Midweek Music Activities


Every Wednesday we have a new #MidweekMusic activity for you to do at home or in school. You’ll find all the help and resources you need by clicking the tabs below, and you can share your responses with us too! This week we continue our second Cumbria Sings collaboration with the song Wish from Sing Up.


Cumbria Sings: Write your own Rap

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This week we continue to focus on our second Cumbria Sings song, Wish. We will feature a Rap at the start of our video and we’d like you to help; sharing your own wishes for next term and a better Summer ahead, as well as all our hopes and dreams for the future.

The Main Activity shows you exactly how to do this. Remember to record your performance and upload your Rap by 30 April so that we can choose our favourites to star at the start of the video.

Extension 2 will help you to record exactly what we need.

In Extension 1 we recap all the other activities you can do to get involved.  Don’t forget that you will need to register with us to access the free Sing Up song resource if you haven’t already.

Register Here

 

        

 

When we are learning to Rap it is really important that we articulate our words quickly and clearly. Try out some of these Tongue Twisters:

Donuts, Dragon fruits, Dumplings and dates (say 4 times over)

Betty Botter bought some Butter, but she said the butters bitter

If I put it in my batter it will make my batter bitter

But a bit of better butter that would make my batter better

So ‘twas better Betty Botter bought a bit 0f better butter!

I thought I thought of thinking of thanking you.

Try saying these tongue twisters rhythmically to a strong pulse that you can hear and feel.

Use Mr Haythornthwaite’s Ableton.com music video from the Making Music with Ableton Activity:

Or you could try Ken and Barbie’s BeatBox (from Sing Up)

 

Ken and Barbie

 

Split the class into 3 groups, practice the backings then say along with the performance track.

 

We want to compose a Rap for the start of our video – you can submit your contribution as an individual, a group or a class.

Watch Mrs Kenyon’s video which explains how to create a rap and shows how you can write your own rap for our song Wish.

Backing Track

 

  • Begin by writing a rap using your name, if it rhymes well. If yours doesn’t rhyme, then try with your nickname, a family name or a name you like
  • Go through every letter of the alphabet to find words that rhyme with your chosen name
  • Have a go at putting together four lines of a rap, with 2 sets of 2 rhyming lines
  • Once you’ve written your rap then practice it. Be careful with the timing of your words ensuring that the rhyming words are in the right place
  • Record your rap into a mobile device, pc or on music creation software
  • Add a drum loop using GarageBand, Soundtrap or by using a free online drum machine
  • Practice, perform &record again with the drum loop
  • Go through the same process for the rap for our Wish song (find rhymes for words you want to use for your wishes).
  • Use the backing track to record your rap (please use headphones so we can just hear your rap)
  • Have fun & good luck
Download Instructions
Listen to the performance track of the song again.

Your Wishes

The song is about wishes and dreams. Write down what you would wish for. It could be about something global like reducing plastic waste, cleaning our seas and oceans, or something just for you and your family, such as meeting with friends and family again, going on holiday or playing football in a competition. Discuss your wishes for the future with your family or class.

How to take part


Once you’ve registered, you can find all the audio tracks on our Resource Page

A class can submit the whole version of everyone performing the same thing from the list below.

Or

Groups of children/families/individuals can submit different activities from the list below:

  • Singing (either just one of the three parts, two parts or all three), on your own or as a class
  • Record a few loops of the Bass line
  • Or a few loops of the Riff
  • All of the verses (a complete version of the song- see notes below on recording)
  • Your own Rap (See Main activity)
  • Signing (if you already know how to do Makaton or BSL, and can produce a signed version of the song, we would love to include it).
  • Playing an instrumental part (see link below), as a class or small group or individual. (Your Class or Music Service teachers can help you with this).
  • Playing tuned percussion (Glocks, Boomwhackers), or drumming as a class
  • Creating Body percussion patterns to accompany the song.
Singing and Recording Tips:
  • Please submit whole versions of the song
  • Important: Audio and video recordings of the song need to be made without the backing track being audible.
  • Children can sing along using headphones if working individually.
  • If you have a whole class or group singing, either record as audio, or play the track quietly enough to guide the pitch and have a leader to keep the tempo and guide the entries
  • Don’t forget that you could record outside on a nice day – and animated video recordings (with accompanying moves) will make the piece more exciting to watch
  • If your class are just performing body percussion, moves or playing musical instruments, the teacher should hear the track through headphones and direct the group accordingly
  • Videos and photos in landscape please
  • Make sure you have photo/video consent before uploading your videos.

