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Help: Songs for children's program

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GUEST,Sing-Along Steve 15 Nov 08 - 10:27 PM
eddie1 16 Nov 08 - 01:43 AM
VirginiaTam 16 Nov 08 - 02:39 AM
GUEST,Gerry 16 Nov 08 - 03:15 AM
Liz the Squeak 16 Nov 08 - 08:07 AM
Willa 16 Nov 08 - 08:41 AM
alex s 16 Nov 08 - 08:57 AM
Cool Beans 16 Nov 08 - 09:40 AM
Azizi 16 Nov 08 - 10:37 AM
Azizi 16 Nov 08 - 11:05 AM
Azizi 16 Nov 08 - 11:31 AM
Azizi 16 Nov 08 - 11:38 AM
topical tom 16 Nov 08 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,Sing-Along Steve 16 Nov 08 - 01:54 PM
oldhippie 16 Nov 08 - 07:42 PM
Mark Ross 16 Nov 08 - 07:59 PM
Liz the Squeak 17 Nov 08 - 04:07 AM
Seamus Kennedy 17 Nov 08 - 01:06 PM
open mike 03 Jul 09 - 04:52 AM
open mike 03 Jul 09 - 04:58 PM
Cool Beans 03 Jul 09 - 06:58 PM
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Subject: Help: Songs for children's program
From: GUEST,Sing-Along Steve
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 10:27 PM

Greetings, fellow folks... My wife and I are preparing a program of folk music/storytelling/games and such that will be presented at schools, day-care centers, YMCAs and the like.

One of our main motivators is the seeming demise of music programs in our (USA) elementary schools. I mean that in the sense that kids these days don't seem to be getting introduced to the great folk songs that make up so much of America's musical legacy.

When I was a kid, we had "music class" where we sang things like "Michael, Row..." and a version of "John Henry" and "If I Had A Hammer" and "This Land..." and "Pay Me My Money Down" and "Hand Me Down My Silver Trumpet"... so many great songs that were fun and educational and sometimes even just silly.

So... long-winded introductions notwithstanding, if you were on the 'editorial board' of this here program, what songs do you think the set just could NOT do without? What songs are over-done and should be avoided? What are the classics? The songs you want to see last for more generations to come?

(By the way, I'm a big bear of a guy with a big booming voice and I LOVE to ramble and roam and travel all sorts of places, so understand that your help in this matter will be used to form a program that we will work like heck to make accessible and far-reaching in its efforts.)


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: eddie1
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 01:43 AM

Hi Steve
I've been doing children's programmes in the UK, USA and Germany for a long time. Maybe I can pass on a few ideas that have worked for me.

There's a lot more to it than just the songs. Your relationship with the children is the most important thing - don't talk down to them. (This is particularly important for me at 6'7"!) Make it very clear that you are on their side - I always get them to watch the teachers, leaders etc to make sure they join in actions etc and tell them that if the big folks don't join in I'll give them homework. I get a child up to help me with a rope-spinning session (using a trick rope which is very easy). I then get an adult up and hand them a real rope which they invariably make a mess of. (Sometime I will find a teacher who can spin better than me!)

I really knew this technique worked when, at a primary school, after the gig I was having lunch with the teenies. I was sat at a table with four five-year-olds and one eleven-year-old who was the "mother". She was serving the meat and I started to help by serving the vegetables. Nudge, nudge and this petite young lady next to me said "We're not allowed to do that - only she gets to do it!"

Another technique that works for me is to get the kids to "help me with the words cause I've forgotten them." This works particularly well with songs like "I Knew An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" or even the ubiquitous "Wheels On The Bus" although a teacher did ask me once if I really didn't know the words!
I always carry a bagful of percussion instruments with the odd kazoo, whistle etc and get a group up to form a band – "Mama Don't Allow" or "The Saints" are goodies although there are a lot more.

On reflection, probably most of the songs I do involve audience participation.

First song is invariably "Comin' Round The Mountain" firstly get them to clap then stop after a verse and ask them to shout "Yee-Ha" at the end of each line (tell them it's a cowboy song and ask them what cowboys always shout) then stop again and get them to punch the air while shouting "Yee-Ha!"

"My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean" – raise their hands in the air on the first word beginning with "B" then down for the next and so on (try it – it's not as easy as it sounds).

"The Bumble Bee" with full actions. I was singing at an open-air folk festival in Germany and after my spot (not child-orientated) was approached by a a skinhead wearing a Luftwaffe greatcoat (in August!) He told me he was really disappointed that I hadn't sung "The Bumble Bee" – seems I had sung it at his school some twelve years earlier!

