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 term, as part of our Recovery Package, we have included a series of lessons looking at music through the decades from the 1950s to 2000. Our teachers have created lessons designed for the Recovery Curriculum, packed full of creative tasks to support and encourage wellbeing and working together.
Connect It: Rhythm and Pulse Composition
BBC Teach Anna Meredith
Anna Meredith, born in 1978, is a Scottish composer who writes electronic and acoustic music. She likes to work with orchestras, bands and choreographers to create music that uses clapping, stamping, shouting and beatboxing instead of instruments.
In Anna Meredith’s body percussion piece Connect It a variety of rhythmic sounds and movements are passed between the performers. This musical effect is known as a canon. A canon is where two or more instruments, voices or sounds play the same music, but starting at different times.
Her music has been performed across the world and now her voice is heard across the world as she becomes more and more in demand as a broadcaster. She regularly presents for BBC Radio 3 and 6 Music and even crops up on TV from time to time!
We’ll be using resources from BBC Teach Ten Pieces for this lesson.
Open BBC Teach Ten Pieces Music Menu in a new tab
Scroll down until you find Rhythm in the Menu and click to watch the middle video – LEARN.
(2 min film)
Learn about rhythm and pulse with BBC Bitesize featuring an animated Anna Meredith.
Watch the full body percussion performance of Anna Meredith’s Connect It from BBC NOW and find out how she put it together. (Video one)
Listen out for:
The repeated rhythmic patterns and sounds made by people using their bodies as instruments.
Complete this Worksheet:
Look at this Train map:
1 Plot a journey that consists of four stations
2 In pairs or groups of 4, say those four stations out loud. Make sure that one of you keeps a strong pulse so that they sound as rhythmical as possible.
3 Say and repeat your stations twice through with no gap. Do the same again, but try clapping the rhythm of the words as you say them. Again, make sure that someone in your group keeps the pulse.
4 If this seems fairly easy, continue by giving your journey piece the following structure:
- Say the four stations out loud – twice through
- Say and clap the four stations – twice through
- Clap the rhythm of the four stations (saying the stations only in your head)
- Create a rhythmic ending to your piece in the style of Anna Meredith to complete your piece
1. Ask your class to suggest ways they could use their patterns to make a bigger piece and make a quick list of suggestions on the board. They might say things such as:
- Make a canon (A canon is the same as a round, the term describes a piece where the same material is performed by different teams but with staggered starts. For example London’s burning or Frere Jacques).
- Make a Mexican wave (this is just a canon with the parts entering very quickly after each other)
- Add movement
- Overlap two motifs
- Perform ideas backwards
- Build up from one sound, adding a new sound each repeat until you have the full idea
- Add rhythm (for example, use ableton.com, Groovepad, Charanga Music Explorer for backing patterns, something with a strong pulse).
Look at some of the Meredith patterns. You could use these as well as adding in new ideas to structure a new piece with movement of your own.
We would love to see your results, so please upload your performances here:Upload Here
DJ Dev Griffin describes his love of HandsFree by Anna Meredith, explaining why it is his favourite piece of classical music, how it captured his imagination and why he loves music of this genre.
Midweek Music Activity Bank
This is the last stop on our Decades journey up to the Millennium. Watch a short film on creativity and change in Britain during this time, which sums up key historic and musical changes, along with feelings of optimism at this time.
Female groups also found fame – the most well-known being the Spice Girls. ‘Girl Power’ empowered many girls and women worldwide.
All Star Body Percussion (1997)
The Lion King Body Percussion
The original film of the Lion King was released in the 90s too – try either of the body percussion activites below.
I Just Can’t Wait To Be King – Rhythm Notation and Symbols
The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Rhythm Notation only
Overview of Music in the 90s
- There was a lot of musical choice in the 1990s.
- Styles from country inspired pop to gangsta rap were given a platform within the charts.
