Haytor View Early Years Music Project, Spring Term 2016 – Blog 4

Haytor View Early Years Music Project with BSO Devon Associate Hugh Nankivell – February 3rd 2016.

Went on another journey around the school (singing the new school anthem – ‘This Is Our New School’) up to the studio, so that we could again look out towards Haytor View where we looked out last week. The parade was great, with lots of movement, music and singing. One of the great things about Haytor View is that the rest of the school always seem overjoyed that a parade of musicians happens to wander by and disturb them from their studying or meeting or learning.

We got to the studio and I asked ‘M’ to look out of the window again and to tell us what she could see, and this time it included palaces and houses (she could see most people’s houses it seemed!). I then sang the song I had invented inspired by her words (‘I can nearly see the snow on the mountains’ and ‘and the bus was going to the beach’) from the previous week.


I can nearly see the snow on the mountains
I can nearly see the ships on the sea
I can nearly see the cars on the south devon highway
I can nearly see my house from here

And the bus was going to the mountains
And the bus was going a long way
And the bus was going to the beach
And the bus was taking me on a holiday

Immediately the group started joining in and dancing. ‘C’ and ‘A’ had many new dance moves and, in fact, both of them kept moving for most of the afternoon. Others also were trying out new choreographies – and ‘J’ was really getting the breakdancing going towards the end of the afternoon. They have been really inspired by the movement and the idea of dancing and organising dances.

This whole little parade and song and dancing completely exhausted ‘M’ and she had to lie down for the rest of the session.

We then paraded downstairs singing the new song and, as the group moved outside, their movements became very extravagent – rock star poses with ukuleles and big movements. Everyone happily shared instruments and we all came down playing a different one.

We spent the rest of the afternoon playing downstairs in the Foundation Stage. Lots of  writing words (the idea of song-writing has inspired many of them to get writing and there was a little table of writers at one point) small bands playing together and exchanging of instruments.

What was really striking was the fact that while there was a lot of music and sound going on (for about an hour in that space) there was also concentrated non-musical work going on. Individuals and small groups can and do focus really well if they are engaged in their tasks, even when there are bands playing, dances emerging and songs being written.

Great new song from a group which featured ‘zip-line playing’ – which is a new name for going fast up and down the strings on the guitar/ukulele or very fast glissandi over the xylophone notes. This song also featured actions and count-ins (one count in was 67 beats before we could start!) and dynamics and laughter.


The sun comes out
The plants go up
Up to a giant
And he says Fee Fi Fo Fum
Cause you play too much
And the blue egg runs away
And the yellow egg runs away
And the shiny egg runs away
To the park
When it rains
On a zip-wire


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