"I Want To See Those Clapping Hands" (Tune – The Saints)
v1        I want to see those clapping hands x 4 (with actions)
v2        I want to see those stamping feet x 4
v3        I want to see those nodding heads x 4
v4        I want to see those wagging tongues
v5        All four lines with all actions together (and join in singing!)

If you are good at thinking on your feet, a great song to finish is a variation on Tom Paxton's "We're All Going To The Zoo Tomorrow" Get the children to suggest animals they might see on a visit to the zoo then get them to join you and do appropriate actions while you sing an instantly composed verse. Get them up one at a time but have them stay with you as you get more and more children up. You can always get the shyer ones up in a group to be monkeys or penguins. (Don't forget about the adults!) I learned this one from the late Danny Kyle.

Oh heck, this is turning into a book! Here's a list of some of he songs I do. If there are any you don't know and would like to – PM me.

Good Luck

Eddie

RUNAWAY TRAIN
CLAPPING HANDS
POOR OLD MAN
BUMBLE BEE
APPLES & BANANAS
SCHOOL DINNERS
I KNOW A LITTLE GIRL
MUSIC MAN
WHEELS ON THE BUS
ZOO
BUNNY FOO FOO
CANNY FLING YOUR GRANNY
NOBODY LOVES ME
RED YO-YO
OLD McDONALD
OLD WOMAN
MAY THERE ALWAYS BE SUNSHINE
MY BONNIE
GHOST RIDERS
COMING ROUND THE MOUNTAINS
BILLY GOATS GRUFF

Ps Have I given away all my secrets?


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 02:39 AM

In the mid to late 60s in elemetary school in south eastern Virginia, we were taught

Erie Canal
Old Dan Tucker
Get Along Home Cindy
Wabash Cannonball
I've Been Working on the Railroad
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Clementine
She'll be Coming Round the Mountain
Oh Susanna
Pollywoddle Doodle all the Day
Skip to my Lou
On Top of Old Smoky (and parody On Top of Spaghetti)
Camptown Races
Goober Peas

These were not taught (in the schools) to my kids in the mid to late 80's, early 90's.

Weird that I can only remember 2 they learned in school.

The Cat Came Back
Don Gato was a Cat

I'd say a good bet is to check out albums from the Seegers in particular Ruth and Peggy. There is a CD from Leadbelly that looks interesting. "Not for Kids Only" by David Grisman and Jerry Garcia looks good too. All on Amazon.com.

Good luck and thank you for attempting to revive interest in non-Disneyfied music.


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 03:15 AM

I was only taught a few songs at school (New York City, late 1950s, early 1960s). I hardly remember any of them.

I was taught over 50 songs by the other kids on the bus on the way to day camp. I still know, and sing, many of them.

Don't these kids have any songs of their own? Maybe you should ask them to teach you their songs, instead of assuming you ought to teach them yours.


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 08:07 AM

The Roy Bailey song 'Everything possible'... My daughter loved it when she was a baby/toddler and it's a great life lesson for tolerance and what you can acheive. Should be compulsory learning for all.

I'm not sure where you'll find the music, but the words are here in the DT.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: Willa
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 08:41 AM

My Grandsons and I like:
Leon Rosselton's 'Skin'
I Am A Fine Musician
Jeannie Jenkins
The Animals Went in Two by Two
Row, Row, Row your Boat
Heads and Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Runaway Train


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: alex s
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 08:57 AM

some great ideas here


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: Cool Beans
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 09:40 AM

Grandpa's Farm is a hit with my little cousin. Kids get to do all the animal sounds. If you don't know it, there's a great recording of it by Sharon, Lois and Bram.
Woddy Guthrie's car song, Take Me Riding in the Car, allows kids to make car sounds between verses.
Raffi's Baby Beluga is great for sing-alongs.


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 10:37 AM

Another Mudcatter who's worked with children reporting in.

I've worked in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area as an African storyteller with either pre-school children or children ages 5-12 years/ I've also worked as a facilitator of game songs groups for children ages 5-12 years.

First of all, Sing-Along Steve, hooray to you and your wife for the programs you are planning! I'd also like to give a special shout out to eddie1 for his post. eddie1, I wholehearted agree with your comment that there is a lot more to sharing songs with children {or any age group} than the songs themselves, and second all those points you made. I also want to make a friendly ammendment to Gerry's point about asking children to teach you their songs, instead of assuming you ought to only teach them yours.

What I think is most important is that anyone working with children love children and also love the songs and/or other activities that they are sharing with children. You can't fool kids. If you don't care for them, and have little regard and sensitivity for them, if you aren't "for real" ,children will sense it. And if you "don't know your stuff", and aren't flexible [for instance scrapping songs or activities that don't work], then it doesn't matter how many good songs you know, and how well you have planned a session.

