is the second of these, creative (or experiential) intelligence, that is most pertinent to this discussion. Sternberg tells us that creativity involves insightful and divergent thinking or the generation of new ideas; the ability to deal creatively and effectively with novel situations, to program lessons learned to apply to other situations. Therefore, through creative intelligence an individual relates his or her internal world with outside reality. We could focus only on genius here but, as Pinker points out:

(Copplestone, 1983:219)

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As a consequence of observing his own graduate students, Sternberg has built on and attempted to synthesise earlier theories of human intelligence. Thus he has arrived at his ‘Triarchic theory of human intelligence’. This comprises three sub-theories. Sternberg terms these as analytical (or componential), creative (or experiential), and practical (or contextual). Properly measured, he believes intelligence correlates with success in life.

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(Curriculum Council, 1998:62)

This view of childhood held sway across centuries until relatively recent times. ‘The chief distinction between adult and child was that the child being smaller and weaker was worth less and so paid less than the adult in his prime’. (Hannam & Stephenson, 1987:133)

There is little doubt that the industrial revolution spawned © R. I . C.Pu bforl i at i o sof occupying children schools thec working class, asn a means whose parents worked in factories, with an undisguised intent impose on o thems acceptance thisn newl industrialised •f orr evi ew ptoNevertheless, u r p esofo y•world. this shift from schools that catered only for the

(Pinker, 199:362)

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Creativity and early childhood

Research, formal and informal, grew from such inadvertent beginnings. The evolution of understandings related to education, particularly from such giants as Dewey who affirmed, ‘that individuals begin their career as infants accelerated the process’.

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We have summarily surveyed literature related to creativity as a concept and located a number of notions and possibilities. Now, what you may well ask, about creativity in early childhood? The Western Australian Curriculum Council tells us that … ‘Young children are inherently creative and play is their natural way of learning in the arts. Many children bring to school considerable informal prior learning about the arts. Students are helped to use their natural inclinations to make believe, make marks and shape materials, move,

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‘The genius creates good ideas because we all create good ideas; that is what our combinatorial, adapted minds are for.’

privileged, or for those attached to the church, marked the beginning of another revolution—secular, and generally free education. And it also marked the acceptance of ‘childhood’ as a developmental stage.

(Dewey, 1922:64)

We now know that in early childhood competence for engagement with higher level thinking skills, including analysis, synthesis and evaluation, advances. Notwithstanding this, often the impulsive ways in which children perceive and imaginatively interpret the world astonish us. Do we then offer them support to: ‘find the means and the confidence to bring forth their

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ideas and offer them, day after day, to teachers, parents, and friends.’ (Edwards & Springate, 1995)

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variously called ‘overarching’, ‘essential’ or ‘affective’. Inevitably, the Arts learning area will argue that creativity is at the heart of its teaching and learning. For example, the Western Australian curriculum framework, identifying the four outcomes for Arts, from kindergarten to Year 12, recognises ‘creating original ideas’ in the first outcome, Arts Ideas. Here it states:

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The great beauty of early childhood learning is that it is significantly affective and largely not organised around distinct content areas. Gaining social competence is numbered here among priorities. Thus the ‘Overarching learning outcomes’, or ‘Essential learnings’ as they are designated in South Australia and the Northern Territory, acquire a significant profile. Music, as an art form, works well in this kind of climate. It may even explain why implementing music, as a content area, can be attended by a range of difficulties later in the curriculum, where content areas seem to vie for attention, rather than build on each other for support.

‘Students create art works that communicate ideas. They understand how the arts communicate ideas that are original, independent of others and unique to the individual. They make personal meaning and express their own ideas: for example, they might make a song or improvise a play about playground experiences; or a painting that communicates their ideas about pressures of competition and identity.’ (Curriculum Council, 1998:53)

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As early childhood educators we can support confidence and skills acquisition by encouraging children to communicate their ideas, concrete and imagined, without imposing our own. In a classroom where activities and learning happen via integrated experiences—as is the norm in early childhood— a range of learning vehicles will be available. Among these will be opportunities for creative input through, for example, language, dramatic play, music, movement and dance.

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Then, within the Overarching learning outcomes:

‘OLE10’ asserts that … ‘students participate in creative activity of their own and understand and engage with the artistic, cultural and intellectual work of others.’

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Content areas in Australian curriculum frameworks are Elsewhere, the document adds substance to this summary of

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‘Open-ended discussions and long-term activities bring together whole-language activities, science, social studies, dramatic play, and artistic creation.’

OLE10, with students relating,

‘cultural heritage to creative endeavours’ … ‘appreciating’ … ‘socially-significant achievements and creations’, [and having] the confidence and capacity to produce their own creative works.’ (Curriculum Council, 1998:25)

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cultural, social and intellectual constructs that might easily compromise a child’s view of the world, particularly that of a child from a less Western background. So, by integrating meaningful learning experiences across the curriculum we support children’s access to ‘big picture’ views of the world that we discussed earlier.

(Curriculum Council, 1998:19)

What is surprising is that, in the past, the scope of creative activity was disappointingly constrained in music education. Not that it didn’t happen but, as Joanna Glover bears out:

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A quick check of curriculum frameworks across Australia confirms the importance placed by educators on creativity in learning settings. Not only is it valued across intellectual learning areas, but it is given emphasis through many aspects of the more emotionally developmental learning outcomes,

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‘Composing is part of the mainstream music curriculum for many children yet children’s music does not receive the same attention as their art or creative writing. If we take creativity in music to equate with composing, the experiences of many if not most learners has been of “recreative” music-making with little, if any, compositional activity.’

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Of course the recreative process, where teachers and students take an existing musical work, analyse, rehearse and present it, does entail ‘creativity’. To be fair, the interpretation of the musical work of others may involve original input and thus be ‘creative’. In fact performance, the product, should be perceived as the completion of a creative process, engaging others beyond the original composer.

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Music and other key learning areas In the same paper I specified some key learning areas where music could offer potential support. Several are discussed here. Others contribute to cross-curricular support offered by the songs in both Creative musical experiences (5–7) and Creative musical experiences (8–10).

Finding one commonly acceptable meaning for music is far more difficult than would seem warranted—nay, impossible! This is most likely a consequence of music involving emotion and opinion, and being constructed in historical and cultural ways. Offer your definition and you will almost invariably find it conflicts with others. I suggest that rather than try to define music, we should ask what music does. I intend following that suggestion here.

Communication: These include recognising that both music and verbal literacy involve communication. Musical communications are largely abstract. Verbal literacy is largely concrete. Beyond its use as a vehicle for abstract affective communication, music actually appears to serve no evolutionary or biological purpose. Yet every society of humans has music. One suggestion is that it may have served the purpose of providing a proto language, perhaps when ancestral humans had yet to refine speech. Scruton, (1996:141) asks ‘What exactly is music, and why do we locate it in a space—however useless—of its own?’, and struggles to answer the question across a whole chapter of his book. Perhaps it is not important to define music, but rather ask what music does.

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Cognitive academic language proficiency: A second © R. I . C.Pu bl i cat i ons is in enhancing children’s cognitive academic language These include that music enhances cognitive skills and proficiency, in areas such as alphabetising. I include an f or ev i e wof palphabetising ur po s on l yexperiences • reasoning capacity,• increases verbalr and other aspects song ine mys Creative musical

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memory, improves concentration, improves self-expression, improves time management skills and supports underperforming students. There is increasing evidence too, that the act of sharing music making also releases happiness endorphins. In a paper I published earlier this decade, I said that,

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‘ … before we can begin educating children we must first get them to go happily, by their own choice, to school. If school is an enjoyable place where “happy” events play a significant role in the education process, then the probability is that children will want to take part in the education process.’ (Smith, 2000)

The ‘ABC Song’, is a partner song, where each verse is a traditional nursery rhyme, and the chorus, the alphabet. Given that the ‘register’ of spoken English is based in compound metre, practically all traditional English nursery rhymes travel on this metre, affirming the register. There are strong practical implications in this for ESL (English as a Second Language) learners.

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I must confess to some difficulty accepting, for example, a number of Campbell’s more extreme claims regarding the efficacy of the so-called ‘Mozart effect’. However, even given that the jury is out for a few, if we can accept the veracity of most of these claims, shouldn’t we be using this potent tool across all areas of learning?

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(ages 5–7) collection.

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‘There have been a number of claims made for the benefits of sharing music.’ (Campbell, 2000:1–5)

It is useful to remember too that the Western music scale capitalises on the first seven letters of the alphabet. Sharing music provides opportunities to work with and manipulate word lyrics, oral/aural and written language using music as a support. Cloze: Classroom music making provides many opportunities for cloze exercises, where a word or words are excluded from a sentence. The ninth song in Creative musical experiences (ages 8–10), ‘Touch your toes’, is a perfect vehicle for this

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process. There are also outcomes for music learning. When children leave out words or whole phrases as they sing they are encouraged to maintain a rhythm, where musical silence is termed rest.

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There are echo and call-and-response songs across both collections, including in the first book (ages 5–7), ‘Cane toad’ and ‘The counting Song’ and, in Creative musical experiences (ages 8–10), ‘The mathematical dance’, ‘Days of the week’ and ‘Touch your toes’. ‘What do you do on Mondays’ and ‘Who’s that singin’?’ are call-andresponse songs, also valuable in providing opportunities for children to respond in English.

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Categories, lists, hyponymic hierarchies and so on: This refers to using music as a support to learning about groups, lists etc. In the two collections of songs, I’ve included two songs about the days of the weeks—one about months of the year and, among others, a song identifying the sequence of the colours of the rainbow. Modelling the sounds of English in action: Echo songs comprise a significant component of songs in early childhood in westernised schools because they often model effective English pronunciation to small children. This makes them an obvious and powerful tool for introducing foreign language or English students to new words and unfamiliar language sequences.

This might take place, for example, through the role modelling provided by an English first language teacher presenting the ‘call’ to which students then echo their ‘responses’. If learning the lyrics of songs orally is followed by written presentation of those lyrics and related comprehension exercises, students’ vocabulary will often increase considerably.

