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Ages 8–9

6581RB

RIC-6581 3.9/466


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 Acknowledgments

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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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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

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Dedicated to three fine men who, in my formative years, provided me with the formal and informal educational and moral role models. The late Dick Lawson, Senior Lecturer in Music, Hamilton Teachers’ College, (1960’s), David Claret, Accelerated Unit Teacher, Tauranga South Primary School, (1950’s), and Stuart McPetrie, Assistant Principal, Otumoetai Primary School, (1960’s)


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Contents The theoretical background

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Introduction .............................................................................................................................................................................. iv Music and creativityacross key learning areas in the early years of childhood .................................................................x – ix Introductory lesson ........................................................................................................................................................... ix – xi

The music

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The mathematical dance ..................................................................................................................................................... 2–4 The days of the week ............................................................................................................................................................. 5–8 My new billycart................................................................................................................................................................... 9–10 Little Red Riding Hood ..................................................................................................................................................... 11–14 A flea in my ear ................................................................................................................................................................. 15–16 Rain .................................................................................................................................................................................. 17–19 Slithery worms .................................................................................................................................................................. 20–21 Thirty days hath September ............................................................................................................................................. 22–23 Touch your toes ................................................................................................................................................................ 24–26 Catch your tail .................................................................................................................................................................. 27–29 Roy G Biv .......................................................................................................................................................................... 30–32 All sing out! ....................................................................................................................................................................... 33–36 Old Mother McGee ............................................................................................................................................................ 37–41 Dan, the doctor ................................................................................................................................................................. 42–43 Up and down ..................................................................................................................................................................... 44–46 Indian lullaby ................................................................................................................................................................... 47–49 Riding on a crocodile! ....................................................................................................................................................... 50–51 The ukelele man ............................................................................................................................................................... 52–53 Who’s that singin’? ........................................................................................................................................................... 54–56 The bush fashion show ..................................................................................................................................................... 57–59

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And, in addition …

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Appendix 1 – A glossary of terms and song references .................................................................................................... 60–61 Appendix 2 – Across other key learning areas ................................................................................................................. 62–63 Appendix 3 – Contextualising music literacy .................................................................................................................. 64–66 Appendix 4 – Song lyrics .................................................................................................................................................. 67–69 Further reading ........................................................................................................................................................................ 70

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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. 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. 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. Once the musical characteristics of the poem are identified and understood, it should be a case simply of enhancing 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.

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. 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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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.

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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. 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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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. 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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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’. 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. Driven by this conviction, we are experimenting in early childhood classes in several schools 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.

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), 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 each song to other learning areas.

So what do we mean by ‘creativity’?

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’: ‘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.’

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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. Innovation relates to the ideas and objects people produce, self-actualisation to an individual’s quality of life, and imagination to what takes place inside a person’s mind.

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Overview

(Shakespeare, cited in Ramachandran & Blakeslee 1998:198)

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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. These themes are the basis for this publication and the other collaborations between me as writer, composer and educator,

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

Certainly people have varying abilities to freely form associated ideas and then employ these as useful outcomes.

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

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

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(Winston, 2003:455)

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

(Curriculum Council, 1998:62)

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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.

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(Pinker, 199:362)

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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’.

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(Copplestone, 1983:219)

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There is little doubt that the industrial revolution spawned schools for the working class, as a means of occupying children whose parents worked in factories, with an undisguised intent to impose on them acceptance of this new industrialised world. Nevertheless, this shift from schools that catered only for the 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.

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

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Creativity and the curriculum framework

(Edwards & Springate, 1995)

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. 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. Content areas in Australian curriculum frameworks are cultural, social and intellectual constructs that might easily

(Edwards & Springate, 1995)

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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 ideas and offer them, day after day, to teachers, parents, and friends.’

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(Dewey, 1922:64)

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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, 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: ‘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.’

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(Curriculum Council, 1998:53)

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.’ (Curriculum Council, 1998:19)

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Elsewhere, the document adds substance to this summary of 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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These include that music enhances cognitive skills and reasoning capacity, increases verbal and other aspects of 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, ‘ … 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)

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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: ‘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.’ 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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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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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. ‘There have been a number of claims made for the benefits of sharing music.’

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(Campbell, 2000:1–5)

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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). 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

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Creative music making strategies support cross-curricular learning

Music and other key learning areas

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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. Cognitive academic language proficiency: A second is in enhancing children’s cognitive academic language proficiency, in areas such as alphabetising. I include an alphabetising song in my Creative musical experiences (ages 5–7) collection. 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. 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 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. 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.

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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. 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. 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. 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’.

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The mathematical dance

Intentions

Background Here is a dance that uses simple geometric concepts to direct its movements. Its performance as an echo song serves two purposes. The first is to ensure that children listen to instructions, repeat them and thus interpret them as movement. The second is to ensure that they have time to do so. Once these moves are in place and well rehearsed the instructional use of the lyrics should diminish.

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While this may take some effort to teach, its intentions, Did the children appreciate how they moved in twoparticularly in relation to simple geometric shape and dimensional space? When did they create lines and movement, make the effort worthwhile. circles? What other geometric shapes did their movements You could apply the principle of backward chaining to trace? Did they enjoy participating in this activity? the process by teaching movement patterns from the back end of the dance. This will allow children to always arrive at a familiar and comfortable action pattern as they learn each previous new section. Backward chaining can be applied in all sorts of useful ways to other learning activities.

Other key learning areas

and dance: Use the words of the song © R. I . C.PMathematics u b l i c at ns to give directions to i ao dance. Understanding how to complete each action depends on children interpreting •f orr evi ew p ur pose sgeometric) onl y •There simple mathematical (often directions.

Consider

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is nothing unusual about this. Square and Line dances Focus are based on these very same directions and both are How might knowledge of simple geometry help us to common in folk and country music. There are excellent collections of folk dances available often, these days, with dance? DVDs to help set the dances up. NB: widdershuns – an archaic clockmakers’ word meaning anticlockwise. (More commonly spelt When children dance they are moving through time and ‘widdershins’) space. Music, dance and the performing arts generally depend on time as they move from beginning, through their development, to their conclusion.

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How does time drive your children’s movement and how much do they move in space? Are you encouraging them to occupy vertical as well as horizontal space? Are there moments in the dance when they might move up or down, as well as forwards, sideways and backwards?

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1. The mathematical dance

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The days of the week Background

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Intentions

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This echo song, which scaffolds oral language, was given birth by a desire for children to be able to correctly spell the days of the week. Its message about the sequence and scope of the seven days of the week is reinforced by song number twelve, ‘What do you do on Mondays?’

The lead singer models spelling and pronunciation of each name for the sequence of days of the week. In this way children learn and repeat each name, spelling it sequentially as they go.

How well do your children remember the names, sequence and spelling of the names of the days of the week? Do they pronounce them with reasonable accuracy? Are they able to relate the origins of any of the names?

There are opportunities for word analysis, and an investigation of ‘contractions’, ‘word substitution’, and the use of vernacular

Reflect

they follow? Which days do you normally go to school on?

Saxon gods remain in the English language names for days of the week:

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Other key learning areas Focus • f o i e worderpdour pos es onl y•of the AngloLiteracy and language: Remnants How do you spell the r daysr ofe thev week? What Did your class enjoy this and related activities?

An historical overview of the origins of the names of the days of the week supports remembering their significance and histories. A web search will provide ready-made histories.

• Woden, the Anglo-Saxon equivalent of Odin, the one-eyed wise god of storms and the dead: Wednesday

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• Tiw, the Anglo-Saxon equivalent of Tyr, the god of war: Tuesday.

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There may also be books appropriate to the ages of your students to support this activity.