We look forward to seeing your submissions before 30 April. The video launch will be before half term.

 

Upload Here 

 

Listen to this inspirational cover song from the Children’s One Voice Choir “See You Again” (Charlie Puth, Wiz Khalifa),

 

Or their performance Cover version of Pink’s  “What about us”

 


Midweek Music Activity Bank

Cumbria Sings: Wish
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This week’s activity introduces the second song of our Cumbria Sings project. The song is called ‘Wish’ and is an uplifting song about sharing our hopes and dreams.

We’d like you to video your performances and upload them by 30 April to be part in our own Cumbrian Video of the song.

You’ll need to register with us to access the song resources.

Register Here

 

Singing is one of the most positive forms of human activity, supporting both physical and mental health. Our voice reflects our mood and general wellbeing. We particularly want you to think about those wishes that you have for next term, when signs of Lockdown begin to ease and all the hardships of the pandemic begin to melt away.

 

Listen to the performance track of the song, Wish, once you have registered. There are three parts:

Your Wishes

The song is about wishes and dreams. Write down what you would wish for. It could be about something global like reducing plastic waste, cleaning our seas and oceans or something just for you and your family, such as meeting with friends and family again, going on holiday or playing football in a competition. Discuss your wishes for the future with your family or class. Extension Activity 2 has more on this.

Bass and Riff

The Song is in three parts: listen to the Performance Track three times focusing on a different part each time. Decide which part you would most like to sing. To help you choose:

  • The Bass part – starts the song and is repeated all the way through until the very end
  • The Riff –joins in with the bass part, and repeats though out the song

Try singing along with the practice tracks.

Or if you’d rather do something different:

Body Percussion: can you work out a good body percussion pattern that matches the rhythm? Once you’re happy with your pattern keep repeating it until the end of the song

Instruments: if you can play an instrument you have a look at the instrumental parts on the Resource Page. This could be glockenspiels, Boomwhackers or other tuned percussion.

Signing: Signing (if you already know how to do Makaton or BSL, and can produce a signed version of the song, we would love to include it).

Finally, the Melody:

  • Singing: learn the chorus first then the verses. You’ll notice that the words for both verses are the same. Make sure your words are clear, that you express the words of the song through your facial expressions and you can include hand actions to emphasise the words if you want to.
  • Using Instruments: this part is a bit trickier to play on your instrument so is most suited to intermediate players.

We want to compose a Rap for the start of our video – you can submit your contribution as an individual/a group or a class.

Watch Mrs Kenyon’s video which explains how to create a rap and shows how you can write your own rap for our song Wish.

Create some artwork or posters that tell us about your wishes, hopes and dreams.

Use the ideas you had in the main activity. Discuss some of the lines below taken from the song.

  • Life’s in a spin
  • Would being famous be a good or a bad thing?
  • A wish for World peace
  • Wanting your family and friends to be happy
  • Wishing for us all to take better care of the planet
  • What would make a better tomorrow?

Send us your pictures and posters and we’ll share them on our social media:

Email to:

Listen to this inspirational cover song from the Children’s One Voice Choir “See You Again” (Charlie Puth, Wiz Khalifa),

 

Or their performance Cover version of Pink’s  “What about us”

Composing: In the Hall of the Mountain King Activity
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This week you’re going to:

  1. Listen to a piece of music

  2. Make your own musical instrument

  3. Use your instrument to compose a short piece of music

 

Listen to ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’.

As you’re listening can you write down one answer to each of the following questions:

  1. What does this piece of music make you think of?
  2. How does this piece of music make you feel?
  3. If this piece of music was the soundtrack to a film, what do think would be happening in the action?

Listen to the music for a second time and draw a picture of one of the things that came to your mind from the previous questions. There are no right and wrong answers – if this piece of music has made you think of SOMETHING, you have got the right answer!

Watch the Video to learn a little bit more about the piece.

Edvard Greig (the composer) wanted to show someone tiptoeing away at the beginning of his piece of music. One of the ways he does this is by using little scales.