- This decade would see the decline of the cassette as it was overtaken by the CD. Radio continued to be an important platform for music.
- MTV was still going strong and inspired the production of more music channels.
Do as many of these listening activities as you can, using the musical terms that you have learnt throughout our Decades Journey this term.
Task 1: Grunge
Influence: Heavy Metal and Punk Rock
Dates: Early 90s
Location: USA, particularly Seattle
Artists: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots
- Heavy distortion,
- moderate tempo,
- dissonant harmonies,
- complex instrumental parts,
- angst filled lyrics
Task 2: R&B
Influence: Disco, Soul and Gospel
Dates: Popular throughout the 90s
Artists: Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Usher, Mariah Carey
- Prominent use of Synthesizers
- hip hop elements
- complex, syncopated (off beat) melodies
- Melisma (many notes sung on one syllable)
- smooth vocal deliveries
Task 3: Country Pop
Influence: American Folk, Protest Music & Earlier Country & Western
Dates: Throughout the 90s
Location: USA & Canada
Artists: Shania Twain, Garth Brookes, Dixie Chicks
- Prominent Acoustic Instruments , harmonica, slide guitar and others
- Fusion with pop/rock rhythms and beats
- Rich vocal harmonies
- Everyday themes, story telling lyrics and Americana
Task 4: Pop Punk
Influence: 1970s Punk, New Wave & elements of 1960s pop
Dates: Mid to late 90s
Artists: The Offspring, Green Day, Blink 182, Bad Religion, Rancid
- Hi energy, fast tempos and driving rhythms
- Simple chord patterns
- Simple, pop inspired melodies
- Heavy use of distortion
Task 5: Brit Pop
Influences: Merseybeat, 1960s rock
Dates: Early to Mid 1990s, fading as the decade drew to a close
Artists: Blur, Oasis, Pulp, Republica, Ash, Stereophonics, Travis
- Prominent regional accents singing about British issues such as class, society and a rising feminist movement
- 1960s instrumentation
- Bright timbre guitars with little heavy distortion
- Catchy, memorable melodies
Fashion, music and artwork activities
1. Watch this video about life in the 1990s. If you had been born in the 1990s, what would you find most exciting?
At the bottom of the page you can find a colouring sheet showing some of the activities mentioned.
2. Read this article about the Spice Girls and look at their outfits. Can you design a set of Spice Girl outfits?
3. Learn this dance to the theme tune of a famous 90s TV show, ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’.
If you have access to Charanga and want to learn the Fresh Prince Rap, then go to Musical School.
Literacy and citizenship activities
One of the biggest changes in the 90s was that internet and home computers became widely available. Watch the first 3 minutes of this video aimed at children in the 1990s who are using the internet for the first time.
Discuss with your class. How did the internet change people’s lives in the 1990s?
Design a poster with your top tips for using the internet safely. Here are some resources that might help:
Watch this Boomwhacker fun 90s medley!
Before we launch into the fabulous and musically important journey of the 1980s we are going to share with you a clip of the opening sequence to Fame a TV drama of the time. It was a show about a group of performing arts students in New York that was produced at this time.
Warm up with the Proclaimers / Whitney Houston.
Gonna be (500 miles) by the Proclaimers (1987)
Higher Love by Whitney Houston (1986)
Music in the 1980s
With the advent of Music Television (MTV), this decade was heavily focused on the band’s image. The fact that there was now a TV channel devoted to promoting artists and their music, bands competed, using both image (fashion) and sound to help capture the audiences attention.
Download the full Activity Powerpoint
Task 1: Video Killed the Radio Star
- With the advent of Music Television (MTV), this decade was heavily focused on the band’s image.
- The fact that there was now a TV channel devoted to promoting artists and their music, bands competed, using both image (fashion) and sound to help capture the audiences attention.
Watch the first ever music video broadcast on MTV
Task 2: Key artists
- Pop stars and their music changed in the 1980s with the help of MTV and a greater focus on image.
