We finish up our royalty and magic storytelling in music series this month by introducing the last of the characters in the Magical Musical Kingdom, and their related rhythms. The follow-up activities are suggestions of ways that help to reinforce these introductory concepts of music, helping to establish this natural activity in the most natural way! And as always, all songs are available on www.youtube.com/musicaliti.
As a quick reminder, our background planning to the Magical Musical Kingdom included:
Time: 10 parts, 10 characters, 10 musical skills
Rhythms: movement-based (gross motor), progressively halving or doubling note lengths
Melodies: pentatonic-based (5 notes), progressively using more notes
Ages: non-walkers, toddlers and walkers (broadly, birth to 7)
Character: Flying Fairy
Music note: emiquaver-dotted quaver/sixteenth note-dotted eighth note
Skip (long-short steps): long-short, long-short, long-short, long-short
Shoes off, calmly (no talking) listen to instrumental music while skipping (skip-ty, skip-ty) around the room, any direction, either holding baby, or holding hands with our new walker or pre-schooler.
Warm up our voices: Do you have your whispering voice? Yes, I have my whispering voice. Do you have your speaking voice? Yes, I have my speaking voice. Do you have your fairy voice? Yes, I have my fairy voice! Do you have your singing voice (singing like an ambulance tune)? Yes, I have my singing voice (ambulance tune). Ready to sing!
Song 1: Goblin (game)
Scatter scarves, pages, small things that can easily be gathered around the room, and take 2 slow steps to reach them and collect them up as you sing the song.
Song 2: Goblin Protector (instruments)
Use instruments with a long sound, like bells, and tap them as you sing the song.
Story part 5:
Queen Quaver and Lady Minim asked Knight Quaver-Crotchet to please find the Jewels so Knight Quaver-Crotchet left immediately to search every tower in the land to find the hidden jewels. While Knight Quaver-Crotchet was searching every tower in the land, he came across Flying Fairy, who flew everywhere. He searched her tower, but the jewels just were not there. When he told Flying Fairy what Goblin had done and how sad Frog Prince was, Flying Fairy got very cross indeed. She never spoke, but played music because she was surrounded by every instrument in the world. She wanted to play a trick on Goblin so using her special magic, she flew to his dark cave and saw all the broken instruments. Right at the back of the cave was a very shiny pot of gold, hidden behind a tree stump. Flying Fairy picked it up and flew right to the moon and hung it on a moon beam as punishment!
Make and decorate a paper pot of gold. Find somewhere to hang/stick it, singing the song!
Make a pot of gold out of shiny things to give to someone special!
Music note: Semibreve/whole note
1 slow step equivalent to 4 walk steps: very slow walk
Shoes off, calmly (no talking) listen to instrumental music while taking long, slow steps (very long step) around the room, any direction, either holding baby, or holding hands with our new walker or pre-schooler.
Warm up our voices: Do you have your whispering voice? Yes, I have my whispering voice. Do you have your speaking voice? Yes, I have my speaking voice. Do you have your dragon voice? Yes, I have my dragon voice! Do you have your singing voice (singing like an ambulance tune)? Yes, I have my singing voice (ambulance tune). Ready to sing!
Song 1: Dragon (game)
Choose a spot in the room to be the tower, and take turns being the big, slow, strong dragon, and trapping everyone in the tower, as you sing the song.
Song 2: Do, Do Pity My Case (instruments)
Use instruments that you rub or scrape as you sing this song, and make up jobs that the dragon must do when he gets home, like “my food to cook when I get home”, or “my floor to clean when I get home”, or “my toys to clear when I get home”!
Story part 6:
Now Knight Quaver-Crotchet was getting further away from the Kingdom, the castle was far away because he was getting nearer to the lair of Dragon Semibreve. Everything Dragon Semibreve did was slow because he was so big. He opened his eyes slowly, he walked slowly and even blew fire out slowly. When Dragon Semibreve blew fire out, everything would start shaking altogether, his arms and legs, tummy and tail, until he stopped. Dragon Semibreve didn’t like things that moved fast, so when Goblin took the jewels to the tower, he had to creep very quietly. Knight Quaver-Crotchet moved very quickly and before he knew what had happened, Dragon Semibreve had trapped him in the tower with the jewels and Goblin.
Make and decorate a paper tower. Walk around the room with it, singing the song!
Place toys around the room to knock down with a big ball, like the dragon!
Music note: 3/4 waltz timing (crotchet/quarter note)
Waltz feel: step-tip-toe, step-tip-toe, step-tip-toe, step-tip-toe,
Shoes off, calmly (no talking) listen to instrumental music while taking waltzing steps (step-tip-toe, step-tip-toe) around the room, any direction, either holding baby, or holding hands with our new walker or pre-schooler.
Warm up our voices: Do you have your whispering voice? Yes, I have my whispering voice. Do you have your speaking voice? Yes, I have my speaking voice. Do you have your unicorn voice? Yes, I have my unicorn voice! Do you have your singing voice (singing like an ambulance tune)? Yes, I have my singing voice (ambulance tune). Ready to sing!
Song 1: The Dragon and the Unicorn (game)
March in one direction as the dragon, then change direction as you march as the unicorn. Keep changing direction as you march around the town, singing this song.
Song 2: Beautiful Unicorn (instruments)
Tapping sticks or cups together like unicorn or horse hooves, sing the unicorn song.
Story part 7:
The dreadful news travelled over the Magical Musical Kingdom until a beautiful dancing Unicorn, alone in a field, heard the sad tale. She always played on her own, dancing every single day, but when she heard the news, Unicorn’s horn began to glow, which meant that she was very cross. Shaking out her golden wings, she flew straight to Dragon Semibreve’s tower and very quickly, Knight Quaver-Crotchet took the jewels and jumped on her back. Goblin took so long to creep to the window that he could only hold onto Unicorn’s tail, as they flew through the fiery mountains and back to the castle. King Crotchet was so pleased to have his Magical Musical Kingdom restored that he threw a huge party. There was so much music that Goblin crept away back to his cave and sometimes, when the sky is right, you can see that the moon still looks a little golden, where Flying Fairy hung Goblin’s gold on the moonbeam.
Make decorations for the Magical Musical Kingdom party. Decorate the room with them!
Have a party to celebrate!
Hoping this has inspired you to start your own series!
About the author
Musician, researcher and author, Frances Turnbull, is a self-taught guitarist who has played contemporary and community music from the age of 12. She delivers music sessions to the early years and KS1. Trained in the music education techniques of Kodály (specialist singing), Dalcroze (specialist movement) and Orff (specialist percussion instruments), she has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (Open University) and a Master’s degree in Education (University of Cambridge). She runs a local community choir, the Bolton Warblers, and delivers the Sound Sense initiative aiming for “A choir in every care home” within local care and residential homes, supporting health and wellbeing through her community interest company.
She has represented the early years music community at the House of Commons, advocating for recognition for early years music educators, and her table of progressive music skills for under 7s features in her curriculum books.
Frances is the author of “Learning with Music: Games and Activities for the Early Years“ “Learning with Music: Games and Activities for the Early Years“, published by Routledge, August 2017.