A scale is a set of notes that go up or down in steps. Watch to this example of a scale:

and have a look at this little video from Smartkids:

 

Your job today is to create your own scale and to use it to compose a short piece of music to show someone (or something) tiptoeing away from danger.

Task 1

Make a simple instrument!

Either find 5 household objects that make different pitches when you tap, shake or blow them. (You might find it easiest to choose objects that are made of the same materials). Have a look at this video to see what I used


Alternatively you could use some tuned percussion or other pitched instruments in school.

Task 2

Compose a 30 second piece of music that would accompany and ‘show’ someone (or something) tiptoeing or creeping away from danger. Use your scale to create little repeating patterns or ideas. Have a look at my piece (Creeping Composing). Notice how I kept returning to the first two pots. This helped to create a pattern and meant that my music had a plan and made sense to listen to.

See if you can compose something even better!

If you want to create some excitement in your music you could add an additional ‘chase’ section. Your music could get faster and louder. Edvard Greig uses these techniques in ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’. Have another listen to get some ideas.

Have fun and enjoy composing!

Read what the music is about and explore the resources on the BBC 10 pieces website.

Make up your own story to go with the music. You could record yourself reading your story whilst you play the music in the background.

Watch this Body Percussion Video.

Have a go at joining in or watch this video to help break it down.

Watch this ‘line rider’ video of In the Hall of the Mountain King. The pictures help to describe the music.

Creating a Graphic Score and Music Activity
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Creating a Graphic Score and Music

Making up our own music (composing) is a great way to explore how we feel, and enables us to tell a story about what’s going on in our lives. We’ve explored this in our last 2 #MidweekMusic Activities. This week we are going to create a graphic score map and compose music to match it.

 

Be silent for one minute. Close your eyes. Take slow, mindful breaths and listen to all the sounds around you.

  • Are they occasional or repeated?
  • What is the sound that’s furthest away from you?

Watch Kerry Andrew’s ‘No Place Like’. Around two minutes in, there is a section made up of sounds from everyday life – can you work out what they are? How are they being recreated using voices and body percussion?

 

 

Think of a journey you know well. This could be your journey to school, a walk around your local area or even around your house.

  1. Draw a map of your journey. Draw or write your start and finish points, and one or two places along the way. Space them out on the paper. Add some words or pictures to describe them – what can you see, hear and smell when you’re there? How do you feel when you arrive and leave?
  2. Draw a line between each place on your journey. How do you travel between them? Do you go down some stairs or up a hill? Is it a busy road or a quiet path?
  3. Decide how you are going to make sounds that reflect each stage of your journey. You can use your bodies, voices or any instruments you have. Try to make each stage last between 15-20 seconds.
  4. Perform or record your final composition. We’d love to see your maps and final performances.

 

Upload Here

 

An example graphic score map

Top tips for creating your sounds:

  1. Think about how you will build your musical texture – layers of different sounds. Are there any continuous sounds that happen throughout all or part of your journey? Try combining these with shorter repeated sounds, rhythms or spoken words – as we heard in ‘No Place Like’. A very busy place might need more layers of sound (a thicker texture) whereas a quiet place might only have one or two.
  2. If you are working with others, you could split into three or four groups and each make different sounds to layer up. Nominate someone to be the conductor who will tell each group when to start and stop.
  3. If you are working on your own, explore how you can make a variety of sound layers using different instruments, body percussion or with your voice. Maybe there are objects around your house that make a continuous sound – the radio or the washing machine!
  4. You could use a tool such as GarageBand, Audacity or BandLab to record your sounds and organise them into layers.

 

Learn about Audacity

 

Go for a mindful walk.

Mindfulness is when we try to focus on our surroundings and the present moment, instead of rushing, multi-tasking or worrying about other things. You could try a mindful walk around the playground or your local area following these instructions.

You might think you know your local walk really well by now – look out for what is different each time, especially as the seasons change. Can you spot new plants growing or hear more birds singing?

Take a soundwalk around your local area.

A soundwalk is when we walk with a focus on listening to the environment. Before you go, make a list of sounds you might hear – take your list with you and tick them off as you walk, or write down any you didn’t think of.

 

Can you describe the sounds? Are they fast/slow/loud/quiet/high/low? You could record some of the sounds you hear to include in your composition.