- A new breed of mega-stars emerged, becoming iconic mascots for the genre and defining the decade through fashion, talent and persona.
- Some of the superstars to emerge were Madonna, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Prince. They experienced a level of fame and success not seen since Elvis Presley and the Beatles
Madonna Michael Jackson Whitney Houston Prince
Task 3: Wordsearch
Task 4: Films & Toys
Discover what films and toys were popular at the time
- Get creative 1980s style
- Print the template on the following slide
- Cut out the template and colour in before gluing together to make a cube
- Will you choose to have yours complete or unsolved?
Top tip!…..colour in your template before gluing together.
Fashion, music and artwork activities
‘Celebrate’ body percussion
Have you registered for our finale Cumbria Sings event yet? Get involved in our video of singing, dancing and celebrating together all across Cumbria with the song Celebration.
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (1984) dance routine:
The Rubik’s Cube was invented in 1980
Then have a go at designing your own using this grid template.
You could work with friends to make a design that will fit together.
Literacy and citizenship activities
Discuss with your class the similarities and differences to life today.
Imagine you are going on holiday in the 1980s. Where will you go? How will you get there? Design and write a postcard telling a friend about your trip.
2 One of the biggest events in 1980s Britain was the miners’ strike of 1984-1985. Watch this clip and discuss with your class.
- What does ‘going on strike’ mean?
- Why did some miners decide to go on strike in 1984?
- How might you feel if you lived near a coal mine in the 1980s?
- What would the consequences have been if coal mines were closed down in 1984?
Add some 1980s facts and inventions to your decades timeline – go back to the introduction lesson to find the template. You could use this website to do some research.
Watch the Dairy Milk advert with the iconic Phil Collins track: ”In the air tonight”
This week we take a tour of the 1970s. Join us on a historical and musically important journey.
There are lots of creative activities so that each lesson from our ‘Decades Through Music’ series can be extended and adapted to fit in with other curriculum areas, or used a longer session as part of your Recovery Curriculum. We hope that you enjoy every single task and have fun exploring our decades from 1950 through to 2000 either with your teacher in school or learning at home.
Let’s get a feel now for the 70s with this clip showing the best of fashion and hair with music by the Beegees.
Choose any or all of the body percussion warm ups below that are created with famous 70s music:
Lovely Day Bill Withers
Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours Stevie Wonder
Jackson Five I Want You Back
Britain in the 1970s
The Eurovision song contest began in 1956 – designed to test the limits of live television broadcast technology – and back then only 7 nations participated. In the 1970s the world famous Swedish group ABBA participated. Watch their performance for the 1974 Eurovision:
Let’s look at some more styles of music that grew popular in the 1970s
Download the full lesson here
- Disco is a form of dance music that originated in America.
- The word disco came from a French word ‘discotheque’, meaning library of vinyl records. Do you know what the word ‘bibliotheque’ means?
- Disco music began in the mid 1960s but gained popularity in the early 1970s
- Disco music has elements of Funk, soul, pop and salsa music
- Not only did live performances have a loud impact on the audience, but they also encouraged people to develop their own styles of dance known as ‘free form’.
Bee Gees Sister Sledge Earth, Wind & Fire Donna Summers
- A strong dance feel created using 4/4
- 4 to the floor ( bass drum played on each beat) and semiquaver (16th note) hi-hat pattern
- Bass guitar plays an important role and often plays the main riff.
- A riff is a repeated pattern also known as ostinato.
- Common instruments including: Horns, Piano, Strings, flute’s, electric guitars.
- Strong use of backing vocals.
1.What country is disco from?
2.What does the word riff mean?
3.What does four to the floor mean?
4.TRUE or FALSE, disco music included a strong use of backing vocals.
- Like disco, funk music is made up of different styles. We can hear influences from R&B, Jazz, and Soul music.