Genres: Genres are depicted as social processes that describe, explain, instruct, argue and narrate. There are songs to match most, if not all, of the processes described above and the genres which each generates. For example ‘The mathematical dance’ uses procedural text and ‘The bear’s tale’, narrative.

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Chants: It is probable that we have all employed chants to learn, teach and, most critically, to remember tables applying to various physiological realities about short- and long-term memory through rhythm. There are songs in this collection that support this kind of learning, including the ‘Counting song’, the ‘Months of the year’, ‘Roy G Biv’, and ‘Red Riding Hood’.

Introductory lesson

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Practical classroom composition in early childhood

Background

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I’ve alluded elsewhere to my concern that we seem unable to treat early childhood music education in the same creative way we do visual arts. Picture a typical preschool art session. Children are encouraged to work in quite elementary ways, experimenting with brush stroke, line, colour and placement. They are not constrained by rules about how we should paint a picture; rather the empathetic teacher often allows free rein. So why aren’t we able to apply corresponding approaches to working with sound in early music contexts? How is it that the only music many very young children engage with is the music of others? Children are not expected to apply the

‘rules’ (if there really are any) that make for ‘good’ visual art. Why then expect them to apply rules for early attempts at composition? Given their own space, many very young children are already experimenting with sound and simple musical works of their own.

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Because, at the end of the day, it seems that we adults are often the obstacles that get in the way of children’s musical creativity, the intention of the activities suggested here is to encourage teachers to feel comfortable sharing creative musical experiences with small children.

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Focus In supportive settings children demonstrate the capacity to manipulate sound in creative and musical ways.

Consider

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It is not necessary, initially at least, to consider melody, regular metric rhythm or form as essentials in the construction of a piece of music. Without these concepts constraining approaches, we can look at a number of strategies for encouraging young children to create their own music. • Offer every opportunity for children to sing their own words to their own made-up tunes. • Offer positive reinforcement and little criticism, constructive or otherwise. • Set up a ‘sound maker’ box in the corner of your classroom. Encourage children to play with sound-makers at specific times. Remember the difference between noise and sound is a construct based on a similar principle to the difference between a weed and a garden plant; that a weed is a plant growing where it is not wanted. Noise has the potential to be musical sound, but only when it is ‘growing’ where it is wanted.

• In discussion about other activities consider creating random word lists on the board or on newsprint/butcher’s paper. Give words to individual children to ‘own’ and then chant your own words in your own temporal space.

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‘music’ as a pleasingly assembled collage might be visual art. If you’re working with a theme elsewhere, consider the sound possibilities provided by that theme as other ‘soundscapes’.

• Sing and work with ‘Tell me your story’ elsewhere in this book. Make the telling of a story through the song a cumulative experience.

You’re educating children to be successful adults. Think outside the square. Look for parallels in music to the activities you are comfortable running as visual art or drama. You don’t have to be a musician, you just have to enjoy working in creative ways.

© R. I . C.Pu bl i cat i ons Analyse would you consider successful outcomes to these and •f orr evi ew pWhat ur po es oway? nl y• other activities yous develop in this

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• Encourage children to ‘sing’ their stories. This could start with them making up simple two sentence stories and after reciting them, singing them. The more this happens, the easier and more natural it becomes.

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• Talk about settings where sound is an obvious feature. For example, in the Northern Territory, powerful lightning and thunderstorms are a regular and compelling soundscape during our wet season. In early childhood classes we discuss the sounds of a storm—and the sequence of their appearance. Children imitate those sounds. Approaches vary but commonly they work with a sound in smaller groups; e.g. thunder, wind, rain or lightning. Then we assemble their sound picture of a storm. This is as much

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Reflect • What might both you and the children gain from taking part in these kinds of activities? • Are you feeling just a little more comfortable with the idea that music need not be conventionally ‘musical’? • Did the children enjoy the activities? • Was any particular one a favourite?

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• Encourage children to sing their own responses to your chanted greetings.

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Creative activities in performing and visual arts; e.g. opportunities for free creating experiences such as role-plays, painting, collage.

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Suggestions for introducing the songs and other music 2. Play the recording at least once more. I often invite the children to begin singing along with the recording when they think they have an idea how the words match the tune.

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The text accompanying each piece of music offers some ideas about how the skills and understandings related to that music could be introduced. If the directions seem deliberately vague this is because it is my hope is that you, as teacher, will feel free to work creatively with the offerings.

3. If you are comfortable with the metre (rhythmic grouping) of the beats in the song, you could encourage children to share clapping to the beat as they begin to sing. 4. At this point you could check that children have heard and understood the words of the song. We all know of those famous examples of misheard lyrics (‘our home is Gert-by-Sea’ and so on!). The often-used convention of reading the lyrics aloud line-by-line and having children repeat each line, is always a safe and effective procedure.

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There are twenty musical items in the book. Most are songs and most of the songs are for your children to sing. Where there are exceptions this is explained in the text that accompanies each piece of music. At least two pieces of music are intended to encourage ‘free’ improvised dance interpretations. Every piece of music has a musical score with the melody lines, lyrics and accompaniments written in musical staff notation. It is not an essential skill that you as teacher need to be able to read this musical notation. However, if you are keen to learn you might be interested in taking a look at the ‘Accelerated music literacy’ approach located elsewhere in the book. Feedback is welcomed.

5. Initially you could choose to continue singing with the vocal version of the song until you believe your children are comfortable with the tune and words.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons 6. I would encourage you to use the version that has only as soon as possible. This gives •f orr evi ew pur ptheyour oaccompaniment s e s o nl y • class increased ownership of the words and music,

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The audio CD that comes with this book provides two versions of each of the songs. The first offers an accompaniment and the second the accompaniment together with a singer or singers.

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While there is no single obligatory strategy for approaching these songs, mine would probably be to proceed as follows. (Notice that I resist introducing children to written lyrics on the board or a chart. If children learn the words of a song orally—that is by listening to a singer perform them, there is a much greater probability that they will do so quickly—and as an added bonus, retain them in long-term memory.)

without an adult voice subjugating theirs. It also means that their own creative approaches—discussed in the introductory notes—will come into play, making appropriate changes to words and music.

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Where there is an obvious relationship between the music and another Key Learning Area this is highlighted. Hopefully you will be able to see more such relationships. Although there is loose developmental process running song by song in the book, it is not essential to work through from the front to the back. My recommendation is to choose the songs you like first.

7. Of course, if you have a pianist available, DO work with the piano scores provided. 8. I’ve included some rounds, cumulative songs and other novelties. Consider leaving these until you feel comfortable with the more conventional unison songs.

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1. Introduce a selected song by playing the recording that has a sung vocal part. I usually do so without comment, and without inviting comment. This avoids challenges about whether children want to learn the song or not.

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9. If you already have a tried and tested approach to teaching music, please continue to use it. If it works for you that’s fine.

10. Most importantly don’t let your fear that your approach might be different or that you consider yourself a novice get in the way. If you enjoy yourself so will your children!

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2

Butterfly I set the fairly simple melody of this first song to what I thought might prove an evocative harmonisation. I then wrote the first verse as a ‘template’ for future creative activity. Together with early childhood teachers, we used it to begin generating creative verse by children in their schools. We sat around informally in a circle, listened to the opening verse and, with a very little prompting, the children invented the others. In such simple ways the project got underway.

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Background

Intentions

Analyse

One intention of this song is to demonstrate the first of a variety of ways in which children in early childhood can be supported creatively through music. Another is to provide an accompaniment that provides a small challenge as it enhances the accompanying children’s lyrics.

What do children need to consider when they prepare to add their own lyrics? What is essential to learning for children to be able to sing the melody line against the strong ostinato?

© R. I . C.Pu bl i cat i ons Reflect Did children enjoy learning this song? What did they •f orr evi ew p ur posesonl y• most enjoy about it? Would they like to sing it again?

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Invite children to add their own verses to the originals provided with the support of the other children. Can they meet the challenge of singing the melody line against the flute part?

Consider

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The melody line of this piece is in itself relatively simple, comprising a rise and fall of only three pitches (‘doh’, ‘re’ and ‘mi’). It should not challenge children with the capacity to interpret and render the tune. However, the additions of the ostinato above this melody line can be expected to challenge children to maintain the original melody without being distracted by the ostinato line.

CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES

Other key learning areas Language and literacy: Talk about the various descriptive words as adjectives and the action words or verbs that support the lyrics of the song.

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Focus

Science: Discuss the butterfly as an insect, and talk about its metamorphosis from caterpillar through chrysalis to full grown butterfly. Talk about the butterfly as a member of the animal kingdom and relate it to other animals. For example, what other animals can fly? What animals start in one form and evolve to another?

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1. Butterfly

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Cane toad This was among the first songs in which children gave input to verses and music, hence the relative simplicity of the melody line. As we write, the cane toad advances from the Queensland border, through Arnhem Land and into Darwin. My first experience of cane toads was in Fiji in the 1970s. Seeing the toads’ dried carcasses squashed flat on the King’s Road out of Suva reminded our children of the risks of walking too near the highway!

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Background

Intentions

Analyse

The metre of the existing song is deliberately simple to encourage children’s engagement. This also provides opportunities for developing strategies to help them feel the beat and also to introduce the concept of rhyming words to and in poetry.

Focus

Children’s understanding of the way simple verse works ought to be coupled with the regular experience of reciting and enjoying much existing and appropriate verse. Working with effective existing verse should negate the need for extensive and boring explanation! In other words, doing is preferable to theorising!

create rhyming couplets is encouraged.

have they learned?

Consider

Other key learning areas

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Sing the ‘Cane toad’ song and repeat it until children are comfortable with the tune and the echoes and are beginning to comprehend the idea of the slightly nonsensical nature of the lyrics. Invite children in the class to nominate another familiar animal to share the creation of other verses for the song.

