Winter Elves

winter-elves-imageI am always on the lookout for interesting and topical activities for my students that are also linked to their learning objectives. I have a number of students this winter that have just been introduced to the minor tonality and I wanted a song that would be both seasonal and develop their familiarity and understanding of the tonality.

I love the song Goblins Are Around Tonight (Songs for Singing and Musicianship Training – David and Yuko Vinden) and often use it when introducing the minor tonality. Winter Elves is an adaptation of this with a winter theme. Hopefully it will evoke images of cheeky elves and not sinister ones!

It uses the la pentachord la ti do re mi and the rhythms ta, titi and ta-a although you could rewrite with a ta rest.

  • You can teach it aurally and then analyse the melody and rhythm using solfa and stick notation
  • You can notate it on the stave
  • You can play on the piano using just five fingers
  • You can use it for sight reading
  • You can use it to support the understanding that la and mi are the tonic and dominant of the natural minor
  • You can use it as a starting point for a minor improvisation or composition

The opportunities are endless! I hope you enjoy using it. Do let us know how you get on.

Click here to download

Sleeping In A Stable

Sleeping In A Stable ColourHere is a Christmas nativity song I wrote called Sleeping In A Stable. It uses the limited solfa toneset of do mi so and la. This is ideal for Reception/Early Years children (aged 4-5) or any child learning singing and musicianship using the Kodaly approach.

It could also be used in piano lessons. You could teach the child to sing the song, away from the score. Then demonstrate that they can play the melody by ear using just the black keys.

The song would fit into the nativity as Mary and Joseph settle down in the stable. They are not too impressed with their accommodation and are worried about getting to sleep with all the animal noises! You can alter the number of verses depending on which animals you want to add to the stable. I have included horses, ducks, hens, cows and dogs! I’ve saved the sheep to arrive with the shepherds later on!

Let me know if you use it!!

Merry Christmas!

Download Sleeping In A Stable for free here