- At the end of the 1960s Funk music formed from a mixture of all of these different genres with the addition of Afro-Cuban rhythms and psychedelic tones thrown into the mix.
- James Brown was one of the most iconic figures in Funk & Soul Music and was referred to as the ‘Godfather of Soul’.
- By the mid 1970s, James Brown and other artists like the group Earth, Wind and Fire started to add in elements of disco to their albums. This saw an even bigger increase in popularity.
James Brown Parliament-Funkadelic Sly & The Family Stone Kool & the Gang
- Funk was known for its danceable beats, elaborate costumes, and big personalities.
- The genre commonly has a simple structure, based around one or two riffs.
- Common instruments are electric bass, electric guitar, Hammond B-3 organ, synthesizer and a mixture of brass instruments including trumpet, and trombone and the saxophone which is part of the woodwind family.
- The lyrics are usually fairly simple and more emphasis is put on the groove.
1.Who was one of the most famous figures in Funk music?
2.What was James Brown commonly referred to as?
3.Can you remember any common brass instruments used in the genre?
4.What other style of music did funk start to include by the mid 1970’s?
- Another popular genre during the 1970s was progressive rock.
- Progressive rock combined rock music with other genres like classical or opera.
- The tracks were often longer than usual and musicians would improvise and experiment with different sounds when performing live.
- Bands would put a lot of thought into their songs and create a theme that continued throughout the album. This was known as a concept album.
Pink Floyd Yes Queen ELO
- Combines different genres of music (Rock, Classical, Opera).
- A mixture of 4/4 and other complicated (irregular) time signatures
- Keyboards / synthesisers take an important role.
- Big focus on the lyrics, sci fi / fantasy, sometimes political.
1.What is PROG short for?
2.As well as rock, what other styles of music did the genre sometimes combine?
3.As well as common rock instruments like drums, guitars, vocals, what other instrument took an important role?
4.What term do we use when a lot of thought has been put into an album and there is a recurring theme?
- Another genre to emerge from the 1970s was Punk Rock.
- This was a style that continued on from the 1960s but had developed into a harder style with more upbeat tempos.
- More distorted guitar riffs and more volume acted as a way of rebelling against problems of the times.
- The Ramones are often labelled as the original punk band.
- They were sometimes referred to as a heavier version of the Beatles as they based their image on the pop & rock band.
The Ramones Iggy Pop and the Stooges MC5 The Flamin’ Groovies
- Fast tempos
- Loud and distorted RIFFS
- Simple songs, music was very accessible to new musicians that hadn’t been playing for very long.
- Big use of power chords (two note chords E5). Vocals were often sung in a shouting style.
1. Would you describe punk rock music as slow and quiet or fast and loud?
2. True or false – vocals were normally sung in a shouting style?
3. Who were labelled as the original Punk Rock band?
4. Who were the band compared to because of their appearance?
Fashion, music and artwork activities
Watch this video about disco music in the 1970s. Can you make up your own disco dance routine?
Popular fashion trends in the 1970s included flared trousers, bright patterns and platform shoes. Design your own 1970s outfit using these templates.
You could use wrapping paper or fabric for bright colours and patterns!
Further 1970s fashion clips:
Literacy and citizenship activities
Read this article about what life was like for children in the 1970s and watch the video. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zc9s6g8/articles/zmwftrd
- Discuss with your class. What surprised you about the video? What is similar to the way we live now and what is different?
- Imagine you are living in the 1970s. Can you write a diary record of your typical day?
Listen to the Choir on Georgia’s Got Talent singing “Queens Bohemian Rhapsody”
The song was originally written by the British rock band Queen. It was written by Freddie Mecury for the band’s 1975 Album A night at the Opera
Or, take a look at the equivalent of Britain’s Got Talent from the 70s which was a programme called Opportunity Knocks
How times have changed! Talk to members of your family about the music they listened to and TV shows they watched when they were your age.