Obviously, the age group that you work with will determine what songs and what activities work the best. Another factor to consider is whether your presentation is for a small group or a large, assembly. In mixed age groups, I've found that older kids don't mind singing what they now consider to be "baby" songs, if you introduce it {frame that activity} as sharing the songs they remember. I think that approach is better than selecting with songs that are too advanced for the younger kids.

Like eddie1, I believe that audience involvement is very important. In my storytelling sessions, I usually pass out African musical instruments to all of the children [in small groups] or, in large groups, I pick children to help demonstrate those instruments. Needless to say, taking turns and picking individual children doesn't work for pre-school children. You have to have enough instruments for every child. Especially with younger children, I save the musical instruments till the end of my session, and they play them while singing a song that they already know like "Happy Birthday To You" or "Jingle Bells". {Yes, I know those aren't African songs, but that doesn't matter for that age group, so it doesn't matter to me]. With children age 6 and up, in small groups or large, I select children to demonstrate the instruments, and introduce concepts of being good audiences {being attentive, and clapping for their classmates when their turn is over}.

I like incorporating movement with songs. And if an element of mild competition can be added the right way to the performance, that could increase children's interest in learning and singing the song. For example, I have taught small and large groups of children a modified version of the song Jin-Go-Lo-Ba that Nigerian percussionist Olatunji introduced and Latin performer/singer Santana recorded. I start out by asking who can tell me the name of a song that people usually sing at Christmas time about bells. I build on children's knowledge of Jingle Bells to teach the song Jingoloba. The clip of the song that I teach goes like this:

Jingo Jingo ba[h]
Jingo Jingo ba
Jingo ba ba
go ba ba
go ba ba
go ba ba
go ba

-snip-

On the word "ba" children {and adults] clap their hands and at the same time,stomp their feet. Soon they learn the pattern, but might forget it and clap and stop their feet two times instead of one time at the end. Technically, the person who messes up is "out". But the goal for these performances is to get through the song with everybody {or most people} singing it and doing the movements together.

Here's a link to an Olatunji performance of this song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYhFyF8dvU4


And here's a link to a performance of Jingolaba by Santana:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7-DSsdDVaU&feature=related


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 11:05 AM

Continuing, I'd like to suggest that the Spirituals "This Little Light Of Mine" and "Don't Miss That Train" and probably others
can work well with children ages 6-12 years or older {as long as you are mindful that public schools may prohibit references to God or Jesus}.

I taught a modified version of the spiritual "Don't Miss That Train" in after-school or summer groups. This song helps children learn the names of the members of their group, if they don't already know them. The song goes like this {Sorry, I can't find a YouTube clip} :

Choo Choo Choo Choo
Choo Choo Choo Choo
Don't miss that tra-a-a-a-ain
Don't miss that tra-ain, child
Don't miss that tra-a-a-a-ain
Gotta be ready when I call your name
-snip-

This is a unison song. I performed the song this way: I or some other "engineer" stood in place and then started imitating the movement of [choo choo] train. The children stand in around in a group singing that song along with "the engineer".

When the engineer sings the last line, she or he calls out the first name {or nickname}of a child from that group. That child then moves behind the engineer and the song begins again from the beginning. The child whose name has been called also imitates the train movements. That child, and others whose name the engineer called* would follow the engineer as she or he moves in zig zag fashion around the room or around the outside area. After the name of every child {or adult in attendance} has been called, meaning everyone is a part of the train, and the song ends with everyone following the engineer and singing the verse one last time, and ending it with an extended and louder form of the phrase "Choo Choooo!"

* The child whose name has been called could be the one to call out the name of the next child. However, I found that this usually didn't work because children tend to break the tempo of the song by pausing a long time while they figure out which person to call on next.


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 11:31 AM

Here's one other song. My daughter who is a kindergarten teacher has taught this song to her students. She learned it from her girlfriend who learned it from her son's pre-school class in West Virginia.

This song is a modification of the first verse of the theme song for the tv show "The Addams Family":

Days of the week.
snap snap*
Days of the week.
snap snap*
Days of the week.
Days of the week.
Days of the week.
snap snap*

There's Sunday
and there's Monday.
There's Tuesday
and there's Wednesday.
There's Thursday
and there's Friday.
And then there's Saturday.

Days of the week.
snap snap*
Days of the week.
snap snap*
Days of the week.
Days of the week.
Days of the week.
snap snap*

* Do the movements, don't say the words. I found that "clap clap" works better for pre-school and maybe kindergartgen children.

