2/100 Ding dong, I’ve got the rhythm in my head

I tripped across this singing game a few weeks ago:

Ding Dong I ve got the rhythm in my head

Here is a youtube clip (one of many).


I’ve been using this all week, with various classes; year 1 and 2, year 3 and 4 djembe, year 4 and 5 samba among others.

First, I sing them the song. I really don’t want them to join in until I’ve sung it through. Keenies will always start singing what they think it is. But then teaching the  song may well involve unpicking all their assumptions.

So, to distract them from joining in too soon, I sing it several times, asking them to count how many times I sing “Ding dong”, and then “Hot Dog”, and then “I’ve got the rhythm in my head”. Before we (at last!) sing the whole song through together, I teach the last bit, from the three “Ding dongs” to the end. I choose the tempo according to the age of the children I am teaching.

Action Song

Clap hands on Ding Dong, stamp feet (left right) on Hot Dog. I pre-empt “silly stamping” at this stage – the children may well want to leap about rather than stamping in time, which make the game harder to do. I know that sounds like I am spoiling their fun, but I reckon that doing something properly, all together, is fun!

Partner clapping game

Stand facing a partner. For the last three ding dongs, clap your own hands on Ding, clap left hands across on Dong, own hands again on Ding, right hands across on Dong, own hands one more on Ding, both hands with partner on Dong. Then, of course, stamp left-right on Hot Dog. Faster! Repeat several times without stopping!

Singing Game

Only sing the “Ding dongs”, or the “Hot Dogs”, or the “I’ve got the rhythm in my head” out loud. Divide into three groups, each singing just one of the bits.


Sing it softly, loudly, with a steady crescendo or diminuendo. Sing the “Ding dongs” loudly, the “Hot dogs” softly, or vice versa. Year 1 and 2 were hugely charmed by this.


As singing game, but playing “Ding dong” and “I’ve got the rhythm in my head” as tones, “Hot Dog” as bass on djembe, or with different groups of instruments using samba or school percussion instruments

Pitched Percussion

I intend to combine glockenspiels and chime bars for “Ding Dong”, xylophones for “Hot Dog” and djembes for “I’ve got the rhythm in my head” with a djembe class. I suspect “I’ve got the rhythm in my head” will be a bit too brisk for most children to manage.


Oh yes! After an absence of a couple of years, I’m teaching ocarina to year 1 and 2 again. I reckon this song will prove a hit using F# and D in a week or so.

It’s been a whole lot of fun so far this week; two more classes to go! Judging by the you-tube clips, there are plenty more activities to wring out of this tune yet.



This entry was posted in Class Teaching, Djembe, Ocarina, Samba, Songs. Bookmark the permalink.

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