This week we are looking at the 1960s. Join us on a historical and musically important journey. Listen to all sorts of music including some that you will have heard before – from old films perhaps – and meet famous musicians who were the heroes of their generation.
There are lots of creative activities so that each lesson from our ‘Decades Through Music’ series can be extended and adapted to fit in with other curriculum areas, and over as many lessons as you choose. We hope that you enjoy every single task and have fun exploring our decades from 1960s through to 2000 either with your teacher in school or learning at home.
Let’s get a feel now for the 60s. The hit TV series “The Monkees” follows the adventures of four young men trying to make a name for themselves as a rock ‘n roll band. The show introduced a number of innovative new-wave film techniques to series television and won two Emmy Awards in 1967, including Outstanding Comedy Series. The program ended in 1968
“The Monkees” is a 1966 pop rock song, written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart as the signature tune for this TV series.
Join in with The Beatles “Help” with some Pen Drumming:
Or try this rhythm playalong with Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”:
Download the Complete Activity: 1960s The Beatles
We’ll now meet a band who were influenced by rock ‘n’ roll artists such as Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry.
Task 1: Watch the video to learn more about The Beatles
Task 2: Quiz
1.Where were the Beatles from?
2.How long did the band stay together?
3.Can you name the four members?
4.What is Beatlemania?
Task 3: Card Sort
Band names & instruments
- Print out the pictures:
- Cut out the objects and match up the band members with their correct instrument
- Place them on to the empty stage
- Research images of The Beatles playing live to see where they all stand on the stage
Task 4: Wordsearch
- Click on the link to complete the wordsearch online:
- The Beatles Word Search (thewordsearch.com)
- If you prefer, print off for students to complete individually
Task 5: Complete the word frame
Consolidate your knowledge by filling in the missing words to complete the sentences.
Click here for the answers!
Possibly one of the most well-known band names from history, The Beatles were a popular rock band who found fame in the 1960s.
There were 4 members in the Liverpool based band. Their names are Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
Lennon and McCartney were the main song writers and wrote over 300 songs together.
These included hits such as Let It Be and Hey Jude
1. Design a Beatle
Costume design inspired by different Beatles songs
2. The 1960s fashion Revolution
Watch this fascinating clip on the development of fashion
3. Research the iconic hairstyles that defined the 60s from the list below:
- The Beehive. This sky-scraping style was developed in 1960 by Margaret Vinci Heldt, a hairstylist based in Elmhurst, Illinois
- The Flipped Bob
- The Mop Top
- The Bombshell
- The New Pixie
- The Vidal Sassoon Cut
- Hippie Hair
You can also view how fashion progressed for children throughout the 60s by taking a look at these descriptions and pictures.
Citizenship and Literacy/Art Project
Music is an effective way of ‘protest’ as a peaceful way of giving out your thoughts and opinions in the form of song and good sounds, (not harsh screams and rants).
The 60s was a time when social issues were daringly broached.
These artists were famous for writing peace songs in the 60s. Aretha Franklin below wrote “Respect” that you performed in our Warm-up.
1. Discuss the most effective way to protest in today’s climate (for example think of someone like Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, Discuss Black lives matter events of 2020). Do Politicians listen to protestors or activists? Can songs influence political opinions? Look at recent events from the late two years and discuss the coverage of these events, has there been a fair coverage from both sides?
2. Design a Peace Poster. Think about the imagery you use and what symbols would mean to different people. What message do you want to give out, what language should you use? Does colour have an effect on meaning? Before you begin look at some Peace posters and the history behind them.
3. Or you could design a poster or album covers for the following songs but with present day meanings and references:
- Design a poster based on the Beatles song – All you need is love. It could show all the ways that people have shown love and kindness throughout the Pandemic.
- Create a Beatles style Sgt. Pepper album cover with all the people who inspire you
1. Write an article about the Beatles performing in your local town
2. Write your own Beatle story based on a song
3. Beatles-inspired meditation activity
4. Class discussion – Being Famous
Ask the class to write a list of people who are, or once were famous. Write suggestions on the board. Discuss with the class why these people are or were famous. Ask the following:
- How does a person become famous?