• Þunor, the Anglo-Saxon equivalent of Thor, the thunder god: Thursday • Frige, the Anglo-Saxon equivalent of Freya, the love-goddess: Friday English Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

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French lundi mardi mercredi jeudi vendredi samedi dimanche

‘Planet’ Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn (Sun)

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2. The days of the week

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My new billycart Background

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I supported my grandson, Joe, through the process of building a billycart. We visited the local rubbish dump and were able to buy wheels and axles. Joe did much of the building and assembling of the cart. He and two friends took it to the local park and had an afternoon of great fun and excitement before one of the wheels fell off. He’s now looking forward to replacing the broken axle and racing the trolley again. From where I stood, there looked to be even more fun in the building than the actual racing, but who am I to say? Isn’t this yet again all about process versus product?

Intentions

Analyse

This song introduces concepts related to space—up and down—and to time as tempo, moving fast and moving slowly, hence the introduction of the Swahili word for ‘slowly, slowly’, ‘Pole, pole.’ Sorry—I just had to drop this one in—it is such a wonderful expression of a view of time—that if you take it slowly, you will get there! Encourage children to listen to the way the music moves as they learn and perform the song.

Where do the words and the music depict ‘going up’? Where do they both depict ‘going down’? Where is there a change of speed in the music? Why?

© R. I . C.Pub l i c at i o nsrelated to billycarts. Who Share children’s experiences has one? Who has made one? Who has ridden in one? Was the experience fun? Howl do you• build a billycart. •f orr evi ew pur p o s e s o n y What safety issues might be important when building

Movement – through time and space.

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Notice the way the melody line moves up and down as the billycart is pushed and pulled up the hill and as it rides back down again. What happens when one moving object meets an irresistible force? Ask children to describe in their imaginations what happens when the song finishes. Why does it happen? The clue is repeated in the song.

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and playing in a billycart?

Other key learning areas

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Science: Here is an opportunity to investigate some principles of elementary physics, including the previously stated notion of a moving object meeting an irresistible force.

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The movement of the billycart will depend on several factors. What makes the cart move when it goes uphill? What helps it to go faster downhill? What do we need to do to make it stop when it is travelling downhill? What is likely to happen if this fails? Language and literacy: Search the song for words that relate to movement and time. What other words might have been used? Create another verse using these new words for movement and time.

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3. My new billycart

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Little Red Riding Hood Background

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Intentions

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

The intention here is for children to enjoy the musical quality of verse where only a rhythm accompaniment is provided and, from this example, to share in the creation of chants for their own stories.

Focus

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I wrote this transcription of the old fairytale, envisaging it as a rhythmic chant with actions to match the story. Initially I worked with the computer program, ‘Band in a Box’, to realise an original rhythmic percussive instrumental accompaniment. Later, however, I scrapped this and freely adapted what I thought was a more suitably matched percussion arrangement for the story’s intentions.

Did the children share in the process as a unified group? If so, what helped? If not, what might have made them an effective working group?

Other key learning areas

Language and literacy: The song provides further opportunity to work with ‘intonation/inflection to signal a question’, dialogue, direct speech, possessive apostrophe and word families—same sound/different spelling.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Consider •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• You might like to visit other existing chants such as Storytelling: Summarise this and other familiar stories

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‘Goldilocks’ and others used in the Upbeat program. In fact I encourage you to revisit—if you haven’t already done so—the early childhood editions of this wonderful user-friendly classroom music program. Arguably some concepts are dated but it is in my opinion still the most comprehensive music teaching and learning program in Australia.

Analyse

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with the children sharing the storytelling. Record the original interpretations the children provide, as written summary text on a board or butcher’s paper or newsprint. This latter approach is always a winner as it gets the whole class—including you, the teacher—down on the floor at the same level (an important accession to their needs) and provides great opportunities for brainstorming ideas.

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What does the story tell us? How is it told?

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What do we need to know and have the ability to do to reinterpret stories as chants set to rhythmic accompaniments? Possibly very little. One strategy is suggested in the Language and literacy section below.

Whether or not lines rhyme may not be critical but getting the story into some form of simple scanned verse is the object of the exercise. At first, keep new stories brief— even four lines is a great start. Then share reading them aloud, getting a feel for the metre and rhythm you desire, making changes where appropriate. Always treat such activities as works in progress. Even when you think it is completed, there are bound to be changes later. Even this collection—set as it might be in a published book—ought to be open to change, enhancement and improvement!

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A flea in my ear Background

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Almost nothing could be more uncomfortable than having an insect in your ear. The subtext of this silly song is about one of those children we have to have in every class who constantly tests everyone’s patience. However, children can also share a laugh at the obvious discomfort of the teacher who bears this burden!

Intentions

Analyse

This is another song with a rising and falling melody line, not perhaps as overt as ‘I’m a frill-necked Lizard’ (see Creative musical experiences, Ages 5–7), but nevertheless out there! The accompaniment also changes key and rises one half tone for the third and final verse. There is no need to labour this concept, but it might be informative to ask how many of your children recognise that the accompaniment changes pitch for a whole new verse and where this actually takes place. Introduce protocols relating to apologising and courtesy. Science-related activities might investigate how our ears work.

How effectively can your students maintain the pace of the song without losing its humour?

Reflect

How many other songs do we know that have a theme related to insects? What do fleas make us do? What else might get tangled in our hair?

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Other key learning areas •f orr evi ew pur pos es onl y•

Another focus of the song is how the lyrics match the up-tempo rhythm of the song with sufficient articulation and enunciation to keep the words intelligible.

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• Fleas are not the most appealing of insects, although attempts have been made to train fleas to perform in flea circuses. Children could be supervised to investigate this through the Internet or encyclopedia volumes in the school library.

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Science and environmental studies:

• When fleas are a pest they’re very much despised. I’d suggest a little sensitivity investigating this—some homes are more prone to have flea infestations than others and there may be stigma attached! However, dogs are a common source of fleas.

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Children may create a new verse or change the words of existing verses. Nothing in this collection is set in concrete. One intended outcome for any and all the pieces in this collection is that they are open to children’s original input.

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• Fleas can jump incredibly high and far for their size. This relates to their physiology. Almost certainly, web searches will offer explanations!

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Rain Background The point of the song is the variable nature of rain. We don’t have sleet in the Top End so I apologise for not including a verse about sleet. Of course, children can add their own words to any of the songs included here. Encourage children to listen to the ways in which the musical accompaniment changes to match the way the rain is falling.

Intentions

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One intention here is to demonstrate how one melody line can be supported by diverse accompaniments. Another is in identifying what characteristics of the music actually support each new verse. Activities could examine comparing and contrasting. Science is supported via highlighting rain as an aspect of weather, and water as a separate or integrated focus. The song encourages listening alongside singing.

How does the rain fall in each verse? Is it gentle rain? (dynamics)/Is it coming down fast? (tempo)/Is there a lot of rain? (texture, timbre) Describe other types of rain. How might they be depicted musically?

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

Changes in ideas or depictions in the words of songs can, and often are, matched by musical ideas and devices, which should enhance the intentions of the writers of the lyrics. A focus of this song is the change in the texture and rhythmic motifs of the verses as they relate to the rain dynamics.

How many different rain settings can children identify? Did they enjoy learning and performing this song?

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It may not be enough to simply talk about rain. Children’s experiences will already embrace the fact that rain comes in a range of packages. It may be a simple shower, very heavy, accompanied by wind, thunder and lightning. Learning and performing this song provides opportunities to talk about the types and characteristics of rain as it falls in the local region.

Language and literacy: Discuss the variety of words that might be used to describe rain. What do we call it when the rain is light? What words might we use to describe heavy rain?

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This can be matched to a poet’s and a composer’s depiction of rain in their media. View visual artworks that depict rain, storms etc.

