Haytor View Early Years Music Project, Spring Term 2016 – Blog 6

Haytor View Early Years Music Project, Spring Term 2016 – Blog 6

February 24th 2016

Upstairs in the studio first of all – I brought in a keyboard to play two songs to them including a new one from me that I had worked out using their words from the previous session outside.

We had a large group (20) upstairs and they danced and joined in with it…

I Can Hear The Sun

I can hear the sun on my trousers

I can see the clouds singing

and then the leafs turn up on the floor

I can hear the moon in my bedroom

I can see the trees windy

and then the leafs turn up on the floor

What I really liked about this was that I acknowledged the first three lines of the song as coming directly from the group (in fact the only line of lyrics I actually invented was the fourth line) but said that I could not remember who had come up with the first line. The group ascribed it confidently to ‘K’ and at that moment I remembered that it was him and we looked at each other and smiled. They then told me that ‘M’ had invented the second line and again this was a good moment of ownership for her with the song.

After these 2 songs and dancing we reduced the size of the group to eight (mainly new to me) and continued to make songs and music together. We looked out of the window at the clouds and made and played ‘The Cloud Song’.

The Cloud Song

Clouds moving over there

Clouds moving, it’s going to rain

Clouds moving in the sky

Clouds moving all white

(and then we swapped instruments – as determined by ‘R’)

We stayed as a whole group in the upstairs studio playing, moving, swapping instruments and singing this song for half an hour until we went outside. It felt good to go outside into the winter sun, as the cloud song was created because the window ledge was so high that all most of the group could see was the sky and the clouds. We needed to see and experience the real outside world, not mediated by glass.

Once outside we went on a number of journeys and adventures with and without instruments and made the following ‘songs’.

Trees and Leaves

Flowers on the trees

White flowers



I Walk To The Doughnut Shop 

I walk to the doughnut shop

Just down the road

I skip to the doughnut shop

Just down the road

I run to the doughnut shop

Just down the road


Down By The Gate

We saw a rainbow

Last time we were here

We found a ladybird

Right here

We found a snail

White and grey

We counted the trees

With the blossom on


We’ll Sing About The Sun

The sun comes out

and the moon comes out at night

The sun comes out

and the moon comes out at bedtime


A Bug and a Snail and a Leaf

A bug and a snail and a leaf

We found them all outside

A bug and a snail and a leaf

And then we found a feather

And the bug has gone to sleep

This whole set of songs again reminds me of the aboriginal ‘songlines’, in the way that the children are

  • singing up the world as they see it changing (lovely that ‘JJ’ spotted the new white flowers – blossom – on the newly planted trees),
  • interacting closely and in real detail with what they find (bugs, snail-shells)
  • moving about and using the space they are in,
  • using imagination (we were experiencing the sun, but imaginging the moon at night)
  • remembering journeys (‘J’ knew exactly how to get to the doughnut shop!)

and much more besides.

The whole session again seemed timeless today and it was great outside when ‘J’ took us on a running journey (with instruments) and it seemed and felt as if it would and could go on for ever! No wonder the class teacher said I looked tired when we came in.

Some of the playing was really dynamic today, with a long session of really quiet playing in the ‘Bug Snail and Leaf’ song, with ‘J’ playing really sensitively and folowing the narrative story telling of another child. We also explored a whole range of complementary sounds and movements including loud, stamping, quiet, tiptoeing, running, fast, walking, slow and the whole movement and music connections are increasingly growing.

We also had an interesting moment with the ‘Doughnut’ song when ‘J’ really hoped to be able to take us there. He tried to take us the most direct route, but the gate was locked, so we went through the school to the front entrance and only then was it explained to him that we couldn’t actually leave the school without permissions. He seemed to acept this and appeared glad to have got us this far on his journey.

Finally in the sharing at the end we repeated ‘The Bug and the Snail and the Leaf’ song and I drew rough outines of a bug, a leaf and a snail on three sheets of paper and one child still had the feather in her hand, so we were able to use visual images as prompts for the lyrics and this seemed to work really well. Why have I not done this before?


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