- Is fame forever?
- How can you become famous?
- How important is it to be famous?
- Would they like to be famous?
- Can an individual be famous for only good things?
Top Cat was the hit cartoon show of the 60s watch the opening and closing themes – and maybe indulge in an episode to finish with! Notice the difference in the quality of cartoons from the 60s to the animations you see today.
Talk to your family about the music they listened to and TV shows they watched when they were your age.
Our first Decade through Music is the 1950s. Join us on a historical and musically important journey. Listen to all sorts of music including some that you will have heard before – from old films perhaps – and meet famous musicians who were the heroes of their generation.
There are lots of creative activities so that each lesson from our ‘Decades Through Music’ series can be extended and adapted to fit in with other curriculum areas, and over as many lessons as you choose. We hope that you enjoy every single task and have fun exploring our decades from 1950 through to 2000 either with your teacher in school or learning at home.
To get an idea of the fashion and the feel of the 50s, watch this clip of a theme tune to an American TV show of the time – Happy Days.
Let’s focus next on the true musical sound of the 50s. Try out either or both of these body percussion exercises that accompany Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock. It was written in 1957.
Jailhouse Rock Body Percussion 1
Jailhouse Rock Body Percussion 2
It is important to look at the historical context when we talk about music. Let us share with you what was happening at the time.
Look through the slides and watch the videos below:
Rock’n’Roll: Bill Haley And His Comets
Let’s delve a bit deeper in to the Rock’n’Roll element of the 50s and identify more instruments that we can see and hear. We will explore Bill Hayley’s famous Rock around the clock song to do this task. We will ask you to remember and recall some of the key words that you learn throughout this section again in the writing frame at the end of this main activity.
- This American band was formed in 1952.
- During the 1950s the band had 9 singles reach the Top 20 in the US charts.
- They were known for their matching dinner jackets and high energy performances on stage.
- Rock Around the Clock became the biggest selling Rock and Roll single.
Task 1: Watch video
Learn about Rock ‘n’ Roll: Bill Haley And His Comets with this video from BBC Bitesize:
Task 2: Complete the words
Fill in the missing letters to complete the instruments that appear in the video.
Tips (click to reveal the correct answer):
1. A woodwind instrument that often takes a solo.
2. Can strum chords and play single notes.
3. Sings the melody.
4. Helps keep the band in time, played using sticks.
5. A large instrument with strings you play standing up.
Task 3: Wordsearch
Find the instruments you have identified:
Task 4: Draw / Trace / Colour
Draw or trace common instruments. Colour in thinking about the material i.e. Double bass = wood = brown.
Task 5: Complete the word frame
Consolidate your knowledge by filling in the missing words to complete the sentences.
Click here for the answers!
Bill Haley and his Comets
Rock Around the Clock
Dance and Fashion
Lower KS2 Activity
1. Learn to dance to Elvis Presley’s ‘Jailhouse Rock’, a famous rock’n’roll song from the 1950s.
Some of the actions are pretending to play different instruments in the band. How are these instruments played? Which instrument family do they belong to?
- The guitar
- The saxophone
- The trombone
- The drums
2. Learn how to do a handjive (along to the song) just like they do in the film Grease (set in California 1959)
Upper KS2 Activity
“With the ending of National Service and Rationing, working teens had money to spend. The shape of teen fashion and their culture was created by the freedom to wear their hair and dress the way they wanted”.
Can you find pictures of fashion from the time and design your own poodle skirt / pencil skirt / fit and flare dress. Or design a Teddy Boy suit with skinny tie, Cuban collar shirt or leather jacket (look up the lovable character called Fonzie from the cult 50s series Happy Days*).
* see our warm up and cool down.