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© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons The focus for verse creation is on ideas and objects Reflect within the children’s immediate experience. Playing with p • f o r r e v i e w u r posesonl y• the sounds of vowel combinations and word ends to What did children enjoy about this activity? What

Language and literacy: The lyrics introduce compound words, that ‘y’ on the end of a word says ‘e’, exclamations

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Science: The lyrics suggest environmental issues related to natural history and science. These could relate to the notion of the cane toad as a pest. Many Australian towns depend on dams to provide water. Discuss the dam in which the horse might be swimming.

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2. Cane toad

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ABC song This offering was an early result of children interacting with ideas relating to matching a common melody to familiar nursery rhymes. Singing the alphabet to a similar tune is not a new idea. All works out because a common rhythmic theme, based on the rhythmic register of English, drives the way nursery verses scan.

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Background

Intentions

Analyse

The intention here is first to provide an opportunity for children to learn the alphabet by singing it repetitively. Music and action support memorising of sequences such as the alphabet.

The tune of the verse and of the chorus is almost identical. You may even discover that some of your children recognise this fact. Invite your children to identify other traditional nursery rhymes. The probability is that if they are genuinely traditional the lyrics will fit this tune.

© R. I . C.Pu bl i cat i ons Reflect How many nursery rhymes were you and the class able •f orr evi ew p ur posesonl y• to recall? Did all match the rhythm of the verse? How well

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There may be several focuses here, but the most obvious is the way each new nursery rhyme contrasts with the repetition of the ABC chorus, providing an informal introduction to the notice of unity and balance in music— tension versus release, repetition versus contrast. Even children in their early years are bound to have an informal understanding of this concept.

Consider

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A premise guiding the matching of traditional lyrics and the alphabet to a song based on triplet rhythm patterns is that this particular metre closely matches the rhythmic register of the English language. One exception is ‘Old King Cole’, when sung in simple time. Try inserting a verse of it to be sung against this song. It is an informative experience—at least to adults. Try it yourself with the class. Can you detect the difference?

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do children remember the sequence of the alphabet?

Other key learning areas

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Focus

Language and literacy: The lyrics use capital letters for names, and letter names providing an informal early introduction to punctuation. At the same time, singing each verse to a known nursery rhyme offers an opportunity for children to be reminded of the traditional nursery rhymes. Each are a significant part of English language heritage and tradition.

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Choose a nursery rhyme to discuss. Who does the rhyme describe? What happens in the rhyme? What lessons might the rhyme be sharing? Work orally to try changing it from a rhyme to a short prose story.

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Counting song

Background

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Here is a cumulative counting echo song. I suggest you share singing the first verse several times to encourage your children to join in with the words and music. In this way, the tune and words should start to become familiar. When children appear comfortable with the first verse, conventionally counting by ones to ten, you could attempt to sing the song, counting backwards from ten. Finally, once you’re all confident about performing the first two verses you might try singing again, this time counting cumulatively by two’s to twenty. This will involve fitting two or even more syllables into single beats—of course considerably more challenging than the other verses.

Intentions

Reflect

This song provides a series of simple calls and responses (echo singing) to support learning how to count singly in reverse and in twos and threes.

Which verses were most difficult to sing? Which verses were most difficult to indicate numbers, using fingers and hands? Do children appear to have a conceptual understanding of syllables?

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Focus •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Key learning areas

Consider

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Look at the syllabic construction of words as the song proceeds.

Analyse

Numeracy: Classes we worked with attempted to count in fours and even to reverse counting in twos. However, we all found it rather too confusing; largely because the words become too syllabically complex beyond those numbers. Initially the song could be sung at a moderate speed, increasing as children became more competent and comfortable about singing and counting at speed. While it may increase the difficulty of performance, it is worth challenging students to indicate each number with fingers (and for larger numbers beyond ten, with whole hands) as they sing.

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The primary focus could be on echoing in the correct sequence and articulating each new number accurately. There is no reason why a little expression couldn’t be added—for example, singing softly at the beginning of a verse and increasing the dynamics as the song proceeds.

How many students were able to match the numbers of their fingers and whole hands with the numbers as they sang?

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Language and literacy: The song supports oral language acquisition and memory retention by physical movement, with fingers extended for numbers. Syllables: Which number words have one syllable only? Which have two? Where are there number words with three syllables? Can you find a number word comprising four syllables?

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4. Counting song

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I’m a Frill-necked lizard

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Background

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This is not a particularly original idea, working as it does with a rising and falling major scale. However, it does provide a novel approach to encouraging children to recognise rising and falling pitch and to respond appropriately. That a frill-necked lizard is involved ought to heighten the enjoyment of participation.

Intentions

Analyse

The ‘I’m a Frill-necked lizard’ song moves around a rising and descending major scale. Consequently, the song is both entertaining and gives children exposure to rising and falling pitches.

The effectiveness of working with and experiencing this song ought to culminate in the children’s increased awareness and recognition of stepwise movement of pitch in a predictable manner in a melody line. While this one involves a direct movement up and down, it could lead to the investigation of other songs where pitch movement is more subtle but nevertheless identifiable, such as in the ‘Counting song’, or the ‘Kite song’ elsewhere in this collection.

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Focus

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The focus here is on rising and falling melody profiles and experiential (singing and moving) responses to these.

Consider

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Reflect

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This is both learning in and learning about music, a notion I believe we espouse across education settings and learning areas. More attention could be given to verbs (action or doing) words.

How quickly and accurately do the children recognise rising and falling pitch? How appropriately do they respond physically (both musically and through movement) to changes in pitch?

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The experience ought to be a physical affair rather than simply singing the song. Once children are familiar with both words and music, they might begin the song from a crouched position, rising as the song rises until they stand on tiptoe at the top. The song’s musical descent is rapid. So should be their physical descent!

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Key learning areas

Science and technology: Frill-necked lizards are large dragons. The frills are only displayed when the lizard is threatened. The rods in the frills connect with bones in the frill-neck’s jaws, so the wider it opens its mouth the more the frills are displayed.

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5. I’m a Frill-necked lizard

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Ickle, wickle

Intentions

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Enjoy these, as I believe your children will—for no greater reason than that they should invoke creatively imaginative interpretations. Do encourage your children to add their own verses to this and the others.

Focus

Reflect

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Language and literacy: The lyrics capitalise on short vowel sounds and syllabification. Help children in your class to recognise these sounds and syllables as you sing the song together. Where else did we discuss syllables? Studies of society and environment: You might use this as another opportunity to consider the concept of one’s immediate family.

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Patience is an essential item in working with children to create new lyrics. They may need considerable support and guidance. Match the first line of existing lyrics with text that scans identically. Then talk about words that rhyme at the end of lines. Even if your children contribute to the first few lines and you work with them to add rhyming couplets, you have made huge progress. This ought to be fun. Engage with the activity in instalments, if necessary, and no matter how tremulous or off tune you

CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES

Other key learning areas

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Enjoy Ros’ creative and slightly wicked whimsy as the spider crawls up baby’s nose. This might set the tone for the addition of other verses, remaining cautious to maintain the naughtiness without the intention being mean or cruel.

Analyse

believe your own voice to be—be brave! The children will only notice if you draw attention to yourself. I know … we’re all inclined to put our own voices down. How can you convince yourself that it’s NOT an issue? This will matter enormously as your engagement with this song collection proceeds.

Did you and the children enjoy taking part in this activity? © R. I . C.Pu l i ca i o s your own lyrics? Howb successful weret you all n in inventing Does your level of success really matter? Engaging with •f orr evi ew p u r piso esoproduct nl y the activity thes process—the is a • bonus!

Focus on using a simple existing set of lyrics and music to encourage the creation of new oral text for lyrics.

Consider

This is one of several whimsically exuberant ditties Ros Burrows was inspired to write in support of a range of learning activities within her classroom. Some indicate what she intends the children to do, such as ‘Standing up on your toes’; others are left to the imagination of you and your class. I’ve attempted to match music with the intentions of the lyrics.

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Background

We already have baby. What about the rest of the family; brother, sister, mother, father? Then look further out in the series of circles that establish family relationships; grandmother (we already have a song about granny’s shopping trolley), grandfather, aunt, uncle, cousin etc.

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6. Ickle, wickle

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7

Wickety, wackety Background

Intentions

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This song invites additional verses from your children’s discussions and interpretations of the existing ones.

Focus

What new lyrics could be added which would complement the tone, style and intention of existing verses?

Once a collection of potential opening lines is established, intelligible second, third and fourth lines can be created. My approach is to accept as much as possible of what children produce themselves. Of course it will be ‘childish’, but that is its beauty. If necessary, ideas can be reworked so that every child’s intentions remain the essence of each new verse.

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This is set to another of Ros Burrows’s delightful ditties.

Reflect

© R. I . C.Pu l i cgeneral at i on Whatb was the level of s engagement of children The evolution of new verses for the song is bound to with this activity? Was the process effectively carried the comfort and• security ther existing verses. through? How much dos children enjoy their products? f oinr e vi ewBy p ur p o se on l y • singing these a number of times across several sessions

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children should become informally aware of the sense of the words (or seeming lack of it in the ‘scat’ nonsense at the beginning of each verse). They will also begin to comprehend the way in which each line scans, and the deliberate rhyming of a nonsense word at the end of the first line to rhyme with the last word of the next.

Analyse

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Key learning areas

Language and literacy: Notice the use throughout the lyrics of short vowel sounds. There is the use also of positioned language: in-out, antonyms; in-out, letter patterns and sounds ‘ea’, which says … ‘ee’. If you think the children in your class are ready to talk about any of these concepts, this song might usefully introduce them.

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Consider

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Learn, rehearse and perform the song a number of times before beginning to work on the addition of new verses. Then perhaps for the first related activity, children could enjoy the nonsense of the opening lines of existing verses. From here they might make up their own.

Studies of society and environment: There is another opportunity here to continue discussing families and relationships within them. Which members of a family are named here?

Record their efforts, no matter how appropriate to the final intention of new verses. Recording might take the form of repeating them orally a number of times, printing them on a board, or even using audio recording. (In this regard, I like working with digital recordings, either directly to a computer, or using a small digital recorder. The advantage here is that these can be saved as ‘.wav’ files and manipulated in a computer.) CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES

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7. Wickety, wackety

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Granny’s shopping trolley

Intentions

Background Here is another song based on Ros Burrows’s delightful lyrics.

