Here is the Crescendo Music Education Podcast – Episode 82. Hello everyone, welcome to this edition of the Crescendo Music Education Podcast. This is a special one, it’s actually the last one for 2023. So I’m going to have a little bit of a break. But I’ve got some amazing things planned for next year, we’re going to move more into some little seasons or series where I’ll focus on a specific topic or theme. So that’s going to be a lot of fun for next year.
So as for this year, I thought let’s tidy things up, tie it in a nice little bow if you wish. And because I just have to do alliteration, or rhyme, and can I say I’m also a bit obsessed with palindrome but that’s another story. I’ve decided this episode is called New to Me in 23.
About ‘Read the Episode’: Sometimes, we would rather skim visually than listen to a podcast! That’s a great way to learn too!
The transcript of episode 082 of The Crescendo Music Education Podcast is below.
Introducing the Episode
Now, nothing is new under the sun I know that. And I’m going to just talk about three things that I did for the first time this year. Now. I’m certain heaps of you out there, have done these before. Like, I’m not saying these are magic and brand new to everyone. But they were new to my program this year and they worked really, really well.
So I thought that’s the sort of thing I like hearing about things that people have done that have worked really well for them and their children in their context. So I thought that’s what I’ll do for you. There are three things. Let me just have a little sip of my coffee.
Which, if you’re watching, yes, I know it doesn’t say coffee on the outside, but it is, it’s coffee. Just give me a minute. That mug was a gift from my son and daughter in law. They thought it was quite funny that I had gin written on my coffee cup. Needless to say, it’s not one that goes to school. Mind you, some people would think Well that explains why she’s a bit of a fruit loop. But no. Anyway, that’s my home coffee cup.
New to Me: Hop & Stop (All the Little Rabbits)
Introducing Hop & Stop
So let’s go back to the topic. I’ve got three things that were new to me in 23. I’m going to start with Hop and Stop. It’s also sometimes called All the Little Rabbits. Now I actually did learn this several years ago from the gorgeous Wendy Rolls. Hello, Wendy Rolls. She was working at my school one day a week, it was a fabulous year. Thank you. I learnt the song and then I didn’t put it into action.
So if you’re anything like me, I go to PDs. I’m a PD tragic, professional development or professional learning tragic. I just love learning and I learn all of these new things, but I can’t possibly absorb it all, I can’t possibly put it all into action. So anyway, this originally was some great learning I got from Wendy Rolls, and then I didn’t put it into action. So it didn’t become part of my program. And I didn’t know how fabulous it was.
Musical Beginnings, Produced By Kodály Queensland
So it came to my attention again, because I’m working with Wendy and the amazing Deb Brydon. Shout out to Deb, good heavens, she’s on every podcast I do. Hi Deb! The three of us are working on having a little bit of a revamp of an amazing resource called Musical Beginnings.
Now, this is produced by Kodály Queensland by some amazing music educators. And it’s just been around for a while now over 10 years, and it just needs a little upgrade, we’re actually just adding to it. There’s nothing wrong with it the way it was, we’re just adding some more content. But the repertoire is the same. It’s an amazing resource.
So I will make sure that I put the link into the transcript and show notes and blog posts about this episode because it really is worth having. If you teach early childhood, this resource Musical Beginnings is worth having. If you buy it now, there will be a much cheaper price once the upgrade comes out. You can just upgrade for a lesser amount.
But at the moment, Deb, Wendy and I are working on this. So we had our writer’s retreat. We went away for a couple of days so that we could really focus on what we needed to do, it was pretty amazing. And we worked really hard it was quite exhausting.
Hop and Stop – Lyrics
But Hop and Stop came to my attention as one of the pieces that’s in the 50 items of repertoire songs and rhymes. So we were talking about that and Wendy says it’s one of her absolute favourites. Okay, all right. So I’m thinking Deb loves it too. I thought okay, recommendation by two amazing educators. I’m going to give it a go. So now I’m gonna have another sip of my coffee just a moment.
My voice, I’m recovering from a lurgi, so my voice isn’t great but I will have a go at singing it to you. Probably in a lower register than I should see how we go. It goes like this (sings) all the little rabbits sleeping till it’s nearly noon. Let me come and wake you up with a merry tune. Oh so still, are you ill. Up little rabbits Hop hop hop, up little rabbits Hop hop hop, up little rabbits hop and stop.
Alright, so if you can forgive me that terrible rendition, a husky voice. So it starts quietly and then sometimes I have a big pause after oh so still, are you ill, big pause, and then up little rabbits. So the activity is simply this, the children curl up on the floor as if they’re asleep while I do the first part when I get to up little rabbits, which is louder as well.
