Posted in 1st and 2nd Grade, First Week, Kindergarten, Singing

Hello Song for Little Ones

Once in a while I do a blog post more aimed at a music teacher audience, and this is one of those posts.  This is the hello song that I sing to start every music for kindergarten and first grade.  I use the piano, but you could use a guitar too of course!  We sing the first eight measures first to start out, and then we start singing to individual students.  I don’t sing the same student’s name twice, for the sake of time, for example, I sing “Hello there Ian yes indeed, yes indeed, yes indeed, hello there Madi yes indeed, yes indeed my neighbor!”  In the beginning of the year, I give everyone an assigned seat on the rug in three or four rows, and I start out with the name of the first kid in the first row, and go in order down the row, and then down the next row, and then down the next row.  After the kids get to know each other’s names (and I get to know their names!) I start with different kids each time.  We sing the first eight measures, and then I do a boom-chick accompaniment while I say “Today I am going to begin…. by singing hello…. tooooooo….” and then I choose someone!  From there, we go down the row, then to the next row, and the last person is whoever is sitting before the person we started with.  Hopefully that makes sense!  At the very end, if it’s an odd number of students, we’ll sing “Hello everybody yes indeed, yes indeed my neighbor!”  Then I will say “Can we sing hello to Mrs. Runnals?”  And I let them all sing to me, singing my name twice.  Then at the very end, I choose a student who I “noticed singing very nicely and sitting on their bottom” to come play the piano with me.  The kids all love singing the song!  Little ones love routines like this.  Feel free to post comments if you have questions!


Posted in 1st and 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, Books and Music Stories, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Singing

Music Stories

This week kindergartners and first graders were introduced to “music story time.”  This is a time (at the end of music usually) where we relax, after all of our dancing around, and read a book together.  Not just any book though- in music, we read “story songs”- songs that have been made into picture books!  This week we listened to a song called Sweet Dreams  by Jewel, as we looked at pictures from the book.


You can listen to the song here.

The book and CD are available at the Manomet library, and you can also find it on here.

This song is gorgeous and the kindergartners who had music twice this week loved singing along with it the second time we heard it!

There are many “story songs” that are favorites here in the music room, with kids of all ages.  Here is a list of just a few of the stories I present throughout the year.  Most of these come with a CD, are all available on, and many can be found in one of the Plymouth Public Libraries.

We Shall Overcome





Posted in 4th and 5th Grade, Instrument Activities, Pop Music, Singing, Spring Activities, Ukulele

5th Graders Rock the Ukulele

This year’s fifth graders have been practicing hard for their big performance at the upcoming 5th Grade Farewell, where they will be playing and singing Count on Me by Bruno Mars.  We have also been playing Kumbaya, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, One Bottle of Pop, and Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  We have some very talented musicians here at West!


Posted in Chorus, Singing

The West Chorus goes to Providence!

The West Chorus had a super exciting night singing ON the ice at a Providence Bruins Game last week!  The West Chorus had tons of fans in the stand, as our entire school was invited to the game for a special West night.  This was such a fun event and the kids had a BLAST!!!!  Not to mention, they sang so beautifully and got rave reviews from everyone in the crowd 🙂


Posted in 4th and 5th Grade, Christmas Activities, Classical Music, Fourth Grade, Rhythm, Singing, Winter Activities

Sleigh Ride and Cup Rhythms!

Fourth graders are learning about the composer Leroy Anderson, who composed light orchestra pieces such as “The Syncopated Clock” (which we learned about in 2nd grade) and “Sleigh Ride!”  Leroy Anderson grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and many of his songs are still played by The Boston Pops today.  We watched a video of John Williams conducting the Boston Pops playing “Sleigh Ride” and talked about all the instruments we saw and heard.  Then we sang the song!  Fourth graders will be singing “Sleigh Ride” at our school sing-along assembly in a few weeks, so it was good to start practicing now.  After singing the song, fourth graders learned a special rhythm, which we then translated to cups.  We began learning the rhythm on cups.  We will be playing this special rhythm ALONG with “Sleigh Ride” next week!  Here is the routine we will be doing:




Posted in 1st and 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th and 5th Grade, Fourth Grade, Group Activities, Movement Activities, Singing, Steady beat

Draw Me a Bucket of Water

Students in third and fourth grade played the singing game “Draw Me a Bucket of Water.”  The tune and lyrics go like this:

draw 6

Four students start out by two holding hands standing across from each other, and the other two holding hands over the first two students hands.  While singing the song, students walk in a circle to the steady beat.  Each time you sing the song, you increase the number IN the bunch and decrease the number OUT the bunch. Every time you increase the number IN the bunch, one student goes “under” into the inner part of the students arms, until everyone is in the bunch!  At the end we all shout “FROG IN THE BUCKET!  HOP HOP HOP!” four times, and everyone has to hop on the “hops”!  The rule is we have to sing it in our nicest singing voices (and of course you can’t sing while laughing) but luckily you CAN sing while smiling, and everyone definitely smiles during this activity!

draw 1 draw 2 draw 3 draw 4 draw 5

Posted in 1st and 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th and 5th Grade, Pop Music, Read-a-thon, Singing

Read-a-thon Song Practice

Our West Read-a-thon will be kicking off soon!  The theme will be The World Cup, and our official West World Cup Read-a-thon Song will be…..


This song is sung to the tune of “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, from the movie Despicable Me 2.   We will be singing this song as a school at our Read-a-thon assembly in June.  Don’t forget to practice!  You can listen to it by clicking here: