Issue 82: Hot Cross Buns

This was the perfect seasonal vehicle for my year 3 ukulele and recorder class. So far we have concentrated on the notes C B A G on the recorder and our current project on ukuleles is getting to grips with G major.

First of all I taught the whole song by rote. Most children knew it anyway.

“Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns, One-a-penny, Two-a-penny, Hot Cross Buns”

Once we had learned it (didn’t take long!), I wrote the first line on the whiteboard:

The children called out the letters (B A G), called out the fingering ( 1 2 3), and we were away. We fitted this first line into the song; they played the first, second and fourth lines, and I supplied the missing line.


The next step was to work out the missing line. The rhythm posed no problem, but finding the right notes stumped most of them. I had to be a bit quick to persuade the flute players not to give the game away, as they had already learned the whole of “Hot Cross Buns” in their flute lesson last week! I played the suggestions for the first note, and we agreed that it wasn’t A or B. Aha! It’s a G!

I wrote up the missing line, and then changed the words slightly, and asked them why I thought it would be easier if we sang “three” instead of “one”. A bright spark obligingly made the connection with the new words and the fingering, and we were now able to play the whole song.

Switching over to ukuleles, we just played chord G in time with the pulse. It doesn’t fit properly with the third line, but we didn’t let that stop us from having a good time.

The only little hiccup was dealing with the creative input from a couple of lads in the back row. I thought “Hot Cross Mums” was quite amusing, but took action when they moved on to changing the first “M” for a “B”…

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