Musical fun for the under 5's in and around Oxford, UK


A look at some of the songs we do with an explanation of their musical and developmental qualities, and suggestions to develop them at home.

dodging the waves!

dodging the waves!

Another seaside rhyme with a strong pulse which here we mark with push and pull actions. Using it with the lycra means that the children should be able to self-correct to get the beat from everyone else pulling in unison (well, maybe!)  It is also Continue reading

sandcastle on a beach

building sandcastles

This seaside rhyme uses the imagery of building a sandcastle to keep a very strong pulse. The chorus/verse/chorus format means that there is a lot of repetition and plenty of opportunity to Continue reading

fishing boat, Padstow

An inshore fishing boat in the Camel estuary, Padstow

This is my adaption of a BBC Tweenies song “I see a boat on the water” featured on their Songtime2 DVD from 2000. I have no idea who wrote it, sorry.

It has four simple actions which mirror the four different boat types we sing about, from the gentle rowing and sailing boats to the more lively paddleboat and the exuberant speedboat which is only limited by the strength left in the adult’s legs.  It has a gentle lilting tune and Continue reading

people enjoying the beach

An English seaside, cricket, windbreaks and wetsuits!

This traditional seaside song is over a hundred years old, written by John A Glover-Kind in 1907, but it has been used in many film and TV shows since, from “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” 1939 to “Thomas and the Quarry Engine” 2014.

It’s a great song for moving along to and we use it as a dancing, circle song in the family sessions, where the (slightly saucy) middle words Continue reading

Up the tall white candlestick...Little Mousie Brown

This lovely traditional rhyme tells a story of a great adventure, a problem encountered, of ingenuity to find a solution even when the first attempt has failed and a happy ending, all in one 9-line poem.  In addition we have finger and hand actions to tell the story (which will help imprint it on the memory) and from a musical point of view a lovely opportunity to sing “Grandma” with a soh-mi interval (think ‘cuckoo’).  This is generally Continue reading

Sometimes a song really strikes a chord, doesn’t it?

Twenty odd years ago the line ‘You’re a sleepy baby, I am tired too’ from the lullaby ‘Up the Wooden Hill’ in Playsongs was one of those moments.  I was struggling with DD1, who slept fitfully if at all, and going through that transition between the adult ‘hmm, shall I go shopping or have my hair done?’ world, and the parallel universe where the wild-eyed new parents live: an appalling time that felt like several centuries rather than months.  What brought me back was music, because singing a conversation doesn’t need a reply and because occasionally she stopped screaming to listen. Continue reading