Watch this video of a cartoon that has been drawn to go with a famous piece of classical music.

Exploring Sounds and Graphic Scores Activity
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Exploring Sounds and Creating Graphic Scores

Making up our own music is a great way to explore how we feel, and enables us to tell a story about what’s going on in our lives. This week we are going to explore all the different sounds we can make on our instruments or using our bodies and create some graphic score symbols to represent them.

 

Use the Chrome Lab spectrogram tool to investigate how different sounds can be reflected as different shapes and colours. Click on the mic button to input your own sounds – experiment with different voice and body percussion sounds, instruments if you have them or even everyday objects like pencils and paper.

 

Open Chrome Music Lab

 

 

In music when we write instructions for playing music it’s called a score. Some scores look like this:

Other scores use pictures and symbols to tell us which sounds to make. This is called a graphic score.

Here’s an example of a graphic score for a piece of music called ‘Kitchen Noises’!

See if you can follow the score while you listen.

Hear Kitchen Noises See Kitchen Noises

 

Look at these symbols. How would you make a sound that reflects that symbol?

  • Experiment with your voices, body percussion or instruments.
  • Is it high, low, quiet, loud, short, long, sharp or soft?
  • A few different notes or just one?

Now it’s time to make your own graphic score

  1. Draw, colour or cut out four symbols, words or shapes. If you are stuck for ideas, think of a theme: try cartoon noises or emoticon faces.
  2. Decide what sound you are going to make for each symbol. Practise them in different orders and decide on a final sequence. Are you going to repeat any sounds? How will you know how long each sound is going to be? What will the ending be like? Draw or stick your symbols on a piece of paper in the order you have decided and add any other details.
  3. Finally – perform your piece! You could use the backing track in this video to add a pulse (steady beat) to your music – or you could keep it totally free.


Have a look at some more examples of graphic scores.

Graphic Scores

Choose one of the scores to perform yourself – decide what sound you will make for each symbol. Here’s a good one to try:

Wiggles and Squiggles

Ask someone else to perform your graphic score.

Think about what instructions or information they might need. You could create a key like in ‘Kitchen Noises’.

Kitchen Noises Key (School of Noise)

How does it sound different?

Can you perform the music using different instruments and sounds?

Experiment with some of the other music-making tools in Chrome Music Lab.

Chrome Music Lab

 

Making Music with Ableton Activity
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Making Music with Ableton

Over the next few weeks we will be creating music in different ways. #MidweekMusic Session 4 takes you through creating music online using Ableton’s Learning Music.

If you have ever used Garage band or Fruity Loops programs to create music, you will be familiar with some of the topics on the site. There are plenty of musical exercises to get stuck in to, so this is about YOU creating music and hopefully learning as you do it.

 

Launch the Ableton Learning Music website and let’s get started straight away.

Open the website

 

On the first page if you scroll down you will see this grid:

Each box triggers a different instrument sample. Simply click the play button on any box and the sample will begin to play. Press it again and it will stop.

Watch Mr Haythornthwaite’s video using the samples he enjoyed. This is to give you an idea of what you can do using just a few samples.

Go to Main Activity for your task…

Your task is to create a piece of music using these samples.

This is about YOU creating something that YOU like so play around until you find a combination of sounds you enjoy. Try and avoid copying the examples.

  • Create a piece that is a minimum of 30 seconds in length.
  • Listen to the music as it is playing and create interest by stopping and starting samples at different points in time. See if you can create your own composition in this way, make a note of which ones you use and how many times they are repeated before you turn them off and on so that you can perform your ideas to a friend or family member.
  • Remember it’s about what YOU like!!

In the   Extension Activities    we look at creating drum loops.

Making Beats

  • Drumbeats or ‘beats’ provide the Pulse and Rhythm to music.
  • A beat can be used to create atmosphere, dynamics, feel and intention to a song. Think of a style of song you would like to create and imagine how that drumbeat might sound, would it be fast or slow? Busy or simple?
  • Your task here is to create a couple of drumbeats of your own using the drumbeat application on Ableton’s make beats website. Look at Mr Haythornthwaite’s video and image below as an example of Back Beat.
Learning Music: Making Beats

 

 

Changing one little part of a drumbeat can drastically change the sound and feel of the beat, Changing the *Tempo can too, so please feel free to try things out and experiment. There are no wrong answers. Find something YOU like and most importantly enjoy yourself!