Hop and Stop – Rules & Activity Design
So it’s a nice pianoforte discussion for later on, they jump up. Now in my rules, we hop around anywhere in the room with our feet together in locomotor. So we move around, I tried to get them to find an interesting path through the room, not just in a circle. We jump around and because I asked for feet together, they can’t go too fast.
So it’s not very dangerous, and they hop around like mad. And then when we get to hop and stop, they stop and they curl up in a ball again, asleep. Ready for the next one. It’s so good.
So if they’re getting a little bit wiggly jiggly, you know, just start singing this, it actually works like magic. If you’re losing their attention, you’re losing their focus, if I just start singing all the little rabbits just really quietly, they stop what they’re doing. Like that. They find a spot on the carpet and curl up asleep.
It’s like magic, we are so lucky in our job that we can just do that. It’s like my slightly losing it little kids. So I use this in prep my four to five year olds, they just love it and they will keep playing it and keep playing it. I sometimes of course have it deliberately in my planning, but it’s also one that I’ve got up my sleeve.
So if they’re getting a little fidgety or we’re losing the plot a bit, I can just get them back on track with Hop and Stop. It is great. It was new to me in 23 and I loved it. My children love it. I hope you do too. So it’s from Musical Beginnings Kodály Queensland. Thank you guys. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to have a cup of coffee while you have a podcast.
Crocodile Stew – Parachute Game
How Crocodile Stew Came About
Okay, here we go. Next one crocodile parachute game. So Crocodile Stew parachute game. It’s from let me get the right name Singing Games for Parachute Play. So first, where did I come across these? Again you may use these all the time I could be very late to the party. I probably am.
So Sophie Meagher, Hello Sophie, in the Crescendo Community Facebook group which by the way we should put the link in because it is such a good group to belong to, everyone is so helpful sharing ideas. I was ordering a new parachute because my parachute ripped. I think we’re a little bit tough on the parachute in my classroom, anyway getting a new parachute. So I thought oh, I’ll put a question in my community, ‘What’s your favourite things to do with your parachute?’
I’m getting a new one. Yay. So Sophie suggested this resource and said I love it. I’d never heard of it, so this Singing Games for Parachute Play, it’s on Teachers Pay Teacher’s, I will put the link in and let me just also get this right. It is by Beat Boppers, she said that she loves doing particularly this crocodile one, Crocodile Stew so I thought okay, I will start with that one.
I purchased them I got the bundle I thought I’m getting both of them I was going to get the school to reimburse I didn’t anyway, I guess I could still do that, but I’ve got these two resources they come with audio files too. Then they sat there for a while because I just couldn’t find time to look through these great things.
Crocodile Stew – Lyrics
So it goes like this (sings) crocodile crocodile mighty sleek, swims on by in the murky deep, you better beware, you better take care, don’t get taken into his lair.
Now my guys when I taught them that started changing sleek to creek because it actually is in the murky deep which I actually ended up changing myself to creek because here in Australia , up north anyway, I used to live in Cairns, Hello northern people. Crocodiles do live in the creeks up there. So we changed it to creek. But anyway, it’s deep, you can change it to creek I guess.
Crocodile Stew – Activity
So the game is simply we sit with the parachute on our laps in a circle legs in, we wave the parachute so that it ripples around, but don’t look underneath. And there is a crocodile lurking around underneath nice and low. So we don’t know where they are at the end and don’t get taken into his lair, her lair, their lair, whatever you want to say, they grab someone’s leg, legs now don’t pull them, obviously, they’ll fall backwards and crack their head, they grab their legs, and then that person well this is why I do it, anyway, that person has to dramatically give a scream wave their arms around and pretend they’re being dragged into the water, then the crocodile pops out into their spot.
Once they’ve had a turn, I get the kids to cross their legs so they don’t get chosen again. And I also give the kids the option. If they really don’t want to go in and be the crocodile they can cross their legs. Because so many kids so want to have a go, it doesn’t matter if there’s a couple of kids hesitant about going under the parachute, they can just cross their legs.
And I also have to tell you, I also now cross my legs after being chosen once. I went On no and I did scoot around on my belly under the parachute and it was not particularly fun. So I now cross my legs. So legs straight out and they get chosen. It’s just lots and lots of fun.
One of the things I’m hoping to do this holidays, which is in about three weeks from the time of recording, I’m going to just have a listen, just put on the audio files because you get all the audio files too. I want to just put them on while I’m doing other things and just see what grabs my ear to see what to try next. However, Sophie said that her other favourite because I tried crocodile because she said that’s one of her favourites. She also loves Spaceship and Floating Down the River. So I’m going to try those two next.
So I will put in that link for you to the parachute game resources and Crocodile Stew, which was new this year. I actually did this with year three and four. I should have said that it certainly would work lower than that. But I just like to keep some things for those slightly older kids, lots and lots of fun. And in fact, I think I ended up doing it with a five or a six as well, because they saw they saw the threes or fours doing it and begged me to play which is often the way it isn’t.