1950s USA was an exciting place to be with new inventions like colour TV and glamorous rock’n’roll music played on the radio. It was also very divided – black people and white people were not allowed to mix. This was called segregation. It made life very difficult for a lot of black people.
However, in the 1950s this was slowly changing. Rock’n’roll music was one of the first times that music made by black people became popular with white people too. Rock’n’roll concerts were attended by both black and white people – although they had to sit or stand in separate areas.
Watch this video about a woman called Rosa Parks and Discuss with your class:
- What did Rosa Parks believe in?
- What did she do to stand up for what she believed in?
- How did her actions help others?
- What can you do to make other people feel valued and respected?
The boogie-woogie fad lasted from the late 1930s into the early 1950s and made a major contribution to the development of jump blues and ultimately to rock and roll, epitomized by Fats Domino, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Watch these twins play you an example on their keyboards of what Boogie Woogie sounds like:
Happy Days is a 50s Sitcom centred on the Cunningham family in America. Fonzie was a character from this show whose ‘greaser’ stye and love for motorbikes clashed with the wholesome all American characters. Enjoy and watch an episode of this, to see what TV sitcoms were like in the 1950s.
Follow us on a journey through popular music from the 1950s all the way up to the year 2000. Visit #MidweekMusic for a new lesson every week. We’ll listen to some of the most famous songs and artists from each decade (ten years) and think about how they reflect what life was like in Britain at the time.
This week we start off by learning to identify the key features of different musical styles – with some help from Marvin Gaye and The Beetles.
Un-scramble the words in these sentences to discover some of the musical features we will be listening out for.
Click the scrambled words to reveal the correct answer:
music fast How or the goes slow
verse of The sections e.g. order the chorus and
song The of words the
used of in instruments The and voices song combination the
sound is high or How low the
Listen to these two famous songs from the 1960s. Using the words we learnt in the Warm-up, can you discuss what makes them sound different?
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tami Terrell – 1967
Hey Jude – The Beatles – 1968
You could make a table, like this:
Look at this timeline of events from 1950 to 2000. Do any of them surprise you?
See if you can guess the decade in which these events happened:
Can you find another event for each decade? You might want to do this as a weekly activity.
There will be more in depth lessons repeating these films later in the series, where you can interact with Musicians from Cumbria Music Hub and learn how to get First Access classes up and running in your Primary school.
Free online concert for Primary schools with Halle for Youth 2021
Meet the instruments of the Orchestra through the story of Mother Goose by Ravel.
You can see this concert as many times as you like throughout the Summer Term.
LSO Always Playing: Where’s Simon?
You could also watch this film with the famous conductor Simon Rattle, featuring the great maestro and the London Symphony Orchestra. Similar to the Halle, they also take you through the different sections of the orchestra, telling you a bit more about each instrument.
Watch this clip from the film The School of Rock. What are the instruments that make up the band? What are their roles (individual jobs) in the song?
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:
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)
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.
- 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
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
A class can submit the whole version of everyone performing the same thing from the list below.
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.
We look forward to seeing your submissions before 30 April. The video launch will be before half term.
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”
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:
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:
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”
This week you’re going to:
Listen to a piece of music
Make your own musical instrument
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:
- What does this piece of music make you think of?
- How does this piece of music make you feel?
- 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.
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.
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
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.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
- Perform or record your final composition. We’d love to see your maps and final performances.
An example graphic score map
Top tips for creating your sounds:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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’.
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
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.
- 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.
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!
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.
Umbrella – Rihanna
Watch a performance of Sakura Tsuruta using Ableton
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?
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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,
- 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
Week 1: 20 January
Cumbria Sings: It’s OK Week 1
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.
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”.
- 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
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:
- Happier Video Rhythm clap along Level 1 (reading easy notation)
- Happier Video Rhythm clap along Level 3 (this includes semiquaver patterns)
- Get outside and try this Basket Ball routine to Happier