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Science: Where does rain come from? Where does it go when it falls? Which places have more rain than others? Why? Which word describes the situation when rain doesn’t fall for a very long time? What other phenomena often come with rain (e.g. lightning and thunder, wind)? Music and performing arts: What does rain sound like on an iron roof? On a tiled roof? On the sea or a lake? Which sounds do you most enjoy when it rains?

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Slithery worms Background

Intentions

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While my intentions were for this to depict slithery worms as music, children may well hear something else. This is an opportunity for them to represent what they hear in their own original ways. It is important to compliment all who take an active part in the process, no matter how inappropriate we think their interpretation (within limits of behaviour, of course!) A broad intention is to demonstrate that any one piece of music might mean anything to a group of participants, including children!

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Here’s another small piece of edgy music for children to act out. It might represent slithery worms but it could also depict anything within each child’s imagination. You could slip it into a moment when you need children to have a break from other activities.

Play the music and invite comment from the children. What do they hear? What does it sound like? How could we move to the music?

Reflect

• Did children take part in the discussion? • Did they enjoy moving to the music? • What did each depict in his or her movement?

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew p ur p os eso nl y• Other key learning areas

What do you think this music sounds like? Show us what you hear in a dance (or ‘in movement’).

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Consider

While music is a communicator, it does not necessarily communicate concrete ideas or messages. Every cultural setting has its own musical encoding of sound symbols. Active listeners are relatively free to interpret a piece of music in any particular way that impacts on them. Obviously, there are some constraints on this encoding. For example, certain depictions will be more appropriate to music that is slow and smoothly articulated, others to music that is dynamically powerful, heavily orchestrated, fast and musically eventful. These are characteristics children are capable of recognising and ought to be encouraged to do so.

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Science: The natural history connection is obvious! Worms are very interesting and accessible animals. What do children already know about them? This would be a worthy Internet search topic. Challenge children to find out to which family of animals worms belong, what they eat, how they produce offspring, what advantages there might be in having earthworms in a garden, where they are usually found, and why.

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Performing arts: Children could act out or freely interpret the music as a rhythmic music presentation.

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Background I learned this traditional chant to remember how many days were in each month, way back when I was a small boy—and I’ve never forgotten it. I see no reason why the tradition shouldn’t continue, and early childhood would seem the appropriate time to lock it into our memories. I haven’t even changed the 19th century language—that is part of its attraction and also a reminder, even for small children, about our linguistic heritage. Surely that goes well with the heritage value of nursery rhymes, espoused by ‘The ABC song’ in the first book (ages 5–7).

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Thirty days hath September

Intentions

Analyse

This song provides several intentional opportunities: to learn the correct numbers of days for each month of the year, to engage with a traditional chant as a song, and to use some language that is no longer commonly used. There are also repetitions to recognise in the unity of the music, and a contrasted bridge section in a related key. Formal recognition is not critical but there is no reason why children shouldn’t recognise where the change takes place. Consider talking about and displaying calendars.

Are children able to sing the song accurately: i.e. words in the correct order and the melody lines in both the first and second sections moving up and down accurately?

© R. I . C.Pu bl i cat i ons Reflect Did the children enjoy learning this song? Can they now •f orr evi ew p ur p omany se sthereoaren ymonth •of the remember how days inl each year?

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How many days are there in each month of the year? In which years are the number of days different? How does the melody move in the first part of the song? What happens in the middle of the song?

Consider

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Other key learning areas

Focus

Language and studies of society: What is the derivation of the word month? The existing calendar used in western societies is a construct and derives the months of the year from other calendars, including the Roman calendar. Clearly, the months of September, October, November and December draw on numbers that they don’t match in the modern calendar. Ask the children which month, numerically, September might originally have been named for. There is an opportunity here to discuss other calendars and the events within them. For example, Chinese New Year does not occur on the first of January and there are different dates set aside for Easter in different denominations of Christianity.

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Children are already aware of music that goes up and down. What does the melody line in this song do? Consider this bizarre but funny version. Urban myth has it that this was created by a child who misread the text : ‘Thirty days hath September, April, June and November All the rest have strawberry jam, excepting for grandmother—Who rides a bicycle!’

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Touch your toes Background

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Here is another ‘enjoy your body’ song, presented as an echo song so that the teacher or leader can scaffold children’s participation. It presents a range of challenges for children for them to recognise and acknowledge. The more physical you can make each rendering of this song, the better!

Intentions

Analyse

By presenting each new, single instruction as a call to be responded to in echo, the song supports oral language acquisition. It also provides a way of applying movement to various parts of our bodies. The way the calls and responses are assembled invites children to enjoy the fun of responding in amusing ways.

I’ve used the odd slang as vernacular in this song. Hopefully this won’t require explanation. Perhaps children can add their own ‘new’ words.

Reflect © R. I . C.Pu bl i cat i ons Did the children enjoy the experience of echoing and responding physically to the musically called •f orr evi ew p ur posesonl y• instructions?

How quickly are the children to respond to sung instructions?

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The song moves with enough pace to challenge children to accurately interpret each instruction, as they repeat it both in song and as a physical action. Consider too adding other instructions to encourage increased familiarity with ourselves.

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Other key learning areas Physical education, health and science: The song supports science and health education relating to parts of the body.

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Catch your tail Background

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I advocate two driving principles for providing music education—probably all education— correctly. Firstly, encouraging competent listening skills; and secondly, teaching it correctly the first time around. Both are critical to introducing rounds. Rounds chase words and music around. This one opens with the melody sung by all, then breaks first into two parts and finally three. At the very end everybody calls loudly, ‘Caught it!’

Intentions

Analyse

The intention here is to use a catchy melodic theme as a means of encouraging children to sing simple polyphonic texture. To introduce a canonic round where there are variations on the way the texture moves.

There are three variation sections in the form of this round. Invite the children to be part of the process of working out where each begins and concludes. The first has the melody sung twice through in unison (that is, ‘one voice’). The second has the melody sung twice in two separate parts. The second voice comes in halfway through the first’s rendition. Rehearse this several times with your children before you consider trying to introduce the third section—it may take time: i.e. weeks! When you are ready to introduce the third section, consider that each new part starts a quarter of the way beyond the previous.

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How many melodies do you hear? Based on the correct answer, one … what is happening to that melody?—it starts at different times.

Consider

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The temporal nature of music is critical to making this round work—it is timing that matters. Each introduction of the melody must be precisely at the right point in the musical process.

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Focus

What did children enjoy most about learning this song, challenged as they were by singing in parts against each other?

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Other key learning areas Studies of society: The song provides a stimulus for a focus on cats as pets and reasons that may explain why they have become pets; for example, their place in ancient civilisations, such as Egypt where they had important religious roles. Discuss the children’s own pets, cats, dogs and others. Perhaps you could organise a ‘Pet Day’ for the students to bring in and show off their pets. Science: This might be a springboard for investigation of the whole cat family (lions, tigers etc.).

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Roy G Biv Children have a growing awareness of colour throughout early childhood, as they dabble with paint, play with colourful toys and become increasingly sensitive to the role colour plays in cheering up our visual world. One phenomenon invariably appeals—a rainbow. Roy G Biv is the fellow who paints the colours, represented by the letters of his name. This is a useful opportunity to introduce children informally to the notion of primary colours; red, yellow and blue and their overlapping intermediaries on the visual spectrum, orange, green, indigo and violet.

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Background

Intentions

Analyse

The lyrics of this song obviously relate to an important concept about light; the visible spectrum comprises a continuum where seven colours are obvious, ‘red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet’.

How much does learning and singing the song aid children in remembering the colours of the visible spectrum in their correct order?

Reflect © R . I . C . P u bl i cat i ons Focus What did children enjoy most about this session, with Consider the even colours identified in the song. It may music and an opportunity to represent the rainbow as •canf o rr ev i e wbe p ur posesonl y• be that some children ascertain which three might visual art?