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Among the intended outcomes of working with this song is the ongoing opportunities provided for creating new verses. The existing verse evokes for me some wonderful visual imagery. The song provides an opportunity for integrating a music and performing arts activity with a visual arts activity. Note the descriptors, and the opportunity to survey technology in the wheel. (Shopping trolleys are the most widely used four-wheel vehicles propelled by humans globally!)

Children might come up with their own creative ideas about how to make lips, hair and other facial features. Here’s where scrap materials and other discarded items could come into play.

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Later the song could be performed with the visual art as a part of acting it out as it’s sung.

Reflect

Haveb youl recorded ini any form (documentation, digital © R. I . C.Pu i c a t o n s audio and visual recording, performance) children’s participation in the processes of creating new verses, •f orr evi ew p ur posesonl y• and engaging with music as an integrated part of another

What do I imagine when I sing this song?

Other key learning areas

Consider

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Check previous song notes for ideas about creating new lyrics for the existing song. Consider encouraging children to interpret what they sing and hear visually.

Analyse

arts activity?

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Science and technology: Talk about shopping trolleys! What do they have to help them move along? Can they move on their own? What do they usually carry? What are they made from? Are they designed to go on the road? Why? Why not? If you think it appropriate, you might raise safety issues relating to the use of shopping trolleys.

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It is entirely up to you and your students as to what form of visual art this takes, but suggestions include magazine cut-out collages, finger painting and other forms of two-dimensional art forms. It may even lend itself to interpretation as simple three-dimensional work. For example, balloons could be inflated and tied, then covered with papier maché to create grandmother heads.

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Focus

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8. Granny’s shopping trolley

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Tit for tat

9

Here is another song whose melody provides support for new lyrics created by children. Refer to previous songs for ideas about encouraging this activity.

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To add interest the second verse rises by half a tone. Perhaps some of your children will recognise this change in pitch. If so, invite them to raise their hands when they hear the change.

The metre that directs the rhythm of this song is also worth noting. It is written in 6/8 time, or in the technical language of music, ‘compound duple’. 6/8 time is often employed where faster bouncy dancing is intended. Elsewhere in the ‘ABC song’, I suggest that this metre fits the natural register of the English language. Consequently it ought to suit activities where children work with English words as lyrics.

simple time sub-beats

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Intentions

Background

compound time sub-beats

Reflect

Did children enjoy performing the song? How enthusiastically did they move to the music? Do you, as a teacher, comprehend the difference between simple and compound duple or ‘two-beat’ time?

Other key learning © R. I . C.Pu bl i ca t i onareas s Language and literacy: There is a wealth of opportunities to survey a number of language concepts •f orr evi ew p ur po sand on l y •sounds, here—the use s ofe short long vowel

When does the music move a little higher?

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Consider

Because of its metre and rhythm, singing the song calls also for movement, probably in the form of a ‘bouncy’ dance. Encourage children to move to the song as they sing. The more freely they are able to do so the more effective the experience as a learning one.

Analyse

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Compare the metre of this song with others that are similar (e.g. the ‘ABC song’, ‘White ant’ and ‘Wickety wackety’, and with others such as ‘Granny’s shopping trolley’—whose metre is also ‘duple’ but ‘simple’ rather than ‘compound’. For your benefit as teacher, ‘simple’ metre means the smaller beats that make up the main beats are in pairs, while compound metre indicates that smaller beats are in triplets. The perceived difference is probably best depicted as a smoother more even beat in simple time and the impression of galloping horses in compound time.

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introducing pronouns, rhyming letter patterns, word families tea, bee, me, tree, and more adjectives! Science and technology: What do we know about bees? Perhaps some of your children are informed sufficiently to recognise that the bee is an insect. How do we know? What do bees have to protect themselves? Are children aware that a bee dies after it uses its sting? What food do we normally associate bees with? Why do bees make honey? What do they make it from? Why might they sting somebody trying to get their honey? Studies of society and environment: Bees live in big families. What are the names of the members of the family? (Queen, workers—female—and drones. Then there are eggs and larvae, and pupae—while these words are complex, it is probably reasonable for children to at least hear them for future reference.)

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9. Tit for tat

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Other key learning areas

Science and technology: Talk about animals. © R. I . C.Pu bl i cat i ons Remember ‘animals’ denotes a ‘kingdom’ contrasted with that of the ‘plants’ (some scientists classify ‘fungi’ and the •f orr evi ew p u os e so nl yThus, •animals like asr ap separate and discrete kingdom).

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This song is included as one simply to be sung and enjoyed. If you are studying native wildlife in Australia, it might be employed as one of your resources. Like all other music offered in this collection it is open to additional verses created by children in your class! The song’s theme relates to natural history, particularly to Australian animals. Another opportunity is offered to survey verbs.

Focus

Which animals are mentioned in the existing verses? What native Australian animals have been missed that you would like to include?

Consider

Back in the early 90s, New Zealander Kelly Tarlton, whose genius converted old wharves in Auckland Harbour to a wonderful sea-aquarium, was commissioned by the Northern Territory government to establish wildlife parks for the Top End and the Red Centre. Today, a number of years after his passing, both parks attract visitors from all over the world. Their great quality is that they enable these visitors to get firsthand experience of animals in their natural habitat. Schools are encouraged to take part in a range of educational activities run by the parks. While this song was more influenced by visits to the northern park, it might just as easily apply to the Desert Park in Alice Springs.

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includes insects, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. I make this distinction out of a concern that children learn early that mammals are animals, but animals are not necessary only mammals!

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Intentions

Background

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Let’s go out to the wildlife park

While it is not necessary to share this with children in any great detail, it is helpful for them to share a listing (oral or otherwise) of at least some of the categories of animals. (For your benefit only—the correct categories are— Kingdom (plants, animals, fungi), Phyla (vertebrates, invertebrates etc.), Class (reptiles, fish, birds, mammals etc.), Order (e.g. primates), Family (e.g. hominidae), Genus (homo), Species (sapiens).

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Consider encouraging children to add their own verses. Consider also using the song as a means of launching discussion about other native Australian animals.

Analyse Talk about the sounds that Australian animals make.

Reflect

I believe it is useful for children in early childhood to be aware of ‘kingdoms’ and the ‘classes’. Language and literacy: Look for action words (verbs). What are the animals doing?

Did the children engage in discussion about Australian animals?

CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES

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10. Let’s go out to the wildlife park

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This song began life as an activity in the Boys’ business program where the concept worked really well, particularly in encouraging boys to engage in conversation and use oral language and communication comfortably. However while encapsulating the concept the song itself was probably a little too junior for a number of the older middle years boys involved in the program. We kept the text but removed the music.

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Intentions

The song is intended to stimulate children to share stories about anything, including themselves. It ought to increase their confidence in shared communication.

Focus

Background

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Tell us your story

additions to the story? If you have a class where inappropriate insertions seem likely, you may need to establish a censor’s rule, such as ‘G’ ratings for inputs! Of course you don’t need to go down that pathway unless you consider it necessary!

Reflect © R. I . C.Pu bl i cat i ons What were the responses of the class as a whole and as individuals inventing and sharing the stories •f orr evi ew p ur ptoo ses onstages l yof• told? What were the highlights of the session?

Do you enjoy sharing stories? Do you enjoy making up stories?

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Sing this song to start the activity. Then invite a child to begin a story about anything that takes his or her fancy, with a single sentence. This might start, for example as ‘Once, in the Never Never’. Either choose a child or invite a volunteer to pick up the story. He or she will have time to plan a new sentence while we sing the tune again. This sets the pattern for the game. After each child adds a sentence the next child is selected and given time to plan an addition as we sing the song again; hence its simplicity.

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Analyse

Other key learning areas Language and literacy: Working with this sung storytelling in affirming settings ought to increase your children’s confidence in unrehearsed storytelling. The concept of second person figures throughout. Genres include recount and narrative. The activity encourages sequencing of ideas and the use of time-ordered conjunctions.

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Consider

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Which children seem most involved with this activity? Why might they engage with it more effectively than others might? What surprised you about their additions to the stories? How did you address inappropriate

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11. Tell us your story

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Bunny hop

Intentions

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Other key learning areas

The music is provided to stimulate physical interpretation in simple dance. If the music suggests a bunny story by all means pursue it. If children hear something else, invite them to mention this and let them interpret the music in movement.

Invite children to move to the music.

Analyse

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Consider integrating the music and dance with other arts opportunities. One effective outcome of this activity might be a shared oral script, which could, later, become a written one—perhaps even a class big book!

Reflect

If appropriate, develop this using movement examples created by children to match each new idea. Choreograph their story interpretation and begin rehearsing the story in dance to the existing music. Practise and present!

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew p ur posesonl y• Who might provide an appreciative and affirming

What do you hear? How will you move to the music?

Consider

Dance: Play the music and invite children to move to it, without discussion. Then sit down together in a circle on the floor and encourage them to explain what they were doing. Do any of their interpretations suggest the beginnings of a storyline?

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audience? Older students from an empathetic classroom (this is important—children do not need to be ‘put down’ at this age—it may easily have damaging ramifications), senior staff, the principal, parents?

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Focus

I had one of those little tunes hanging about, waiting for a place to be. I wrote ‘Bunny hop’ many years ago. I’ve reworked the idea as a small item for children to interpret in dance and movement. Perhaps it could have words but I think it works well enough in an edgy kind of way to be an agitated bunny’s theme music.

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Background

Science and technology: Encourage the children to discuss what they know about rabbits. This might include rabbits as pets, as pests, as food, as a part of Easter or as characters in stories and cartoons. How do rabbits move? Where do rabbits live? What do they usually eat?

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How well did children engage with the activities? Who appeared most to enjoy interpreting the dance as a story? What made it work? What, if anything, got in the way?

CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES

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Intentions

Background After an exciting session the previous day, several children arrived with lyrics prepared at home. I thought one boy’s lyrics so inspired that I immediately set them to music. Then a colleague told me these lyrics already existed as copyright material elsewhere. What this suggests to me is how inspired and enthused children can be by something they already recognise. A little work and we have come up with new lyrics to fit the same tune. Matching words to music was a most enjoyable activity. I found working with the idea irresistible. Edna Echidna is very much alive, well and rocking—or at least rolling— in the aisles.

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The intention here is to begin children’s appreciation of the fact that the elements and characteristics of music can be used to evoke or depict animals and objects. A second intention is to demonstrate that children, supported by adult affirmation, can invent and manipulate original text into lyrics. Cross-curricular inputs may include adjectives interpreted musically, plays-on-words etc. This is an example of process leading to product (child lyrics).

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Edna Echidna

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew p ur posesonl y• Reflect

What does an echidna look like? To what class of animals does it belong? How does it move? To what sort of music would a goanna move?

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Consider

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Because this music is intended to depict a waddling echidna it is appropriate that children demonstrate what it might look like as it moves. As they become more confident with the song they might add movement as they sing.

Analyse

Other key learning areas

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What are the attributes of music that help depict an echidna moving? What other animal might also move to this song?

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Did the children enjoy taking part in the learning and performance of the song? Did they identify characteristics of the music and of an echidna moving that were similar? What other animals did they identify as moving in similar ways?

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Focus

Science and technology: As egg-laying animals, Echidnas are one of only two members of a branch of mammals. The other is the platypus. Echidnas are notable for their spikes. Their movement is usually quite ponderous because they spend much time searching for food. However, if they choose they can move very quickly. When might they do this? What keeps popping out of its mouth as the echidna moves? Why?

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13. Edna Echidna

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White ant

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Intentions

This is another of the songs with simple melody lines—if somewhat more intricate accompaniments— designed to encourage children to learn the tunes and to add their own lyrics or change existing lyrics. Note too the metre is again 6/8, the metre which appears to support the English language rhythm register. The song raises environmental issues, and identifies objects and activities in the immediate environment.

pitch range of five steps. Compare this with other songs in the collection: ‘Frill-necked lizard’ moves up eight ‘stepwise’ intervals and then down again through the same steps. This is the progression termed in music as a scale and moves from one pitch to its related pitch an octave (eight steps) away. Children do not need to understand the theory—it is sufficient they are able to implement movement in ‘steps and skips’.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew p ur posesonl y• Reflect

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Notice that each verse begins with a repeated ‘White ant’ providing a kind of repetitive hook to hang the other words on. In a sense, every verse first addresses the white ant, in a kind of one-way monologue. This ought to play a significant part in the evolution of other verses. What do the children want the white ant to do? Sometimes it is invited to join the children, elsewhere it is reprimanded for damaging their school buildings. What other statements could be directed to the white ant?

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Analyse

Other key learning areas

Society and environment: White ants or termites pose a real threat to wooden buildings in many parts of Australia. Why is this? What can be done to help make their activities less of a threat? In fact, termites are not members of the ant family at all but members of a much more ancient insect family of which cockroaches are also members.

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Share with the children an examination of ways in which the melody line of the song moves. The first little ascending ‘jumps’ (of a minor third) could be called ‘skips’, contrasted with the melody movement in the second, third and fourth measures of sung music, where the music moves in ‘steps’ (intervals of a second). Early childhood students ought to be able to distinguish between the two. In fact, this song has a very narrow

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Did this exercise stimulate the creation of more verses? What did children discover that they did not already know about termites? Do children have an increased awareness of musical pitch movement in steps and skips?

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Consider

One primary class identified a termite problem within their school. At some time in the future this will mean some serious structural work across some classrooms. However, the situation gave the teacher an appropriate opportunity to focus on termites or white ants as a theme across a range of learning areas and activities. One of these was writing lyrics for a song about white ants. Here are a few of the verses the children wrote.

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Background

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The little star When we asked children to think about stories for songs, one little girl recited the words of this wonderfully evocative and romantic piece where a sad little star can’t find the moon. For me it called out for an association with the traditional ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star’ which everybody from Mozart to Mahler has also borrowed from. I can’t help but think that the nursery rhyme supports the words and new melody so well. It makes me tearful just to sing it!

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Background

Intentions

Reflect

Learning the tune against the contrasted nursery rhyme requires quite competent listening because there are, in fact, two quite separate but related melodies operating against yet with each other. The intention here is to begin to enhance each child’s capacity to listen in the music rather than simply on top of it.

Are the children able to sing each song separately with confidence? Can they then sing the new over the old? Did they enjoy the activity?

necessary. Have children sing the traditional ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star’. Then learn the melody of ‘The Little star’ separately. As confidence increases, add the Twinkle accompaniment.

astronomical bodies. Even as adults, it is difficult for us to conceive of the vastness of the universe, so it is probably unreasonable to expect small children to have more than a first inkling of what might be involved in terms of distance and time. Nevertheless, they could be made aware of the stars, of the relationship between our sun—one of these stars—the other planets in our solar system, our moon (a natural satellite), ‘shooting stars’ or asteroids and any others that might be relevant.

Other key learning areas

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Consider

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Introduce the song-story first, encouraging children to elaborate on it and even come up with an additional verse if the moment suggests it. The original was quite spontaneous and I suggest new lyrics might also happen that way

Analyse

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Science and technology: Astronomy is the area © R. I . C.Pu bl i ca t i ons of science concerned with the study of the universe Focus inu which theo Earth is but theo tiniest part. Discuss with • f o r r e v i e w p r p s e s n l y • Listen to and re-create each of the two tunes separately, if your class the many different bodies and collections of

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The new tune should complement the traditional. Knowing one may initially impact on the capacity to learn the other. This is an effective musical multi-tasking activity—it ought to get the corpus callosum really humming!

CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES

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The dinosaur

Intentions

It would seem reasonable to suggest that dinosaurs are both very familiar and extremely alien creatures in the world of children. They are able at the tiniest prompting of their imagination to release animals rendered extinct some sixty-five million years ago, right into your backyard. But now we’re told one branch of the family isn’t extinct at all. They still fly daily into our backyards. What could they possibly be?

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Reflect

A primary intention here is to encourage students to add to or even modify the existing verse. What else might a protective dinosaur offer? A second intention is to encourage students to consider what characteristics, such as dynamics and tempo, might be most appropriate for a song about a dinosaur. The song also provides an opportunity to develop a dinosaur theme. Creative and imaginary play should follow through dramatisation of a story about the dinosaur in my backyard!

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Background

What did children enjoy most about the experiences provided in performing this song and in changing tempo and dynamics?

Other key learning areas

Science and technology: Just as the vastness of the universe challenges even adults’ brains, so the notion that for a very long time dinosaurs and their relatives ruled the Earth is one small children will probably find difficult to conceive. Nevertheless, they are usually enthusiastic and surprisingly well informed about dinosaurs. One widely held belief is that birds are the only surviving strand of the dinosaur family. Of course this song doesn’t pretend to accurately portray dinosaurs. However, you could initiate a discussion about dinosaurs with your class, asking ‘What do we know about dinosaurs?’

Focus

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The focuses here are on adapting the existing verse and creating new verses for a song about a dinosaur, and on using musical characteristics of tempo and dynamics to help establish the musical image of a large dinosaur in our backyard.

Consider

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Visual art: Invite children to draw large dinosaurs on poster paper. Back the paper with glued corrugated cardboard. Colour the dinosaurs in after the glue has dried and cut them out. They could be hung around the walls or windows of the classroom or assembled in small groups as mobiles.

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Consider what tempos (speeds) and dynamics (loudness, softness) are most appropriate for mammals, fish, birds, insects and other creatures that children identify.

Analyse

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Perform this and other songs at a range of speeds and using a variety of dynamics. What can we learn from the experience of changing anticipated speeds and dynamics?

CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES

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16. The dinosaur

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17

Racing the pony Background

Intentions

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This piece of music should support children to appreciate that a piece of music has a capacity to communicate different messages to individuals and consequently that there may be no one correct interpretation of what the music depicts.

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This dance is written in a pseudo baroque style and provides another opportunity for children to move to music. While, as the title suggests, they might be depicting racing horses, it could equally represent anything else they desire. Who cares what the title suggests—that was only my idea!

Invite the children to discuss the reasons why they thought the music depicted their suggestions. List some of these reasons in summary on the board.

Reflect

What was most enjoyable about this activity?

© R. I . C.Pu bl i ca t i onareas s Other key learning Performing arts: Encourage children to imagine they •f orr evi ew p u r p o s e s o n l y • are either riding horses or are horses, in a horse dance

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What do you think the music is representing? (Teacher note: Music is as much about communication as is talking. However, instead of concrete notions such as instruction, information and so on, music, put simply and as an art form, communicates ‘feeling’. It is critical that this underpins the processes of learning that accompany engagement with music.)

Consider

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Play the music to the children, encouraging them to listen and to think about what the music might be ‘saying’ to each of them. Invite them to make their own suggestions. Where suggestions suggest appropriate movement to the music encourage the entire class to interpret that idea in dance-like movement. At some point you might want to tell them what the composer thought the music might depict, explaining that even he wasn’t convinced that this was the only possibility.

CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES

set to the music. This could either be freely improvised or you might even share in inventing steps (choreographing) for each section of the music.

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Focus

It may also be useful to focus on the piece of music around the time of the running of the Melbourne Cup, on the first Tuesday in November. It would give you access to a number of key learning area activities, such as acting out scenes from the running of the Cup, racing horses (children dressed up wearing horse masks), or designing hats to wear to the Cup.

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Kites

Intentions

Grahame Woods wrote a poem that he was encouraged to read to his whole school. It is a wonderful depiction in words of a kite flying. I hope my music can begin to match this enlightened six-year-old view of a childhood delight!

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Other key learning areas

This is probably a song to listen and move to rather than attempt to sing. The intention of the music is to support the lyrics as they depict the rise, hovering and wonder of a kite, seeming to fly to the clouds. In this way children should also recognise, with appropriate questioning, the notion of pitch and melodic profile in music. It demonstrates a child’s imagination in full production mode! This provides an example of a process leading to product (child lyrics). The swooping kite lyrics match swooping kite music. Note the descriptive language and reference to geometrical shapes.

