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Exploring other musical concepts

Heigh-di’, we emphasize the slowness and the heaviness of a large elephant. This is an excellent opportunity to direct children’s attention to the slow TEMPO and the large loud heavy steps. Listen to the audio recording of the song. Tap the slow beat and sing along.

drawing of elephant with children sitting on its back

Heigh-di

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Heigh-di

Heigh-di, heigh-di-ho

the great big elephant is so low.

Heigh-di, heigh-di-ho

the elephant is so slow.

He swings his trunk from side to side

as he takes the children for a ride.

Heigh-di, heigh-di-ho

the elephant is so slow

Sometimes there is an outstanding RHYTHM pattern in a song that just begs to be clapped or it’s built into the song as in Let everyone clap hands. Listen to the audio-recording and join in the clapping patterns which occur at the end of each phrase.

drawing of girl clapping hands

Let everyone clap hands

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Let everyone clap hands

Let everyone clap hands with me

It’s easy, as easy can be

Let everyone join in the game

You’ll find that it’s always the same

There is also a built-in rhythm pattern in the song ‘I’m a peanut’. Listen to the audio recording and clap the patterns at the end of the song.

drawing of a peanut about to be trod on by a huge foot

I'm a peanut

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I’m a peanut

I’m a peanut small and round

Lying on the cold hard ground.

Everybody steps on me,

I’m as cracked as can be.

I’m a nut CLAP CLAP

In a rut CLAP CLAP

Such a nut CLAP CLAP

In a rut CLAP CLAP

Rhythm patterns can be short and simple, short and complicated, long and simple and long and complicated. Following is an example of an outstanding rhythm pattern in a song. Listen to the audio recording and clap the RHYTHM patterns. Sing along.

drawqing of a black American woman in a kitchen making a cake

Shortnin' bread

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Shortnin’ bread

Mammy’s little baby loves shortnin’ shortnin’

Mammy’s little baby loves short–nin’ bread.

Mammy’s little baby loves shortnin’ shortnin’

Mammy’s little baby loves short–nin’ bread.

We have used the song ‘One, two, three, four, five’ a number of times now. If you will recall, there are two outstanding RHYTHM patterns in this song. They are:

one, two, three, four, five (and)

six, se–ven, eight, nine, ten

Let’s clap out these two rhythm patterns one more time. Listen to the audio recording. Sing and clap the patterns when they occur in the song. Let’s sing the song again but this time, during the second verse we also clap the rhythm of the words ‘on my right’.

drawing of small boy pointing to his throbbing finger

One, two, three, four, five

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One, two, three four, five

One, two, three, four, five

Once I caught a fish alive

Six, seven eight, nine ten

Then I left him go again

Why did you let him go?

‘Cause he bit my finger so

What finger did he bite?

This little finger on the right.

In the song ‘Are you sleeping?’ the words ‘ding, dang, dong’ also form a striking pattern. We emphasized this when we added actions to the song earlier. ‘Ding, ding, dong’ was a feature. Listen to the audio as you sing along. Tap the ‘ding, dang, dong’ on the table.

drawing of small child asleep and through the window bells ringing

Are you sleeping?

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Are you sleeping?

Are you sleeping? (2)

Brother John (2)

Morning bells are ringing (2)

Ding, dang, dong. (2)

Think about some of the songs you have been learning, the music you have been listening to and the instruments you have been exploring. How might you use some of these to explore the concept of PITCH with children?

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Form and phrasing
Developing concepts of phrase