Finding a really catchy song that all the children will enjoy can be a bit of a challenge – especially when you are walking into a new school for the first lesson.
These are some of my favourites for starting the year. They are all easy to learn, and suitable for Keystage 2. I’ve chosen them from the singup website, which I cannot recommend too highly as a source of songs, ideas and warm-ups. If you haven’t yet tried “Singup”, go there now and get registered. You, or your school, will receive free termly magazines, and as a music teacher you can download and print off all the performance and backing tracks and scores. It is just unbelievably fantastic and costs nothing to join.
This is the address: www.singup.org
Gospel medley – Swing Low, O when the Saints and I’m Gonna Sing. Each song is sung once, gradually increasing the tempo, and then all three together as partner songs,
Spaceship jam – a song about going to school in a spaceship. It splits into three parts in the chorus. The melody for the verse is C D E Eflat F G, which makes it relatively straightforward for a Bflat clarinet to join in (D E F Fsharp, G A). It is tricker for treble recorder or C clarinet, and fairly horrible for descant recorders. However, the descants could play in the chorus for either the “beep beep” part (C D) or the bass line which (C C B B A A G G Fnatural Fnatural G G C).
I turn on the tap/I walk to the stream – two songs which contrast how we get our water here and in Africa. They are sung separately and then together as partner songs.
Build it high – a song about working together with plenty of scope for actions. A good song if you want something for the whole school to join in.
Henry’s Happy Hour – fits well with Tudors topic. The song (about Henry VIII’s birthday) starts very soberly with words to Greensleeves and then rapidly becomes a roll ‘n’ roll number.
Mr Miller – a great, jazzy number which fits in with the topic of World War 2, and works brilliantly as a 3 part round. It is also good for adding actions.
Roller Ghoster – This is a “thrilling” song about fairground rides. It is in three sections; part 1, part 2, part 1 again with straightforward and effective harmony part. Easy to add “pantomime” style actions.
Pirates! – particularly good for year 3 and 4. Unison, with plenty of scope for actions and expressive singing.