 

 

 

* Unsure what ‘Tempo’ means? See videos on Tempo in Midweek Music Activity Week 2

Use these pictures of example drumbeats from songs you will know to feed into Ableton. Listen to the original version of one of the examples:

  • What can you add in or take out to make it sound more like your own version of accompaniment to the song?
  • What would make the most difference?
  • What would make it more interesting? For example – what would happen if you add a snare drum or take out the closed-hat sounds?

Now create your own patterns and form something of your own.

Dance Monkey

Umbrella – Rihanna

Watch a performance of Sakura Tsuruta using Ableton

Cup Song Activity
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Welcome to WEEK 3 of Cumbria Midweek Music activities. We hope that you have enjoyed the sessions so far that connect with Cumbria Sings. Have you uploaded anything for our video yet? Closing date for submissions is 10 February.

This week, we’re focusing on Anna Kendricks version of the Cup Song from Pitch Perfect.

Watch the official video:

 

These warm ups require a cup! Choose one or two of the following to try.

In this first example you will be listening to, and repeating rhythms before doing call and response activities to the song I don’t care if the rain comes down.

 

For this next activity you will need two cups.

 

For the second part of this warm up activity either copy the rhythms or read the notation yourself. You will still need your cup!

Or try either of these more advanced copy games with a cup along to Dance Monkey

or Coffin dance

Our very own Mrs Kenyon from Cumbria Music Hub has created this video to help you learn the cup song rhythm pattern. Why don’t you watch it and  have a go yourselves?

Here is a performance version of song. Could you and a friend of member of your family recreate this and perhaps make a little video to share with us?

 

Upload here

 

Watch an acapella version of When I’m Gone:

Is there someone in your family or at school who could accompany you performing your own version of the cups song on the Ukulele? Here are two videos from many on YouTube that show the chord progressions for When I’m Gone.

When I’m Gone Ukulele 1

When I’m Gone Ukulele 2

1: Try out the cup song rhythm to other songs:

  • List the songs to which the rhythm fits well
  • Or those to which it doesn’t
  • Can you work out why? Is it something to do with the tempo of the music?
  • What does Tempo mean?

If you are not sure, take a look at these two video clips to help you understand the meaning of the word Tempo.

Tempo 1 (Mr Henry’s Music World)

Tempo 2: Explanation and Quiz (Elementary Groovetracks)

2: Make you your own Rhythm pattern to accompany a song that you like, either with or without the cup.

If you need help creating a rhythm pattern, watch this rhythm composition video to help you:

Rhythm Composition Video

1: Finish your music session today by clapping along to When Can I See You Again with lots of different rhythm patterns:

 

2: Or choose one, or all of these amazing versions of the Cup Song to watch and finish with. It took 47 takes to get this cup rhythm piece right – they make it look so easy.

Watch the perfected version first…

Then the bloopers version

Cumbria Sings Activity
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Our Week 2 #MidweekMusic Activity is to extend the work we did last week based around the song “It’s ok (Please just say)”.

As you may have already gathered, the song is about sharing our feelings and improving mental health. We will therefore focus more on wellbeing tasks in this session as well as reminding you to submit and upload any videos, photos or helpful comments that will contribute to the Cumbrian video that we have already started to make.

It is important to look after your voice and warm it up before you have a singing session.
Here are two Vocal Warm ups from BBC Teach to try before you sing “It’s OK”. Choose between KS1 or KS2 and older.

KS1

KS2 or older

A: It’s Ok, Singing and Signing

Watch the Video of “It’s OK” Lyrics and signing.

Sing or Sign through all of It’s OK.

  • Can you do any of this now from memory?
  • Can your teacher film it in your location e.g. your classroom or in the playground?
  • Or, if you are at home can you and your family film it somewhere more unique that makes us identify with you being in Cumbria – e.g. at a special landmark near where you live perhaps?

