It’s the summer holidays and you are in need of something to do with your children. Here are 30 children’s songs to help you get through the long holidays. Perhaps you could use them to motivate your children into doing something or getting to places!
If you are a Primary school teacher then you may find these songs very useful for teaching musical concepts as well as encouraging collaboration, taking turns, sharing, confidence building and more.
This song is one of my favourite songs for moving and responding to musical phrasing. This can be used in various spaces developing children’s listening and understanding of phrases.
The birdies fly away and they come back home.,
The birdies fly away and they come back home,
Fly away, fly away all the birdies fly away,
The birdies fly away and they come back home.
Always sing the song first for your child or children to hear. You can ask questions about the song: what is it about? (birds) What are they doing? (flying away) Where do they go? (away then home). With young children you can talk about what might be a birds home e.g. nest.
Start by singing the song and tapping your legs to the pulse. Ask the children to join in and sing a second time.
Ask the children to find a space, this spot will be their home. I really like to use visuals so if you have mats, coloured spots or anything you can use for individual places then use them. If you haven’t you might use a particular place e.g. a rug, or corner of a room that children can understand.
As you sing the song everyone should fly away from their spot (make sure you are using ‘flying’ arms) and try to arrive back in their place by the word ‘home’.
Extensions and variations:
If you have scarves use these as wings for little ones. You could also get individuals to perform the actions on their own e.g. replace the words ‘The birdies’ with their name ‘Thomas’ and another name for the second line. The last two lines could be performed as a group.
Solo singing could be encouraged by changing ‘the birdies’ to ‘I can’.
Perhaps you could discuss different kinds of birds that fly.
Musical aspects being taught in this song:
Feel for pulse – tapping legs to pulse in the first instance helps children to feel pulse.
Pitch Matching – joining in with the song singing together and individual solos.
Musical intervals – soh,- doh (perfect 4th); la- fa (major 3rd)
Phrasing – moving to the phrases of the song.
Range – Seventh. Starting pitch A below middle C
Turn Taking – children take turns to perform on their own.
Listening and watching – children learn to listen to the song to be able to perform the actions to the phrasing.
Performing / building confidence – performing the actions together and on their own.
Literacy -song structure and phrasing. What parts of the song are the same? Rhythm of words and syllables
Co-ordination, spatial awareness and gross movement – being able to move in a given direction. Children using their bodies for gross motor movement. Working in a space with others and trying not to bump into each other. Finding their direction back to their spot in time.
The BKA (British Kodaly Academy) offers great courses for specialist and non-specialist music teachers. It truly is a great way of teaching music to children.