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Background

Science and technology: I recommend visiting the NASA website. This has excellent and easily assembled kite making directions and information for children about aerodynamics. My grandson and I used these recently to build at first a standard kite, and then, later, a more sophisticated box-kite.

Art and elementary geometry: Here is an opportunity to explore both the physicality of flight and the construction of traditional kites in an early childhood class. Even the most rudimentary kites will fly. Create a small letter ‘t’ by tying two gardening canes as a cross. Then tie each end of a short length of light string at roughly a quarter of the distance from both ends of the vertical strut. Glue the cross to a paper rhomboid. Next tie several metres of string or light nylon to the centre of the short length of secured string. Children will probably need a light breeze and plenty of playground space—when other classes are in school—to successfully fly their kites. This activity ought to generate a lot of purposeful excitement!

Focus What do the words and music tell us about kites?

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Consider

Melody is one of the characteristics of music found across most cultures. In classical Indian traditions, for example, the melodic structure of music is all important, matched only by appropriate rhythms to support the flow of a melody, often depicted as human in its profile.

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Analyse

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Do your children hear the up and down movement of both the voice and accompanying instrument?

Reflect In their reflections children might consider what other objects or ideas might suit this kind of melodic movement. Would it, for example, work for a big plodding dinosaur? Encourage children to make up their own poems about suitable objects, animals or ideas. CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES

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A long time ago Managing temporal language is one of the real challenges of learning and speaking English. Most of us remember the complexity of tense, not simply that there was past, present and future, but that each of these had complex sub-categories with unpronounceable names. Misuse of tense in English is common and this song sets out to address at least part of the misunderstanding inherent in determining which of the range of tense-types we should use in particular settings.

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Background

Intentions

Reflect

The primary intention of this song, beyond the pleasure of singing it and interpreting it in physical movement, is to introduce children to the concepts of tense in language, past, present and future. Consequently, after the song begins in the ‘long ago’, it moves sequentially through each tense until it reaches the future. This should lead to discussion about children’s own histories on how it is to live in the present, and what they might do or ‘be’ in the future.

Were you surprised by the children’s responses to concepts related to tense? Did most understand, a few, none? How will you include and support understanding of tense in future work with your class?

Other key learning areas

© R. I . C.Pu bl i c t i on stense and temporal Language anda literacy: Explore themes in stories; for example ‘Once upon a time’, ‘A time ago’, ago’n andl ‘A thousand long •f orr evi ew p ur p o‘Many seyears so y • years on from now … .’

Consider past, present and future times.

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Consider

How could we demonstrate when we had done something, were doing it or intended doing it in the future, if we had no indications of tense in verbs?

Analyse

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Drama and dance: Encourage children to freely improvise their own dance and to act out the lyrics and music in small role-plays. This can be at the simplest level of performance, with children following the directions of the song, including falling over at the end of each verse.

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Focus

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Do your children comprehend concepts introduced related to time, tense and temporality? What might indicate that they understand?

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19. A long time ago

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Swim, little turtle Background

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This song emerged from the rather fertile imagination of one small Year 1 girl. I’m sure she was creating it as she presented it for our appraisal. I’ve taken small liberties with the lyrics, but have tried to retain her intention that the little turtle need not be afraid, but is encouraged to swim downstream to its waiting family.

Intentions

Reflect

The song could be a catalyst to discussions about family, about the comfort of having people around us who we care about. Of course, it is always important to note that there are bound to be children seated in front of you— few, if any, hopefully—for whom ‘family’ is not always about comfort or security.

Did the children enjoy this song and the activities?

Other key learning areas

Studies of society and environment: This provides yet another opportunity for identifying family and relationships within families. Keeping the questions safe, we could find out who the other people are in a child’s family. Not ‘Who has a father? Mother?’, but rather ‘Who are the other people in your family?’ and let them offer the information they feel safe providing. If, inadvertently, someone gives away information that is potentially embarrassing, but does not threaten their security, we keep it in confidence.

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names for family members on the board, or on newsprint on the floor. The list might include mother, father, brother, sister, grandfather etc. Extended families add complex generic titles. Children could add their own personal details.

Consider

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Do you and your children appreciate and accept that they—and you—come from diverse family backgrounds?

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Science and technology: Several animals are identified here. What do children know about turtles, dingoes or kangaroos? What families do they belong to? Where does a kangaroo carry its baby? What do we call baby dingoes?

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This song also provides an opportunity to introduce the topic of animals that carry their homes around with them.

Analyse

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(For our adult benefit we know that turtles are reptiles, dingoes are placental and kangaroos are marsupial mammals. These differences may seem too challenging for early childhood but I am often pleasantly surprised when I discover that some children already understand these differences.)

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Teac he r

20. Swim, little turtle

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© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

o c . che e r o t r s super

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46

AP

PENDIX 1

A glossary of terms and song references Term or concept

Song references

accompaniment

Most songs

alla breve articulation

basic interpersonal communication skills – modelling the sounds of English in action

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Song 2

The main beat is a minim or ‘half’ note.

Song 12

The way in which musical sounds are connected to the sounds that precede or follow them. Examples are ‘smooth’, ‘staccato’. alias ‘Retrogressive Concatenation’—learning and rehearsing music from the end forwards. One advantage is that students then know the end of the music best and the finish is always secure in performance. Modelling the sounds of English in action.

Songs 2,4

beat

Song 12

call and response

Songs 2,4

canon

Music where one singer or group of singers (or instruments) leads and others reflect what they sing, either exactly (echo singing) or as a response, for example, to a question.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Song 19

Chant: I use the definition of a song or music where the rhythm is significant and there may be no identifiable melody.

Song 4

cognitive academic language proficiency

Songs 2,4

communication

Song 11

compound time

Songs 3, 7, 9, 14, 17, 18, 20 A musical metre where the basic beat is divided into three equal parts.

w ww counting

Song 4

cumulative songs

Song 11

creativity

cyclical music dance descant

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dynamics geometric shapes and figures genres

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cloze

The main ‘heartbeat’ or pulse of a piece of music.

An extended ‘round’.

categories, lists, hyponym, hierarchies chant

Instruments, which support the singers as they sing a song.

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Teac he r

backward chaining

Definition

Songs where a new word or phrase is added to the existing ones at the end of each new verse until a whole string of words or phrases needs to be recited in reverse order.

Songs 11, 13,15

o c . che e r o t r s super Song 11

Songs 12,16,17

Stylised movement, which uses time, rhythm and space to create an art form.

Song 1

An harmonic line performed above the main tune.

Song 13

The volume of music, from very soft through to very loud, with a range of volumes and types of volumes in between. For example, if articulation is a characteristic the impact of a change of dynamic may be different.

Song 18 Song 11

guitar

Social processes that describe, instruct, argue and narrate. Usually six-stringed, plucked instrument.

harmony

Song 1

Combining notes in a vertical configuration; polyphonic or homophonic.

legato

Song 13

Smooth articulation between notes.

melody

Song 18

A single line of notes moving through time to create a tuneful profile.

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AP Term or concept metre

monophony

Song references

Definition

All songs

The manner in which beats are grouped. How this is carried out may depend on cultural perceptions of metre. Typically in Western settings, beats are grouped in ‘simple’ 2s, 3s, and 4s, or ‘compound’ 6s (2s), 9s (3s) and 12s (4s). Other metres are common in other cultural settings. These may include 5s, 7s and, in more complex settings, almost any combination of metres.

Song 18

A single line of musical pitches moving through time. ‘Melody’ or ‘tune’ equates with this concept.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Song 4

oral/aural and written language

Song 11

ostinato

Song 1

percussion phrase

pianoforte

A repetitive melodic line performed above or below a main melody. It might, for example, be a bass line or a descant line.

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number and other ‘clusters’

Teac he r

PENDIX 1

Instruments, which are struck, shaken or scraped. Song 13

Equates well with the notion of ‘phrase’ in language. A sequence within a melody that contributes to a musical ‘sentence’ (think ‘grammar’!).

Most songs

Usually called the ‘piano’, a stringed instrument with a keyboard and a complex arrangement of padded hammers which provide opportunities for easy shifts in dynamics (not a feature of earlier keyboards). Hence its contemporary abbreviated title, piano – soft and forte – loud in Italian.

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polyphony

Song 1

A texture created by two or more melodic lines moving side by side and creating harmonic consonance at regular intervals as they proceed together. An elementary form of polyphony is the round. Partner-songs also demonstrate this musical texture. Much of the music of the Baroque, Bach, Handel etc. demonstrates this.

rhythm

Song 17

Combinations of regulated fast, medium and slow sub-beats moving with the beat.

scale

Song 5

Sequence of regular intervals between octaves of pitches. In traditional Western music, this may involve 12 half-tones (semitones) arranged in 8 steps. In Indian classical music the microtones are 22 in total and may be arranged in 8 steps, but other combinations are possible.

sequence

Song 5

A melodic and rhythmic phrase repeated at a new pitch.

simple time

Songs 1, 2, 4, 6, 8

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staccato syllable tempo

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A melody line sung across two or more groups, each starting from the beginning as the previous group reaches a predictable new phrase in the melody.

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round

Metre where the primary beat is based on two equal smaller divisions; contrasted with compound time where the primary beat is based on three equal, smaller divisions.

o c . che e r o t r s super

Detached or ‘bounced’ notes, not articulated to neighbouring notes. Usually indicated by a ‘.’ over the note.

Song 4

Part of a word spoken as a single speech unit.

Song 17

The speed of a piece of music.

texture

Songs 1,18

The ways in which melodic pitches are combined. Single line melodic texture is ‘monophony’, texture based on chords (i.e. simultaneous vertical sounding of pitches) is termed ‘homophony’ and texture where several melody lines move with each other is ‘polyphony’.

triplets

Song 9

Think of these as the core rhythmic combinations of compound time. Three notes are combined to fit the temporal space normally occupied by two.

voice

All songs

When singers sing in unison we describe this as one ‘voice’ (despite the fact that many may sing). When singers sing harmonically each group sings a particular ‘voice’.