Consider

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Having learned and sung the song, the children are invited to paint rainbows with the colours appearing in the correct order. Which colour goes on top? Therefore, which colour must go on the bottom? Or present the visual arts activity in another format, such as cutting out coloured pictures from magazines to create collage rainbows.

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Other key learning areas Science: Investigate, as a science activity, the visible spectrum. Even run an elementary overview on the refraction of light. Where in nature do we see a spectacular example of the seven colours of the visible spectrum? (Rainbow)

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the most important ones. These are of course red, yellow and blue, regarded as the primary colours. The others, the four secondary colours, are transitions between these.

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All sing out! Background

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I confess that as a round this is very tricky for younger students, but the idea is so whimsical I had to include it. Children should be able to handle the unison melodies and enjoy the humour of the music versus the words.

Intentions

Analyse

The intention here is to encourage awareness in children of the tonal qualities of the voices of the two genders and those of other members of our community.

List people and their voice characteristics on the board. Now listen to the track with voices recorded on the CD. Who has a little sister? Big brother? Cousin? Grandparents? Others? What do we notice about their voices?

Reflect © R. I . C.Pub l i cat i ons Children should be able to learn the first melody. •f orr evi ew pur pos spractice onthey l y • Probably withe a little could handle the other

What do we notice about other people’s voices? What happens when the three voices sing together? (Teacher note: This weaving of melody lines around each other is an extension of the canon in a round; the term used to describe the texture is polyphony.)

Consider

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Invite the children to discuss the similarities and differences in the characteristics of voices within the classroom, within their families, of characters on television and the radio, and in other settings. What can they identify?

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two voices as well. They may even be clever enough to sing at least two together as a class divided into two groups. Whether one is boys and the other girls need not be an issue.

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Other key learning areas

Studies of society: As a social studies exercise the song provides opportunities to talk about families, immediate family, extended family, sisters, brothers, cousins etc.

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Old Mother McGee Background

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I’ve inserted this as an example of a cumulative song-game. The idea as a kind of proactive memory exercise is not new. There are many wonderful examples in existence, and most children will already have sung ‘Old McDonald’s Farm’ in cumulative form, adding the sounds from the previous verse to each new verse. Two of my favourites are the traditional Irish song-game ‘The rattlin’ bog’, and the American; ‘I know an old lady who swallowed a fly’. ‘Old mother McGee’ is intended as a kind of Australian rendering of a similar theme.

Intentions

The intention of the song is to encourage children to apply those parts of their brains that handle both short-term (and subsequently long-term) memory and sequencing. In other words, the exercise can be regarded as applying brain-gym. Performing the song involves cumulative singing and memory competence.

relate to the oral nature of the retention. Of course, the more a particular cumulative song is sung, the easier the recall, but the condition remains; thinking about the words distracts from presenting them!

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What Australian animals are named? To which family does each belong?

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My experience in sharing other cumulative songs with children is that it is important to let our minds play with the song without too much considered input. I find that strings of remembered words or phrases from previous verses are easily recalled, provided that the children and I don’t consciously attempt to remember them.

What did Old Mother McGee actually swallow? How many of these would it be physically possible for her to swallow? What does this tell you about the song?

Reflect

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Did children enjoy the experience of recalling words from previous verses to add to each new sequence? Do they know any other cumulative songs? Can these be shared?

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I’m sure there is an explanation for this, but it seems to

Science: What animals are named in the song? To which families in the animal kingdom do they belong? Where might you expect to find them? Language and literacy: There are many action words in this song. Invite the children to identify them. Studies of society: What does Old Mother McGee finally swallow? Where would you find this?

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13. Old Mother McGee

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14

Dan, the doctor Background

Intentions

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Intentionally, this song comprises a number of repetitive phrases and sequences. The accompaniment is even more repetitive than the melody line. The intention here is to create a kind of chant-like quality to rehearsal and performance. The song introduces direct and indirect speech, punctuation, asking questions and word families; long e – meat, neat, clean, mean, feet, incomplete, seen, sweet.

e.g. ‘soh’, ‘soh’, ‘soh’, ‘soh’, ‘lah’, ‘lah’, ‘lah’, ‘lah’, ‘doh1’, ‘doh1’, ‘doh1’, ‘doh1’. (‘doh1’ – here the superscript ‘1’ indicates that this is high ‘doh’) I find writing ‘doh’, ‘lah’ and ‘soh’ as separate words on the board a useful prop. I move randomly among them with a pointer and have the children sing each note with me.

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Beyond the fun of singing it, there’s no great message in this song and I think it needs additional, if not new, words. There’s a challenge. The tune is deliberately constrained in range and quite repetitive.

Sometimes I tap one word twice, or three times, before moving to another. Let individuals take turns and save the most favoured melodies they create in the process; i.e. write these up as sequences elsewhere on the board. If you want to take this to a new level later, you could add ‘me’ to the process.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Focus f o r r e vi e wThe pur posesonl y• What did I tell the• doctor? How did he reply? (Note:

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Chants that children learn and might sing, for example, around the playground are often constructed around the tri-tonic natural scale of ‘soh’, ‘lah’, ‘doh1’. By working only with those three primary pitches children are supported in accurate musical intonation. This song reinforces early attention to accurate pitch discrimination. If you have even a limited working knowledge of solfege, you have the capability to support them making up simple three note chants using ‘soh’, ‘lah’, and ‘doh’.

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Analyse How accurately do children appear now to be able to intone ‘soh’, ‘lah’, ‘doh1’?

Reflect

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melody line is largely and easily constructed around the early solfege notes that children sing naturally, ‘doh’, ‘lah’, ‘soh’, with a rise through ‘ray’ to ‘me’ near the conclusion.)

How many new melodies did the children invent or compose?

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If the song does nothing else but provide an opportunity for more creative language and discussion about doctors, leading to health, hospitals and whatever else might be topical, then it has served a purpose.

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Up and down Here’s another of those songs constructed around nursery rhymes, but with some changes in how the story ends. I would again encourage teachers to consider deconstructing existing nursery rhymes to give each a new twist. There are all sorts of potentially exciting outcomes from the process.

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Background

Intentions

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Musically the song is constructed from a single opening phrase that is then sequenced at a slightly higher level, peaks, then descends and returns to the home note of the song. I believe children in the early years should have the capacity to appreciate the sequencing.

What other nursery rhymes do the children know? The first lines of each rhyme will need to scan with the opening melody. What is the story behind each rhyme? Do you like the way it ends? What is another way the story could end? Ask these and other questions as a new twist as the tale evolves. Can the reinvented story be scanned into this song?

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Focus f o r r e ew ur posesonl y• What happens to • the first little tune as v the i song moves p Reflect

Consider

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Consider teaching the opening phrase in the first two measures or bars of the sung tune. Once children can sing this, then the following two phrases (contained in the following four bars or measures) are simply the same tune but pitched a step higher each time.

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Did the children enjoy the existing song? Did they enjoy deconstructing and reinventing a new version of a traditional nursery rhyme story?

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15. Up and down

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Indian lullaby Background

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Over the years I have been privileged to spend sustained periods of time working with musicians in Fiji, both indigenous Fijians, such as the remarkably prolific composer, Master Eremasi Tamanisau, and Indo-Fijian gurus like my good friend, Master Satvik Dass. The song that follows is inspired by original compositions by the latter, Satvik.

Intentions

Reflect

This piece of music provides an opportunity to introduce children to Indian music and its characteristic use of melody and rhythm as primary motivators. At the same time, the music is intended to serve its own purpose.

Indian music is strongly dependent on the affective and spiritual sensitivities of listeners. This music is intended to have a physical response, but this is one of moving into restfulness rather than energetic activity. Does it succeed?

