Haytor View Early Years Music Project, Spring Term 2016 – Blog 1

Haytor View Early Years Music Project with BSO Devon Associate Hugh Nankivell – Thursday January 14th 2016

The first week after the holiday and a sunny day for a new project. This term with Ernest Cook Trust and BSO support we are exploring:

  1. being outside and making songs abut the school and the site and the surroundings,
  2. introducing folk music and
  3. planning and preparing for a family band

Today I sang a couple of folk songs, introduced the accordion, went on a musical journey around the school with twelve children, looked at what we could see from the balcony on the first floor, came up with song ideas and played outside with instruments in the VERY cold, but clear air.


When I showed them the accordion case they wondered what kind of instrument it might be.
A racing car that can bounce
A Piano
A Guitar
A Ukulele-piano
A trumpet
A trumpet piano
and finally I was told by one girl  ‘If we open it then we will know’.

So we did and they heard it and we talked about how it needs wind to play it so one boy said we should take it outside and see if the wind can play it and another girl was so excited by the sound and said: ‘that is magic, that’s the fairies that done that… I think they are inside and to make it work.’


When we got upstairs we could see many things and all of these great titles for songs emerged.

– How Did The Builders Build The Roof?
– Almost As Tall As The Roof
– I Can See The Swings
– I Can See My House
– Dora Was On The Roof
– My House Is All The Way Up There
– I Can See The Whole Town Like A Monster
– The Birds Are Flying
– I Can See The Shops
– I Saw A Bin Lorry

(This could be a great concept album with these titles!)

And then a slightly more developed lyric emerged – which could be the first three lines of ‘My House s All The Way Up There’.

There’s loads and loads of houses
I don’t know which one is mine
But one of them must be

Finally the ideas of a group lyric emerged as we watched and saw the changes in the sky.

A Dinosaur In The Clouds

A dinosaur in the clouds
He’s not sad ‘cause he’s singing a song
And now it’s gone
The head is gone and the
Tail is gone
And the mouth is gone
And now I can see the moon from here


When we got to playing outside with instruments some instant songs emerged, especially from one girl ‘S’ – including

I Like the plants and I love them – sung repeatedly as we danced and sang by the potted plants and
I’m Jumping Up and Down Outside When I’m Excited sung for a long time.

There was such joy and unrestrained excitement at being outside with instruments and lots of space and one girl (the same one who thought there were fairies in the accordion) said:
‘This is so fun… I’m in a play’.

They ran around, choosing instruments, making games, pointing at birds or the clouds or the moon. leaping, jumping, hopping. In pairs, in bigger groups or on their own, everyone exploring and having fun and creating.

Roll on the rest of the term.


2 thoughts on “Haytor View Early Years Music Project, Spring Term 2016 – Blog 1

  1. Thanks Hugh,
    Your session sounds fun! I love the title ‘I can see the whole town like a monster’. I bet none of these childre have seen King Kong, but this title made me think of that film.
    The little girl with fairies in the accordian is right, she is in a play! I wonder what she can see from the roof, lots I imagine!
    Roll on Act 2!

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