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AP

PENDIX 2

Accelerating music literacy Background to the approach

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This idea is experimental.

Teac he r

I’m suggesting here that something of a similar nature might be helpful in allowing children the opportunity to interpret music texts as these are presented to them. While I’m not convinced that being able to read or write music— specifically here Western staff notation—in itself makes a child a more competent musician, I certainly acknowledge the benefits of understanding how music notation works and being able to apply that understanding to music reading and writing.

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Accelerated literacy is a literacy program conducted in many schools across the Northern Territory. It has proven its worth in enhancing literacy among students who would otherwise struggle to maintain appropriate reading and writing competency. Arguably back-to-basics in its methodology, it nevertheless ensures that children understand thoroughly each new step in unlocking meaning from text.

An easel for displaying music symbols

claiming iti willa be t easy or require little effort—but my © R. I . C.Pu b l c i o n s experience trialling it suggests that with a little effort, it might be useful where applications are experiential and • f o r r e v i e w p ur posesonl y• I have chosen the song ‘Butterfly’ from this collection. appropriate.)

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The approach outlined here is to present a whole musical score, encouraging you and your class to learn it by listening to the recorded music. Initially this might be achieved without any reference to the written score at all. After all, if you can’t read it yet anyway, it’s probably of little use.

1. First introduce the written music for the first line of the tune of the song.

m . u

w ww

(Obviously the very early years of schooling are not an appropriate context for trialling this idea, but it might be trialled with students from Year 4 upwards, and teachers who also find written music an indecipherable mumbo jumbo! Perhaps this will help enlighten you. I’m not

o c . che e r o t r s super

(i) Ask first what children recognise and understand already. Hopefully their responses will relate to the words (lyrics) written under the ‘notes’ of the music. What do they notice, if anything, about the way the words are placed? (The first few words of each of the three verses are written here.) (ii) Why have three separate lines of music been written under the music? (Because all three sets of words are matched to the same musical tune. As children begin to comprehend the encoding of musical sound in note symbols this should start to make sense.) (iii) Perhaps some also recognise musical symbols. While encouraging them to share their knowledge, point out that we will be interpreting new musical symbols as we deconstruct the music … next phase! CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES

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AP

PENDIX 2

2. Next we begin to disassemble the music symbols used in the first line of music: (I have tried to write in language for the teacher—I will leave it to teachers to adjust this appropriately to the level of their students, assuming they trial it from Year 4 upwards. One suggestion is that you enlarge and photocopy the line above—then create the symbols below to ‘cut-and-paste’ onto the enlarged copy.)

voice

This tells us that the music we are about to read is written for one set of voices. At this time this is all children will need to know about the appearance of the word. You should be aware that if the song was to be sung in parts by a choir, for example, there might be several lines of voice. Other instruments (the singing voice IS an instrument, of course) would be shown appropriately as, piano or guitar etc.

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Teac he r

metronome (or tempo marking)

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

This is a metronome or tempo marking. It tells us the tempo or speed of the music, in other words how fast the music should be performed. It uses a crotchet to represent how many regular crotchet beats will fit into a minute of time. Crotchets are generally assumed to be the standard rhythm symbols used in music. They will be explained soon.

five-lined staff (or stave)

This is a five-lined staff or stave. When we use staff notation we write music on a fivelined staff or stave. As they appear on the left the lines and the spaces between them have no meaning yet. We have to introduce a codebreaker or clef (from the French word for ‘key’ of course) to tell us what the staff or stave actually means. Once we know it is helpful to learn what the musical pitches are for each line and space.

treble clef (or G clef)

read the line of music ONE important piece of information: Where it finishes on the second to bottom line of the staff will be the note G.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons While this is often called the treble clef it might be more useful to introduce it to children •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• as the G clef. This is because it is really a kind of codebreaker that gives the person about to

musical notes on a treble clef (or G clef stave)

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This graphic shows the names of the musical notes on the treble or G clef stave. You could take time now—or save it for later—to encourage your class to use the codebreaker—the ‘G’ clef—to name all the notes on the stave. I’ve completed most here. They’ll need some information about the mechanics of this operation!

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• First is that there are only seven letters used in the musical alphabet – A, B, C, D, E, F, G, then they repeat.

• The second is that pitches are shown moving upwards step by step from lines to spaces and spaces to lines. So when we begin from G on the second to bottom line (we know this from our G clef codebreaker) upward to the immediate space above the note is A that begins the alphabet again. When we move to the immediate space below the note is F. This is called a key signature in music.

key signature

Sometimes there is a symbol immediately after the clef or codebreaker. In a way this is also a codebreaker. It belongs to a family of symbols called accidentals and this one is a flat. As its name suggests, it is intended to lower the note on whose line it sits by a small pitch interval called a semitone or half-tone. So which note is it intended to lower? Use your knowledge about the codebreaker to tell you. It is in fact B. This means that every B in this piece of music must be played flat.

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AP

PENDIX 2

time signature

This is a time signature. It tells us that the crotchet or quarter note beats (hence the ‘4’ for quarter) will be grouped in 3s (hence the 3). So this sign actually tells us that each measure or bar of music (we’ll find out about those very soon) will contain the equivalent of three quarter notes.

crotchet (or quarter note)

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

w ww

double bar line

minim (or half note)

quarter note pitched as F

bar line

This is a crotchet or quarter note. Americans call crotchets a quarter note. I suggest you make your own choice of which name to use with your students. There is certainly an operational advantage in talking about quarter notes and the other symbol titles that relate to it. For example 4/4 (sometimes called common time – for good reason) tells us that there will be the equivalent of four quarter notes or crotchets in every bar or measure (the American equivalent of bar) throughout the music. The block sitting on a line is the silent equivalent of a sounded note and is called a rest. In this case—and we begin with a tricky one (sorry for that)—we have a block sitting on the middle line of the stave (the normal convention) to tell us that we should count two (crotchet or quarter note) beats silently. However, to make things slightly more complicated our rest is followed by a dot. We will see more of these dots. When a sounded note or its equivalent rest is followed by a dot we add half the value of time again to the counting. So here, because we normally count TWO beats, we will count TWO + ONE or THREE beats. This is a double bar line. It tells us that the song itself will now begin. Double bars, repeat bars and simple bar lines like this one are the punctuation marks of music, showing where musical thoughts, phrases, sentences and paragraphs begin and end. Understanding what these mean is important in interpreting a piece of music.

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rest

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Teac he r

repeat double bar line

This symbol, a repeat double bar line, only appears if all of the notes between it and a similar one (whose two dots are reversed) are intended to be repeated. How many times will this song need to repeat? What tells you? (The lyrics are written to begin three verses so it would be reasonable to assume the melody line will be sung through three times.)

This is a minim or, in its American equivalent title, a half note. Thinking of it as a half note ought to help us understand its purpose. How many beats will it occupy in the first bar or measure? (two) How many does this leave to be sung? (one) Look at the syllables of the first words. These are sung to this first note which is pitched as what letter name note? Will it be higher or lower in pitch that G? The last note in this first song bar (or measure) is a crotchet, or quarter note pitched as F. The second syllable of the first word for each verse is sung at this pitch. Is it higher or lower than G on the G Clef? If you’re game you might attempt to guess what G might sound like (any guess will do), and find the note A one step above it and F one step below. Can you sing the first two notes of the song? Count two beats for the minim and one for the crotchet. It doesn’t matter if this is not accurate as long as you make the attempt! This is a bar line. This is to remind us that every bar or measure will begin and end with a separator from the previous bar. Mostly it will be a bar line like the one shown. Sometimes it will be a double line with or without double dots (start repeat, end repeat, final double bar).

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What is important to recognise is that a major purpose of this separator is to group rhythm according to the time signature shown before the music begins.

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AP

minim (or half note)

PENDIX 2

Here is a minim or American half note/ pitched as A on the stave.

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Teac he r

three crotchets

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There are three crotchets (quarter notes) in this bar. This fits the time signature requirement perfectly. Notice also that the pitch of the first two notes matches the codebreaker, the G clef. Therefore, the last crotchet must be what? (A)

This bar line completes one third of the disassembling of this song.

end of bar line

Now take another look now at the complete first line. Hopefully the knowledge accrued by working through these information cells is beginning to help. The real test is not simply having the ability to read the music, but that can begin to attempt to interpret it as pitched musical sound.

w ww

• Ask first what children recognise and understand already. • Now most should also recognise a number of the musical symbols.

m . u

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

3. Now let’s look at the music symbols used in the second and third lines of music:

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Here is the second line.

number denotes bar reached

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The ‘6’ above thich at symbols are familiar to you now and what does each represent?

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AP

PENDIX 2

These new rhythm symbols are called quavers in traditional notation and eighth notes in American notation. The quavers are joined by the beam above them.

quavers (or eighth notes)

two separated quavers

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Teac he r

Here are two separated quavers. Quavers can also appear separately side-by-side.

two paired quavers

Here are two more paired quavers. They are paired to match the crotchet beat. What is the letter name of these two notes? They are more than one step above the previous quavers.

two crotchets

Here are two crotchets, A moving down two steps to F. Are you ready to try the entire line of music to check how much sense it makes?

w ww

repeat double bar line

repeat double bar line

• Notice again the number ‘9’ at the top left of the line. What does this tell us? • Now we know how quavers work–think of them as running notes against the crotchet as a walking note. • Two quavers (eighth notes) will fit into the same time as one crotchet (quarter note). What is the letter name of both notes? How do we know? • How many bars (or measures in American music terminology) are there in the last line? (Three). Notice what kind of double bar line is used to end bar (measure) two … (an endrepeat). • The 1.2. above the beginning of this bar tells us to sing the verse again twice. • Notice the minim (half note in American terminology) is followed by a dot. This adds half the value of the note to the original timing. The dot after a note tells us to add half its time or rhythm value again.