Other key learning © R. I . C.Pub l i ca t i o nsareas Studies of Asia: Here is an opportunity to extend •f orr evi ew pur pstudy os saspects on y the toe other ofl living• and life in India

What would you expect a lullaby to do? What is it about this music that suggests it might be intended for that purpose?

Consider

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Melody and rhythm are the most important elements of this music. If you listen carefully to the ‘bottom of the music’, the bass line, and the rising and falling arpeggio chords above it, they appear to change very little throughout the music. The shape of the melody is probably the most important feature of this song.

Analyse

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and in countries where Indian people have migrated and exercised influence on local culture (such as Fiji and even here in Australia and New Zealand). While generalisations can be made about people living on the south-Asian subcontinent, it is important to recognise that this is a collection of people with diverse cultural practices. This part of the world includes Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, even India is really a collection of separate cultural communities more diverse than the European subcontinent. Care needs to be taken then not to stereotype all ‘Indians’ as one people.

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The music has features common to the music that most children hear regularly, with some differences. What do they hear that they appear surprised by? Do any comment on the sound of the instrument? This would normally be played on a tamboura.

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16. Indian lullaby

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Riding on a crocodile! Background

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Our Northern Territory crocodiles are an icon here that almost every tourist wants to catch sight of, but not be bitten by! They are certainly extremely formidable and very dangerous.

I am never impressed when I see adults who should know better wading in water where crocodiles are obviously present. I was informed once, when I suggested to an Aboriginal Australian friend that measuring their length might assist in deciding just how dangerous they might be, that length was not necessarily an indicator. It’s their girth and the size of their bite that counts!

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Not having many teeth left doesn’t apparently stop a crocodile from catching and devouring large prey. Most of the digestive work happens once you’re down inside them! So riding on crocodiles is not recommended as a recreational activity—they deserve to be given a wide berth. They can move faster on both land and in water than we can.

Intentions

Reflect

One intention of this song is to lighten up a little on an ever-present danger in the ‘Top End’, without detracting from the risks attached. A more musical intention is to introduce an easy ostenuto to the music—a single repeated bar of quavers—A, G, and Bb—plays from the beginning to the end, only changing to a minim to close. I suggest you assign pairs of children to named chime bars and have them practise imitating the recording. The music is quite fast if you play at speed so they could practise at a slower pace first.

How amusing did the children find the theme. Are they able to balance their awareness of the dangers of crocodiles with some humour related to their ferocity?

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Other key learning areas •f orr evi ew p ur posesonl y• Science: Crocodiles are members of an ancient family

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You could use this song to talk about crocodiles. They’re found in many countries around the equatorial part of the world, including many African nations, India and Sri Lanka. There are varieties and members of this ancient family—that predates the dinosaurs—in the Americas as well.

Consider

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as old as their relatives the dinosaurs. Like sharks they are distinctively set up to be killing machines. We are always aware of their presence in waterways in the Northern Territory and take great care in the vicinity of any water. The larger estuarine saltwater crocodiles or ‘salties’ are extremely dangerous. Their relatives, the smaller freshwater or Johnson River crocodiles, do not usually threaten humans, but can be dangerous if cornered.

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Members of the crocodile family are found in many tropical and subtropical parts of the world.

How seriously should we take the messages in this song? Act it out as a mime and as a dance.

Analyse Look at the melody profile. Have the class follow the rise and fall of the tune with their hands and arms rising and falling as the melody proceeds.

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The ukulele man Background

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Sadly, the ukulele is a highly underrated yet incredibly versatile and effective instrument for accompanying music. It has its ancestry in the smaller Portuguese tenor guitar, and was adopted and adapted by Hawaiian musicians. Apparently they named it for an extinct Polynesian instrument of the same name. Its popularity was established by a number of movie stars in the early days of ‘talkies’. In the early twentieth century it held sway at parties, until its presence, in the company of its cooler cousin, the guitar, seemed to become almost an embarrassment.

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I wrote this song many years ago, when I worked with music teachers in Fiji, where the instrument was also ubiquitous, and often accompanied classroom music. Do consider it! It is remarkably easy to play—probably the easiest of all the stringed instruments—and children love having it playing behind their singing.

Intentions

Analyse

This is an easy and enjoyable song to learn and to perform. My hope is that its presence here may even encourage an ambitious teacher to learn the three simple chords necessary to play it. The song demands movement as the ukulele man sings, the children could sing along, walk, snap their fingers and clap their hands to the beat. Notice that the metre of the song, which groups beats within its rhythm, is compound duple—in other words, groups of three quick sub beats (triplets) in two beat bars. This makes the music swing along.

There is a place in each verse of the song marked by a change in the music. Can your children identify this change? Play the song again and get them to raise their hands when they hear the change. (‘Ukulele man keep the rhythm in your walk.’)

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Discuss with your class what it seems to be that people like about ‘The ukulele man’? What do they want him to keep doing?

Consider

Can children identify the rhyming words at the end of each line of words? With their input, pair these on the board.

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Studies of society: Share with your class the task of finding out information about Hawaii and its people. What larger nation is it a part of? Where is Hawaii?

Music has the power to make people happy. What music do children in your class already know and like?

Ukulele chords for the song

G

G C E A

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G C E A

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Who’s that singin’? Background

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The cellular or mobile phone is radically changing our world and the world of children. Here is a proactive singing game based on a musical cliché.

Intentions

Reflect

As well as providing some fun and interaction across your classroom, the song intends to teach supportive phone etiquette, learning names, asking questions and other protocols related to using the telephone.

Did the class enjoy the game and the song? What benefits did it provide? Did it help in the social set-up of your class? Who were embraced by the activity? Who seemed to be left out? What did you do about that?

Other key learning © R. I . C.Pu bl i ca t i onareas s How do you answer the phone? Do you say who you are? I would encourage the use of this song, particularly in Do you ask who’s• calling? settings where children may not know each other’s names. f orr evi ew p u r p o s e s o n l y • It is also useful as a means of teaching some telephone Consider

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Although this is a game, it relates to a common everyday happening for most children. Helping them to use it well and in a supportive, courteous manner ought to enhance their communication in a technology-based world.

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What does the first person ask? What does he offer as an excuse for not answering? Where does he say he’s gone? What do we mean by that?

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and mobile phone protocols. Given the increasing acceptance of mobile phone usage in places where it was once (and still is) regarded as rude and intrusive, this might be the age to insinuate some positive mobile and phone ‘behaviours’.

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19. Who’s that singing?

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The bush fashion show Background

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Here’s another song with corny words that should lend itself to some creative additions from your children. After all, it has only two verses. How many more might we come up with? I’m sure all sorts of animals could participate in the bush fashion show.

Intentions

Analyse

The song is whimsical and ought to be fun to sing—it exists for enjoyment. The theme is a bush fashion show. There are opportunities for lots of creative input from your children. There is also an opportunity to discuss clothing, and the sorts of patterns used in fashion design and their names.

Discuss the lists created and talk about ways these might be arranged. For example, a list of clothing might be ordered to relate to different parts of the body, or in terms of colour, patterns or design.

Reflect © R. I . C.Pub l i cat i ons Did the children enjoy the activities? What did they learn? Focus •f What will s theye remember? orr evi ew pur po sonl y• How many other animals could we dress up? Other key learning areas

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Adding verses to the song could draw on several resources that you and your class could first prepare. The first resource might be a list of the apparel we normally wear. What do we wear on our feet? What do we wear to cover the lower parts of our bodies? What do we wear to cover our backs and chests? What might we wear on our hands when they are cold—or to protect them? What do people wear on their heads? How do people protect their eyes? Then ask the question, ‘What tasks are there to do in a fashion show?’, ‘What helps to make everybody’s clothing different?’ (Patterns, colour, design)

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Science: This provides yet another opportunity to emphasise exactly what animals are: basically if it’s alive and not a plant or fungus, it’s almost certainly an animal—insects, spiders, fish, reptiles, bird, mammals etc.