Here's a hyperlink to a YouTube video of The Addams Family theme song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL_9zdu4iVw


Enjoy!! And don't forget to sing game songs and back of the bus songs"

thread.cfm?threadid=36629#2095247


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 11:38 AM

Sorry:

Here's the corrected version of that Jingoloba song:

Jingo Jingo ba[h]
Jingo Jingo ba
Jingo ba ba
go ba ba
go ba ba
go ba


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: topical tom
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 12:20 PM

A couple of songs our children loved to hear and sing were:

             Ten in the Bed
Ten in a Bed

Written By: Unknown
Copyright Unknown



There were ten in a bed
And the little one said
"Roll over, roll over"
So they all rolled over
And one fell out

There were nine in a bed
And the little one said
"Roll over, roll over"
So they all rolled over
And one fell out

There were eight in a bed
And the little one said
"Roll over, roll over"
So they all rolled over
And one fell out

There were seven in a bed
And the little one said
"Roll over, roll over"
So they all rolled over
And one fell out

There were six in a bed
And the little one said
"Roll over, roll over"
So they all rolled over
And one fell out

There were five in a bed
And the little one said
"Roll over, roll over"
So they all rolled over
And one fell out

There were four in a bed
And the little one said
"Roll over, roll over"
So they all rolled over
And one fell out

There were three in a bed
And the little one said
"Roll over, roll over"
So they all rolled over
And one fell out

There were two in a bed
And the little one said
"Roll over, roll over"
So they all rolled over
And one fell out

There was one in a bed
And the little one said
"Good night!"


                         I Love My Rooster

I LOVE MY LITTLE ROOSTER
Sung by: Almeda Riddle
Recorded on 5/10/62

Click here to listen to the original recording

I love my little rooster and my rooster loves me.
I'm gonna cherish that chicken 'neath a green bay tree.

Chorus: My little rooster goes cock-a-doodle-doo,
      doodle-doo, doodle-doo.

And I love my little hen, and that hen, she loves me.
I'm gonna cherish that chicken 'neath a green bay tree.
My little hen goes cluck cluck,
(Chorus)

And I love my little duck, and that duckling loves me.
I'm gonna cherish my duck 'neath a green bay tree.
My little duck goes quack, quack.
My little hen goes cluck cluck,
Etc.

And I love my little guinea, and the guinea loves me.
I'm gonna cherish that guinea 'neath the green bay tree.
My little guinea goes paderack,
Etc.

And I love my little pig, and my pig hog loves me.
I'm gonna cherish that pig 'neath the green bay tree.
My little pig goes ump, ump.
Etc.

All Songs Recorded by John Quincy Wolf, Jr., unless otherwise noted


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: GUEST,Sing-Along Steve
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 01:54 PM

Well done, all! Keep the thread going... this is great!

FYI, I am daddy to three little girls and I LOVE kids... working with them, singing with them, reading stories (I tend to embarrass parents and teachers after I've read a story to their kids, because I just relish making up voices and putting on accents for all the different characters in a book).

More, more... the 'Cat is a treasure-house. I love it here. I was once a member some years ago, and have always lurked and scoured the DT and read the threads.

Oh, and if anyone has EITHER a tenor banjo or a long-neck banjo for sale, please let me know. I am watching eBay but the shipping and so on can be killer.


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: oldhippie
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 07:42 PM

How about "Ruben Had A Blanket" by Bruce Lesnick, a feel good kid song.


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: Mark Ross
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 07:59 PM

GREAT GREEN GOBS OF GREASY GRIMY GOPHER GUTS goes over well(then try and sing it twice as fast). When I do TEN IN THE BED the last line I use is "I'm lonely!". AIKEN DRUM, where you get the kids in turn to name their favorite food, and then use that food for a body part.
I also let them try out instruments(with me holding the guitar, or banjo, or autoharp, fiddle, etc., and doing the left hand work, the tambourine I let them do by themselves). If you go to You Tube and type "Mark Ross, Children's Concert", there are two videos of me leading the kids around the city library playing train.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 04:07 AM

Have a listen if you can to a CD called 'Up and over the moon' by Debbie Carroll - it's full of fantastic songs for children (and adults) to listen to, sing along with and take away to sing to others.

I'm afraid I don't have an ISBN and can't remember her persona here, but I'm sure someone will be able to remind me!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 01:06 PM

Sing-along Steve,
If you PM me here, I'll be glad to send you a copy of my kids' CD, with a few Irish (and other) kid's songs.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: open mike
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 04:52 AM

more songs:

HERE

and HERE


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: open mike
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 04:58 PM

ah-library gigs...you needn't hush in the library any more!
thanks for the posts..


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
From: Cool Beans
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 06:58 PM

I think Debbie Carroll goes by Black Walnut on Mudcat. And her CD "Up and Over the Moon" is indeed choice.


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