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repeat double bar line

m . u

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

4. Here is the third and last line of the song.

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• This makes the two beat minim (half note) worth two + one = three beats. • Once the song has been sung through to the end of the third verse we skip the ‘1.2.’ bar and go straight to this ‘3’ or end bar. In every other respect it is the same.

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EX

ERCISE

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

© R. I . C.Pub l i cat i ons  •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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m . u

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Teac he r

Use these two examples to check what you and your class have learned from this exercise. Do you understand all of the symbols and how the staff or stave works?

o c . che e r o t r r s supe

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AP

PENDIX 3

Song lyrics Butterfly

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Cane toad

Cane toad on the road, squashed flat, fancy that! Caterpillar on the phone, call your Aunt, she’s not home! Yabby in the dam, what’s for lunch? Scones & jam! Horsey, swimming, round, watch out, you might drown! Busy ants, hurry, hurry, finding food, scurry, scurry! 

One; (echo all) one, two, one, two, three, one, two, three, four; one, two, three, four, five. One, two, three, four five six; one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven eight, nine, ten. Ten; ten, nine; ten nine, eight; ten, nine, eight, seven; ten, nine, eight, seven, six. Ten, nine, eight, seven six, five; Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Two; two, four; two, four, six; two, four, six, eight; two, four, six, eight, ten. Two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve; two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve, fourteen. Two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen, twenty. Three; three, six; three, six, nine; three six nine; three, six nine, twelve. Three, six, nine, twelve, three, six, nine, twelve, fifteen, three, six nine, twelve, fifteen. Three, six, nine, twelve, fifteen, eighteen, three, six, nine, twelve, fifteen, eighteen, twenty-one. Three, six, nine, twelve, fifteen, eighteen, twenty-one, twenty-four, twenty-seven, thirty.

ABC song

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Teac he r

Butterfly on wings light and strong, fly to me, I’ll sing you your song. Golden bird, you’re flying so high, can you see the stars twinkle above you in the sky? Dragonfly, with wings clear like glass, leaving ripples in the water as you lightly pass.

Counting song

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

w ww

Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow. And everywhere that Mary went the lamb was sure to go. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z. Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z. Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey. Along came a spider and sat down beside her and frightened Miss Muffet away. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z. Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon, The little dog laughed to see such fun and the dish ran away with the spoon. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z. Little Jack Horner sat in the corner, eating a Christmas pie, He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum and said ‘Oh what a good boy am I!’ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z. Georgie Porgie puddin’ and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry. When the girls came out to play Georgie Porgie ran away. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.

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CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES

m . u

o c . che e r o t r s super 

I’m a little frill-necked lizard

I’m a little frill-necked lizard, trying to stand up tall. First I start by crouching, I’m still very small. Up on my back legs ’cos I can stand on two. Here I am, standing up and my frill neck’s standing too. Down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down! Wow!

Ickle wickle

Ickle, wickle; tickle, tickle; stand up on your toes. Baby has a spider crawling up his nose. Ickle, wickle; tickle, tickle; stand up on your toes.

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AP 

PENDIX 3

Wickety, wackety!

Let’s go out to the wildlife park

Let’s go out to the wildlife park. To the wildlife park, to the wildlife park. There are lots of animals at the wildlife park. And they’re waiting there for us to see.

Blinkety, blankety; pies and peas. I fell down and grazed my knees. My mother gave me a great big squeeze. Blinkety, blankety; pies and peas.

There are dingoes and their pups at the wildlife park. At the wildlife park, at the wildlife park. They’re drinking out of cups at the wildlife park. And they would like to share a cup with you.

Wickety, wackety; tin, tin, tin. I put my brother in the bin. He got out and put me in. Wickety, wackety; tin, tin, tin! Plinkety, plankety; flies and fleas. Something’s biting at my knees. Itch me and scratch me if you please Plinkety, plankety; flies and fleas.

There’s a cockatoo family at the wild life park, At the Wild Life Park, at the wild life park, Sharing jokes and tall tales at the wild life park, And they would like to share a tale with me!

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S 

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Teac he r

Wickety, wackety, tin, tin, tin. I put my brother in the bin. He got out and put me in. Wickety, wackety; tin, tin, tin!

Tell us your story

Please share a story, who’ll make a start? Everybody takes a turn, What will you put in? On with the story, who’ll add to it? Ev’rybody takes a turn, What’s the next bit?

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur poses onl y•  Edna Echidna

Granny’s shopping trolley

w ww

Jiggle, joggle, wiggle, woggle, wobbling down the road, My granny’s shopping trolley has a heavy load. Jiggle, joggle, wiggle, woggle, wobbling down the road. 

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Tit for tat

Edna Echidna eats termites and bugs, beetles and spiders, snails and slugs. Here comes a dingo looking for some grub. Roll, Edna; roll, Edna; into the scrub!

m . u

Rickety, tickety; ching, ching, ching. I pushed my sister on a swing. Then she did a great big fling. Rickety, tickety; ching, ching, ching.

Sniffing over here, sniffing over there. Though Edna Echidna is a spiky little tub. Roll, Edna; roll Edna; into the scrub! Roll Edna, roll, Edna; into the scrub!

o c . che e r o t r s super

Tit for tat, and two for tea, I got stung by a big black bee. I stole honey from his tree. Honey for you, and honey for me!

White ant

White ant, white ant, going to school, Let’s dress smartly so we can look cool! White ant, white ant, walking to school, Let’s stop a while and cool off in the pool. White ant, white ant, please go home, Your mother is calling you on the phone more each day! White ant, white ant, please go away, You’re eating our school up more each day!

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AP

PENDIX 3

The little star

The last little star searches high and low. Looking ev’rywhere for the moon But the moon is nowhere to be seen. The little star gets upset, very sad, and she begins to cry.

Teac he r

Kites

Hop, little joey, hopping with me, Down to the shade that’s under that tree. Your mother’s waiting, waiting for you, All of your family is waiting there too. Run, little dingo, you’re very swift, Down to the shelter under the cliff. Your mother’s waiting, waiting for you, All of your family is waiting there too.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

Kites rising, rising, taking off, hov’ring above the clouds. Looking so beautiful, beautiful, diamond shape Colourful, colourful kites are rising Hov’ring above the clouds. 

Swim, little turtle, swim, if you can, Down to your family, over the dam. Your mother’s waiting, waiting for you, All of your family is waiting there too.

ew i ev Pr

I’m a dinosaur; may I live in your backyard? I’m quite safe ‘cos I’m your friendly guard. If you feed me healthy food I’ll take a great big bite. Then I’ll chase burglars and give them a fright! STAMP AND STOMP, CHOMP AND BITE! Then I’ll chase burglars and give them a fright! Then I’ll chase burglars and give them a fright! 

Swim, little turtle

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

The dinosaur

A long time ago

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A long time ago we used to crawl like this; crawling, crawling, crawling ‘round. Crawling ’round and falling down, crawling crawling, falling down! Yesterday we tottered like this; tottering, tottering, tottering ’round. Tottering ’round and falling down. tottering, tottering, falling down! Now, today we walk like this; walking, walking, walking ’round. Walking ’round and falling down, walking, walking, falling down! Tomorrow we will run like this; running, running, running ’round. Running ’round and falling down, running, running, falling down! In future we will be flying like this; flying, flying, falling down. Flying ’round and falling down, flying, flying, falling down.

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CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES

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www.ricgroup.com.au • R.I.C. Publications®


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Here is a brief list of some suggested readings that support ideas introduced in this book Blakeslee, S. & Ramachandran, V. S., (1998), Phantoms in the brain London, UK: Harper Collins.

Campbell, D., (2000). The Mozart effect for children

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Sydney, NSW: Hodder.

Carter, R., (2000). Mapping the mind London, UK: Phoenix-Orion.

Copplestone, T., (1983). Art in society; A guide to the visual arts

Crystal, D., (1997). The Cambridge encyclopedia of the English language Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

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Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Curriculum Council, (1998), Curriculum framework Osborne Park, WA: Curriculum Council.

Dewey, J., (1922). Human nature and conduct. An introduction to social pyschology London, UK: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. p64.

Edwards, C. P., & Springate, K. W., (1995), Encouraging creativity in early childhood

Classrooms. ERIC DIGEST December 1995 Source ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, Ill. http://www.discountschoolsupply.com/link_00103_1.htm, viewed 1/8/2005

Elliott, D. J., (1995). Music matters; a new philosophy of music education

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Glover, J., (2000) Children composing 4–14 London, UK: Routledge Falmer

Hannam, C., & Stephenson, N. (1987) ‘Childhood’

The Oxford companion to the mind, (ed.) Richard L. Gregory Oxford, UK: Oxford University Express, pp133–134

Hudson, L., (1987) ‘Creativity’ in The Oxford companion to the mind, (ed.) Richard L. Gregory

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Oxford, UK: Oxford University Express, pp171–172

Ilari, B., (2003), ‘Research on music, the brain and cognitive development: Addressing some common questions of music educators’, in Journal of the International Society for Music Education,

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Number 2, 2003. pp85–97.

Kruger, D., (2005). Songwriters speak; Conversations about creating music

o c . che e r o t r s super Balmain, NSW: Limelight Press Pty Ltd.

Mithen, S., (2005). The singing Neanderthals; The origins of music, language, mind and body London, UK: Orion Publishing Group.

Pinker, S., (1997), How the mind works London, UK: Penguin Books.

Richardson, K., (1998), The making of intelligence London, UK: Phoenix.

Scruton, R., (1996), An intelligent person’s guide to philosophy London, UK: Duckworth.

Smith, R. G., (2000), ‘Literacy and numeracy – How does music fit in the equation?’ in The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, Volume 28, Number 2, 2000.

Sternberg, Robert., (1988) The triarchic mind: A new theory of intelligence NY: Viking Press.

Winston, R., (2003), The human mind – and how to make the most of it London, UK: Bantam Books, pp454–455 http:www.octa4.net.au/bobsmith

R.I.C. Publications® • www.ricgroup.com.au

CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES


Creative Musical Experiences: Ages 5-7