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Visual and performing arts: What other animals could dress up or take part in the fashion show? Create some simple costumes and masks to wear for a staged ‘Fashion Show’. This could provide a fun assembly item without too much preparation. The performed song could support the presentation.

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AP

PENDIX 1

A glossary of terms and song references Term or concept

Song references

accompaniment

Most songs

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alla breve

Song 12

articulation

Songs 7 and 10

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

Teac he r call and response

Songs 1, 2, 3 and 9

canon

Song 10

categories

Songs 3, 13 and 20

An extended ‘round’. Lists hyponymic hierarchies and so on.

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

Songs 9 and 13 Song 13

communication

Song 19

compound time

Songs 3, 5, 13, 18 and 19 A musical metre where the basic beat is divided into three equal parts.

cumulative songs

Song 13

creativity

Songs 7 and 17

cyclical music

Song 10

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geometric shapes and figures

Songs 1 and 7

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.

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counting

dynamics

Music where one singer or group of singers (or instruments) lead 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 13

cognitive academic language proficiency

descant

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

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Songs 1, 2, 3 and 4 Song 4

dance

The way in which musical sounds are connected to the sounds that precede or follow them. Examples are ‘smooth’, ‘staccato’.

Modelling the sounds of English in action.

beat

cloze

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

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.

backward chaining

chant

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

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

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Song 12

An harmonic line performed above the main tune.

Song 6

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 1

genres

Songs 4 and 9

guitar

Song 14

harmony

Songs 10 and 12

legato

Song 16

melody

Song 16

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

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.

metre

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

Combining notes in a vertical configuration, polyphonic or homophonic. Smooth articulation between notes.

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AP

PENDIX 1

Term or concept

Song references

Definition

monophony

Song 16

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

number and other ‘clusters’

Song 2

oral/aural and written language

Song 19

ostinato

Song 16

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

Song 4

Instruments which are struck, shaken, or scraped.

Song 11

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.

polyphony

Song 12

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 4

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

round

Song 10

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

scale

Song 2

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 2

A melodic and rhythmic phrase repeated at a new pitch.

sitar

Song 16

A stringed instrument employed commonly in northern Indian classical music

percussion

pianoforte

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phrase

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A system of recording and presenting music in notation that is constructed around eight movable pitch symbols and anchored with a fixed home note: ‘doh’, ‘ray’, ‘me’, ‘fah’, ‘soh’, ‘lah, ‘ti’, ‘doh1’.

solfege

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simple time staccato tempo

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Songs 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12

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.

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

Song 6

The speed of a piece of music.

Songs 12 and 16

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 7

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

Ukelele

Song 18

A small four-stringed ‘guitar’ originally brought to the Pacific as the ‘Portuguese guitar’.

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’.

widdershuns

Song 1

texture

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An archaic clock-maker’s term meaning ‘anticlockwise’.

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Across other key learning areas Maths and numeracy

Science and social studies

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Classroom music teachers already employ significant numbers of songs and music activities in support of numeracy and mathematical concepts and skill acquisitions. A few are suggested here. This list could be developed with ease.

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Metre (Measure): The way in which musicians organise beats or pulses into regular and sometimes less regular patterns is called metre. Metre in music provides an opportunity to look at the way rhythm is measured and relates music very closely to maths. Music in two-beat metre often takes the form of fast dances, in metre it is commonly waltz or similar music. Arguably four-beat metre is the most frequently employed in Western popular music and possibly reflects the analytical and organised nature of the way culture functions. You will find a number of these identified in the last appendices under simple and compound metre.

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Counting: A number of early childhood songs offer support for counting practice. My contribution here is the ‘Counting song’, in the first book in this collection. In cumulative songs a word or phrase is added at each new verse. My contribution here is ‘Old Mother McGee’ in the second book. As well as the support it might provide for literacy, this also lends itself to addition concepts in numeracy.

Because many songs tend to deal with the world around us, science and studies relating to society, history and culture, there are many connections between the two. There are a number of songs across both collections that fit well here. There are songs about animals, about a visit to the wildlife park, about the night sky, about flying kites, about the past, present and future and a range of related topics.

Health and physical education:

There are many explicit connections between music, health and physical education. Music supports dance and, therefore, movement. The act of participating in music and its connections with therapy and recovery from life-threatening illnesses is well documented. In fact, a whole area of wellbeing is addressed by music therapy. Songs make reference to health issues, either in a serious vein or, as in ‘Dan the doctor’ a more lighthearted way.

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Geometric shapes and figures: It is significant that I note those pieces of music that move in a cyclical or circular manner, rather than the more typically linear structure of much Western music. This could open a complex discussion of inter cultural perceptions of time—suffice to note that on a time continuum, Western culture is considerably more linear in its perceptions of the motion of time than many other cultures. Circular or cyclical music often reflects a less than Western cultural leaning. Examples of cyclical music are rounds and canons such as ‘Frere Jacques’ or ‘Three blind mice’ and the gamelan music of western Indonesia. If we include music which accompanies dance and the dances themselves, then line dances and square dances provide a wonderful visual opportunity to appreciate how geometric shapes are formed. My contribution here is the ‘Mathematical dance’. However, several other pieces in the collections offer themselves to interpretation as geometric movement.

In an age where technology is a constant and changing presence, children’s exposure to computers, electronic games, mobile phones and the like are realities that are difficult to deny. Considering the potent support offered by computers, the perfect machine to interpret music visually and aurally, we might consider introducing children from early childhood to the wonders of creating musical works at the keyboard. Programs such as ‘Fruity Loops’ are accessible to even early childhood and introduce musical concepts and skills in a way few teachers can match.

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Outcomes appropriate to classroom teaching Some of the concepts informed by construction and deconstruction of literary works, such as the ‘Big Book’ stories, carry across an understanding of how to build and dismantle (in an informative way) music works. This is an important concept in the composition (or creation) of new and original musical works. The notion that only a musically informed person can create original music is not accepted here as limiting. Just as most, if not all, humans can perform music, so they can also create original music. This overarching belief drives the project.

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The most obvious primary outcome should be that teachers feel confident in their ability to work with music and related arts and activities in support of a range of intercurricular outcomes. Within this overarching outcome is the intention that teachers and students acquire simple arts-related skills which increase confidence in working with the arts as adjuncts to other learning areas, particularly, but not specifically, language and numeracy. The process assumes that teachers and students are prepared to attempt their own shared creative arts exercises in the enhancement of existing understanding about language, numeracy etc. This is not only evident in music and related arts presentations but also in the originality of the work presented.

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Contextualising music literacy Background to the approach

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This idea is experimental

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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. I have chosen the song ‘Catch your tail’, from this collection to be trialled with students from Year 4 upwards (Teachers who also find written music an indecipherable mumbo jumbo, perhaps this will help enlighten you. I’m not claiming it will be easy or not require effort—but my experience trialling it suggests that with a little effort, it might be useful where applications are experiential and appropriate.)

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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.

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.

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© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Catch your tail •f orr evi e wp ur posesonl y•

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1. First introduce the written music for the tune of the song. (a) Ask first what children recognise and understand already. Hopefully their responses will relate to the words (lyrics) written under the symbols which are the notes of the music. What do they notice, if anything, about the way the words are placed? (b) Perhaps some also recognise musical symbols. While encouraging them to share their knowledge, also point out that we will be interpreting new musical symbols as we deconstruct the music. CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES

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2. Next, we begin to single out the music symbols used in the first lines of music: (I have tried to write in language directed to teachers—I will leave it to teachers to adjust this appropriately to the level of their students. One suggestion is that you enlarge and photocopy the line above—then create the symbols below to cut-and-paste onto the enlarged copy.)

