Issue 144: Once a man fell in a well

This is one of the first songs I learned to teach when I started teaching the Wider Opportunities Programme. Many of my colleagues will now scroll straight onto the next post as they have been teaching this to a dozen classes every year for the past decade. However, here it is anyway.

Once a man fell in a well C major



(The last word is pronounced “drown-ded” which always causes complaints of “that’s not a proper word”)

Some teachers find the words too macabre; the children have never objected to date. It’s a good little song for all sorts of reasons; try singing it as a round with the parts coming in at the start of each bar. Match the pitch shapes with hand movements. Use it to teach the first five notes on your instrument (in a suitable key). How about transposing it into¬†other keys? What about an ostinato; “In a well, in a well” sung on the G. Or “splish splash splosh” sung as crotchets (long notes) on the C. Why not as a round and with an ostinato played on a instrument?

I use it to teach the G chord, and switching between C and G, on ukuleles. Just strum the chord once, giving plenty of time to switch to the next chord. Add another G on the first beat of the last bar “He” and you’ve got a nice easy tune. (The ostinato on C won’t work brilliantly if you are doing chords, but GGG as a plucked ostinato will be fine).

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This entry was posted in Clarinets, Class Teaching, Keyboards, Piano, Recorders, Songs, Theory, Ukulele and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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