The big kids. They see something the younger ones do and they want to do it desperately. They’re just children, I think sometimes caught up in our assessment and reporting and content we forget that they’re just children and they want to play. And that’s one of the great advantages we have, as music educators we get to do that.
Down By the Ocean
All right, this leads me to the third thing that was new to me in 23. Down By the Ocean and year four again I’ve decided to do that the game was just fabulous. Now I believe I hope I haven’t got this wrong. Alisen McLeod, Hello Alisen, Thank you Alisen, did it at a Kodály Queensland workshop and it comes from Lucinda Geoghegan’s book Believe It Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years.
If you do not have the Lucinda Goeghegan books oh my goodness yes they are gold and if you do not know Lucinda Geoghegan anything Lucinda Geoghegan is amazing. So, we did this song at this workshop and I thought worth trying and I made myself try it and I love it. So I try to do something with individual singing each year level, each semester.
I try and do that for the whole of primary school, so it’s difficult, it’s easier down in the lower school with you know your Doggy Doggy and lots of things, Kangaroo, lots of things identify the child that’s singing but this one is just that little bit more grown up.
They took to this so passionately I could not believe how much they loved this song. I knew they wouldn’t hate it. But you know when you get that nice surprise where they just go We love that let’s do it again and they come in and ask the second they walk in Can we play that game again?
Down By the Ocean – Lyrics
So it’s Down By the Ocean, it goes like this. Let me have a little water I’m sorry about the husky voice guys. All right, and it goes (sings) down by the ocean, down by the sea. John broke a tea cup and said that it was me. I told Ma, I told Pa, John gotta telling off ha ha ha.
Down By the Ocean – Activity Suggestions
Boy, do they get into the ha ha ha. We have to then talk about singing voice not yelling voice, I just love the child in the circle and all of the kids going ha ha ha at them. Anyway, lots of fun.
So as you’ve probably gleaned, they sit in the circle, and you choose the child in the middle has their eyes closed they’re the Johnny and we put in their name, not John, whoever is up in the middle. And then when we start singing the song, I point to one child and say, show one finger point to the second child show the second finger, that’s the order they sing.
So the first child sings I told Ma, second child sings I told Pa and then John got a telling off ha ha ha. I allow the child in the middle to open their eyes and just say who they are, you can make it more difficult. They have to guess with their eyes closed. It’s up to you. And then usually one of the singers, I get to pop in the middle to be the next child that’s up, they love it, love it, love it.
Using ‘Down By the Ocean’ with Recorders
So I was just using it for that purpose and then Deb suggested that we play it on the recorder. She tried it with her kids, and they loved it because they already knew the game. So to learn to play it on the recorder was fabulous. And I’m not saying this is where I sang it. But it is written out with starting on G so it’s got D, E, G and A.
Now D was a new note for me and my recorders, we had E, G, A, B and I wanted to teach D anyway. So we played Down By the Ocean on the recorders, they loved it. So there’s just a little extension that you can do on the recorders.
So they were just three of the things that were new to me in 23. Just Hop and Stop, Crocodile Stew with the parachute and Down By the Ocean. They were lots of fun, I hope that you might give them a go. I’d love to know how they work. I’d love to know what was new to you, new to you in 23 doesn’t rhyme. I’ll have to think of a rhyme for that.
Jump into the Crescendo community come and share with us. I love getting new ideas. I hope that you have an amazing break over the Christmas period, and I will be back next year with some fabulous new interviews and some solo episodes. I’d love to hear from you what you would like to hear, I have lots of ideas.
That’s actually a problem for me, I have too many ideas. But I hope you get a little bit of rest, a little bit of regeneration and I will be back in 2024 with my podcasts with lots of inspiration, motivation, ideas, and hopefully just Crescendo wonderfulness. So everyone take care. I’ll see you in 2024!
Thank you for joining me for this podcast. Don’t forget you’ll find the show notes and transcript and all sorts of information on crescendo.com.au. If you’ve enjoyed the podcast or found it valuable, you might like to rate it on your podcast player and leave a review. I’d really appreciate it if you did. All I can be is the best version of me. All you can do is be the best you. Until next time. Bye.
Just for Laughs
As we know laughter relieves stress. Don’t lose sight of the funny side of life.
My dog can do magic tricks. It’s a labra cadabra dor.
Links Mentioned in the Episode:
Hop and Stop:
- Musical Beginnings (If you buy now, version 2 will be available at a special upgrade price.)
Down by the Ocean:
Where to find me:
- Crescendo Community Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/crescendocommunity
- Official Crescendo Page: https://www.facebook.com/CrescendoMusicEd/
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CrescendoMusicEd
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/crescendomusic
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbie-o-shea-62a3741b/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/CrescendoDebbie/
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/crescendodebbie/
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