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This is a five-lined, four-spaces staff or stave. It is used as the template for writing Western music. On its own this staff or stave is meaningless until it is unlocked with a key or clef (from the French word for a ‘key’).

treble clef

time signature

musical bracket

This block is a bar rest. Music is a mix of sound and silence. This symbol is a block hanging from the second to top line of the stave. Its task is to tell us that no music will sound for the two quarter-note beats of this bar.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons This is a i musical bracket. The second stave running along beneath the top vocal stave is •f orr e v e w p u r p o s e s o n l y • written for the piano. Usually the piano has two staves of its own but in this music it only needs

to play one note at a time. The bracket at the beginning tells us the stave is for an instrument, not the voice.

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acciaccatura

quaver rest

joined quavers

This is a time signature. It tells us how the notes will be grouped. As the music proceeds it will tell us that the main beat, a crotchet, (sometimes called a quarter note, hence the ‘4’ underneath) is grouped in 2s, hence the 2 at the top.

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This is an acciaccatura. The piano plays only one note throughout this section of the song. However every few beats it adds a little crushed note which squeezes against the main note. This crushed note is called an acciaccatura. It’s rather like a little burst of machine-gun fire! The main note here is middle-C, a quaver or quarter note

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bar rest

This is the treble clef, a clef or key that helps the staff to make sense. As the treble or G clef it is probably the most familiar of all clefs. Originally it looked like the letter ‘G’ because it finishes on the second to bottom line of the stave, the ‘G’ line. Across hundreds of years it has been decorated and embellished so much that it now has its present familiar musical shape.

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4-spaces staff (or stave)

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Here is a quaver rest, another silence or rest symbol. This one is much smaller and shorter in time, it being the rest symbol for an eighth beat or quaver beat. Think of this as the silence equivalent of the previous main sound symbol for a quaver.

Here is a pair of quavers, joined together. When the quaver or eighth note symbols are joined together they lose the little flicky tail and share a single straight joiner called a beam. Here are two middle-C quavers joined together to take the equivalent length of time of a crotchet or quarter note.

bar line

This is a bar line. Remember the two-four that followed the clef signs at the beginning of this music. Their purpose is to group the beats throughout the music into regular clusters of two crotchet or four quaver beats. Each cluster is called a bar (or in America, a measure). To show that a bar is completed and a new one is beginning this symbol, a barline is used.

pitched note E

This is the pitched note E. The notes should help explain how we know this.

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Remember how the treble clef—the second symbol listed here—gave the five-lined stave meaning by telling us that the second to bottom line of the staff or stave is G. • Starting with A there are only seven letters in the musical alphabet and G is the last. • From G we step to A in the next space above. • From there we step to B on the next (middle) line, and so on. • To find the names of notes below G, we go backwards. • Working backwards from G can you identify the letter names of these two notes? • The first is E on the bottom line (working from G on the second line, back to F in the bottom space.)

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D in an imaginary space

This is D in an imaginary space just below the bottom line of the staff (or stave).

F in the first space

Here is F in the first space, just below G on the second line.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons And here, of course, is … ? •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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This demonstrates well how the beats are grouped correctly to make up the equivalent of two quarter-notes or crotchets to a bar. What are the letter names of these notes?

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example of grouped beats

Does this bar or measure also correctly reflect the 2/4 time signature? Can you work out what these two notes’ letter-names are by counting up from G ?

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B below the stave

This is B below the stave. Like middle C this new note depends on an extra short line to relate it to the five-lined staff. This type of note is called a leger line note. If middle-C has a line passing through it then it must be a line note.

middle C

Just to remind and help you, here is middle-C again, as a crotchet.

double bar line

This is a double bar line. Remember, barlines help group beats into regular 2/4 patterns. This is a double bar line and its purpose ought to be obvious. It states that this part of the music has come to an end. It is the equivalent of a full stop in punctuation.

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Song lyrics 

The mathematical dance

 The days of the week Monday, M-O-N-D-A-Y. Tuesday, T-U-E-S-D-A-Y. These are the ways we spell days of the week! Wednesday W-E-D-N-ES-D-A-Y. Thursday, T-H-U-R-S-D-A-Y. These are the ways we spell days of the week! Friday, F-R-I-D-A-Y. Saturday S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y. These are the ways we spell days of the week! Sunday S-U-N-D-A-Y. That’s how we spell the last day of the week! (YAWN!)

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With your charming partner, stand and make a circle, turn, bow to each other. All join hands and clockwise, walk around together, once around the circle, now stop and all turn widdershuns together. Finish. Cross hands with your partner, now skip ‘round together, go right around the circle following the next pair, skipping ‘round together, once around the circle, now spin around your partner together. Turn and face your partner, clap your hands together, now turn and face the other way, clap your hands together, now bow low to each other, then turn and face your partner, and bow low to each other to finish.

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scared. ‘My granny is poorly, her bones ache most sorely!’ Sly Wolf ran on and arrived ahead, hid granny and jumped in her bed. Red forgot him and arrived at Gran’s but got a big surprise. ‘Why Gran, what big hands you have got!’ ‘All the better to greet you’, and shook them a lot. ‘Why Gran, what great big eyes you have now!’ ‘All the better to see you’, and he glared like an owl. ‘Why Gran, you have a great big nose!’ ‘All the better to smell you—and you smell like a rose!’ ‘Why, Gran what big teeth in your jaw!’ ‘All the better to eat you!’ and he jumped to the floor. Red ran to the door and found a woodcutter there, ‘I’m glad you’ve come, please help my grandma. Granny is poorly, her bones ache most sorely!’ Just then the wolf came dashing out—the woodcutter, though rather stout, he raised his axe for cutting trees— and knock’d the wolf down to his knees! He hadn’t used the sharpen’d side, which meant the wolf, tho’ stunned, survived! Granny was safe but rather scared. She thought she’d find her grandchild dead. Woodcutter hadn’t killed the beast, who ran away and missed the feast. The three sat down to eat Red’s yummies—Red, Woodcutter and Grandmummy. Wolf has never been seen again so this is where I’ll rest my pen! Granny’s less poorly, her bones ache less sorely!

The billycart

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My new billycart goes up the hill slowly, taking it quietly, ‘Pole, pole’, giving it a push takes lots of whoosh. Here’s the summit, now we’ve done it! Going down the hills is excellently evil, cool, I fly like Evil Knievel, screaming to a finish, the cart has one fault, there’s no brakes and I can’t stop!

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Little Red Riding Hood

This tale’s about Red Riding Hood, a little girl who’s always good. Rain or shine was nev’r a bother, Red always met her old grandmother. She’d pack a basket full of food and set off daily down the road. One day as she was walking through the woods, a wolf came walking too. He stopped Red Riding Hood and asked, ‘Where are you going, pretty lass?’ ‘To see my gran, I daily do.’ ‘I’d like to meet your granny too.’ ‘No, No’, said Red, now full of dread for she was feeling very R.I.C. Publications® • www.ricgroup.com.au

A flea in the ear

I’m sorry, teacher dear, a flea jumped in my ear. I tried to blast it clear, but I found I couldn’t hear! You may think this absurd, but I’ve hardly heard a word. Even close your voice is blurred, I’m sorry that I’ve erred! So teacher, please be fair, A flea’s now in your hair. Catch it if you dare, I’ve many more to spare!

Rain

It’s raining on the roof, It’s raining on the roof. The little drops are tinkling down, it’s raining on our roof. It’s pattering on the tiles, it’s pattering on the tiles, Bigger drops are pattering down, it’s raining on the tiles. CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES


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It’s splattering on the iron, It’s splattering on the iron. Great big drops are splattering down, it’s raining on the roof! It’s sloshing down the drains, it’s sloshing down the drains, The water is a torrent now, it’s sloshing down the drains. 