When you have done this we’d love you to share with us so you can be part of Cumbria Sings. You could share:

  • a film of you signing or singing
  • a short clip or photos of you doing something together as a family, that might inspire others to have a go and have some fun

 

Find out more

 


B: Creating a coping Toolbox

Find a box and place things that you have at home into it that remind you of good times. For example,

  • photos
  • drawings
  • a gift
  • a note from a relative or a friend
  • a sachet of hot chocolate
  • a note of your favourite film to download
  • a message to yourself of something physical that you can do to make you feel better – even if it’s something small, like take ten slow deep breaths.

What message could you write that would help someone else who is feeling low at this time? We would love you to upload this message to our website if you are willing to share it with us?

Download your full pack of FREE resources, including videos, lyrics and other fun activities from OneMoreSong. Just sign up for a code to access the resources (worth £12.99).

Other FREE children’s wellbeing activities:

  • Visit Partnership for Children
  • Look out for support from Cumbria County Council’s promotional activities supporting the National children’s mental Health Charity PLACE2BE during Mental Health week 1-7 February
  • My Time Cumbria will be delivering 40 min webinar sessions for parents on anxiety – what’s normal and when you might need some help
  • CCC will also be launching a longer public information campaign to support CYP, Parents and Carers access to resources and services supporting Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health
  • Kooth online chat forums will also be taking place on different themes during Children’s mental health week – and is a fabulous mental health resource for all young people

Choose the activity which suits you best, or cool down with them all:

It’s alright (from SOUL): Rhythm reading and body percussion

 

Sing along to it’s alright with Jon Batiste, celeste, official lyric: Fight Song video Rhythm reading level 1: Sing and clap

Fight Song video Rhythm reading level 1: Sing and clap

Cumbria Sings: It's Ok (Please Just Say)

Week 1: 20 January

Cumbria Sings: It’s OK Week 1

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Our first project is a video about wellbeing during our third lockdown, featuring children, families and teachers from across the county. The song “It’s OK (Please just say)” is about sharing our feelings and improving mental health.

We’d like you, your family or your class to

  • film a clip of you singing, or singing and signing, any part of this song to share with us, or
  • you can just share photos of you doing things together that make you feel better (a family walk, playing a board or video game), or
  • tell us your top tip for dealing with anxious or sad feelings that we may be able to include in the video performance of our song.

Managing changing and challenging situations, such as those that we have all faced in the last year, create some complex emotions in us that are better if they are acknowledged and explored. It is absolutely OK not to feel OK! Just say it out loud, share your feelings with others and you will be taking a step towards feeling happier. We can’t wait to share our message and hear from you.

Please share your responses with us before 10 February.

Singing is one of the most positive forms of human activity, supporting both physical and mental health. Our voice reflects our mood and general wellbeing. So, in this first activity session we will focus on learning to sing the song “It’s Ok”.

We will share more wellbeing resources in Activity 2 next week.

Watch the Video of “It’s OK”.

a: Listening

  • Write a couple of sentences about what the main message of the song is all about and how it makes you feel?
  • On your second listening, describe what key musical elements contribute to the mood of the song? For example, is there something about the way in which it is sung? Or because of how many people sing in the verse? Or the actual musical ingredients themselves that enable the music to make us feel this way? (Is the music fast? Slow? Lively? Smooth? Loud? Soft?)
  • What instruments can you hear?
  • Can you write down the structure of the song using the words Verse, Chorus and Bridge in list form (the Bridge section in a song takes you from one section to another and is often slightly different to the rest of the song).
  • In “It’s OK”, the bridge section suggests some things we can do to manage our feelings. Can you write down something you do that helps you manage your feelings when you are feeling blue?

b: Learn to sing the song

  • Follow the Cumbria Sings video or visit YouTube.
  • Visit One More Song for your full pack of FREE resources, including videos, lyrics and other fun activities. Just sign up for a code to access the resources worth £12.99.
Learn to Sign the chorus of “It’s OK” watching the signing version of this song through the free download of the resource pack (see link above).
Choose a task from the activities below:

1: Make your own Sock Puppet

2: Make a list of video, photo or written ideas that you could submit to share in our Cumbria Sings performance.

Choose the level and activity that suits you best:

  1. Happier Video Rhythm clap along Level 1 (reading easy notation)
  2. Happier Video Rhythm clap along Level 3 (this includes semiquaver patterns)
    Or
  3. Get outside and try this Basket Ball routine to Happier