Poor Mother McGee

Touch your toes

Touch your toes, blow your nose, pat your knees, pretend to sneeze! Yummy, yummy, rub your tummy. Smack your lips, chomp your choppers! Show you care, comb your hair. Polish your shoes, wash your face, blink your eyes, wiggle your ears, poke out your tongue. You look really dumb! (And so do you!) Wriggle your fingers, Bend your elbows Clench your fists, Blow a kiss!

Poor Mother McGee, she swallowed a bumblebee! She open’d her mouth, the bee went south. She was in great danger, as the bee buzzed in anger. Poor Mother McGee, who swallowed a bumblebee. Poor Mother McGee, she swallowed a trapdoor spider! She open’d her mouth, the spider went south. It chortled with glee as it caught the bee. She’d been in great danger, as the bee buzzed in anger. Poor Mother McGee, who swallowed that bumblebee. Poor Mother McGee, she swallowed a whistling kite! She open’d her mouth, the kite went south and there inside her it caught the spider, that chortled with glee as it caught the bee. She’d been in great danger as the bee buzzed in anger. Poor Mother McGee, who swallowed that bumblebee. Poor Mother McGee, she swallowed a children’s python! She open’d her mouth, the python went south. It swallowed the kite, with great delight, that there inside her had caught the spider, that chortled with glee as it caught the bee. She’d been in great danger, as the bee buzzed in anger. Poor Mother McGee, who swallowed that bumblebee. Poor Mother McGee, she swallowed a crocodile! She opened her mouth, the croc’ went south, it swallowed the python with one great gulp, that swallowed the kite, with great delight, that there inside her had caught the spider, that chortled with glee as it caught the bee. She’d been in great danger as the bee buzzed in anger, Poor mother McGee, who swallowed that bumblebee. Poor Mother McGee, She swallowed the Timor Sea! … Aw Gee!

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Thirty days hath September

Thirty days hath September, April, June and November. All the rest have thirty-one—excepting February alone. It has twenty-eight days clear, but only in a normal year. It has twenty-eight days clear, and twenty-nine in each leap year! 

dong, dong! Dong, dong, dong, dong! He sings very loudly and he sounds like a gong.

Catch your tail

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Pussy, pussy, catch your tail, you’ll have to chase it faster, Whoops-a-daisy, that’s too quick, I think her tail has passed her!

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Roy G Biv

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Have you met Roy G Biv? He’s the painter who gives wet days life! Sunlight through the rain shines, colours the light and Roy builds a great arch that’s a lustrous delight! He daubs the rainbow red, orange, yellow, and green and blue, then indigo, violet. Now you’ve met Roy G Biv! He’s the painter who gives wet days life! 

All sing out!

Little sister Daisy has a dainty little voice She sings so sweetly it sounds like this Tweetle, tweetle, tweetle dee, tweetle, tweetle, tweetle dee, she sings so sweetly, it sounds like this: Cousin Herbert sings very slow, he sings so slowly the roosters crow, Cockadoodledo, Cockadoodledo, he sings so slowly the roosters crow, Big brother has a great big voice he sings very loudly and he sounds like this – Dong, dong, CREATIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES

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Dan, the doctor

Dan, the doctor knocked on my door. He said, ‘I hear your feet are sore.’ I said, ‘No, they’re not, and I’ve got the lot.’ He said, ‘Call those feet? You know they’re not!’ ‘Doctor, doctor how can you be so mean? My feet are the best you’ve ever seen! Not only are they beautiful—they’re very clean!’ He said, ‘Call those posh! They need a wash!’ ‘My feet are neat feet. They can’t be beat feet. I treat my feet great plates of meat feet. Not only are they neat feet—they’re very sweet! He said, ‘Call that sweet! They’re incomplete!’ www.ricgroup.com.au • R.I.C. Publications®


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Up and down

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Indian lullaby

Hush little baby, mother is watching, you close your sleepy eyes. Cares for you, baby. Mother is keeping you safely in her sight. Stars are peeping, keeping watch above you up on high moonbeams shining lines of beams above you in the sky.

 Who’s that singin’?

Who’s that singin on your mobile phone? If it’s Johnny, tell him I’m not home, We’ll tell him you’ve gone on a global roam. Then call Archie on the other phone; other phone.

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Jack and Jill went up the hill, for all we know they’re climbing still. The hill is steep and covered with slime, that’s very slippery, so it takes a long time. Then coming down is just as tricky, the slippery slide is very slick! Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. The wall was tall, he should have been at school—but he’s a fool who doesn’t learn the rules. He tumbled down it was just as tricky, the slippery wall was very sticky! Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep, the silly sheep forgot to bleat. They wandered off along the street and sharp stones cut and hurt their feet. They all sat down and began to bleat, then Bo Peep found them in a sweat!

Ukulele man keep the rhythm in your walk. Keep the ukulele strumming, the laughter in your talk. With the ukulele playing and everybody swaying, let’s keep it up all day. How could anybody work?

 The bush fashion show

Crocodiles wear frilly skirts, dosy dingoes yodel, wallabies in floral shirts—quite the latest model. Strutting up the catwalk, showing off their style. All engaged in small talk—smiling all the while. Busy stitchbirds cut and sew, at the animal fashion show. Lorikeets in highheeled shoes, frilled-necks wearing boxers. Audience laughs, ’cause kangaroos are only wearing soxes! Strutting up the catwalk, showing off their style. All engaged in small talk—smiling all the while. Busy stitchbirds cut and sew, at the animal fashion show.

Riding a crocodile

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When we tried to take a ride on a salty crocodile, shook us to the left and shook us to the right. Hold on tight or he might bite! Don’t, please don’t be taken in by his croc-o-silly grin, or his gummy toothless jaws. Hold on tight or he might gnaw! As he slobbers, ‘Yum, yum, yum!’ Longs to have you in his tum’! He will shake until we fall. Hold on tight or he might gnaw! 

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The ukulele man

The ukulele man is a-coming-down the street, Snapping with his fingers and tapping with his feet, There’s a rhythm in his walk that’s in keeping with the beat. He’s a very happy fellow, he’s lots of fun to meet. There’s music in the air ’cos the ukulele plays. People come from miles and everybody stays. Just to see his nimble fingering attracts their envious gaze. They could listen to the music play and play for days and days. Mr Uukulele Man, strum your ukulele strum. Strum your ukulele to the beating of the drum. There’ll be lots of happy people now the music has begun. Strum that ukulele ’til the setting of the sun. R.I.C. Publications® • www.ricgroup.com.au

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ER READ

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.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Campbell, D., (2000). The Mozart effect for children 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

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Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Crystal, D., (1997). The Cambridge encyclopedia of the English language

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Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

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

Dewey, J., (1922). Human nature and conduct. An introduction to social psychology London, UK: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd.. pg 64.

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

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Elliott, D. J., (1995). Music matters; a new philosophy of music education New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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

Hannam, C., & Stephenson, N. (1987) ‘Childhood’, in The Oxford companion to the mind, (ed.) Richard L. Gregory Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pp 171–172

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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, Number 2, 2003. pp 85–97.

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Kruger, D., (2005). Songwriters speak; Conversations about creating music Balmain, NSW: Limelight Press Pty Ltd..

Mithen, S., (2005). The singing Neanderthals; The origins of music, language, mind and body

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London, UK: Orion Publishing Group.

Pinker, S., (1997), How the mind works

o c . che e r o t r s super 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, pp 454–455

http:www.octa4.net.au/bobsmith

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Creative Musical Experiences: Ages 8-9