The elements of music song collection

A guide to exploring musical elements for Primary schools

This collection represents a broad and diverse range of songs from different times, places and in different styles to experience, explore and recreate. Each song illustrates aspects of the new National Curriculum for Music inter-related dimensions (elements) and highlights the potential musical learning opportunities to include within your school music curriculum.

We’ve grouped some of the elements together: Pitch (melody and harmony), Timbre (sound quality) and Dynamics are one group; PulseRhythm and Tempo are another. Structure and Texture are presented individually.

The column on the left lists the skills, knowledge and understanding children will develop within each element, such as ‘Developing singing voice’, etc. Reading left to right, the song material becomes more sophisticated. Each song is considered age-appropriate, although children of course have different talents, experience and tastes, so we will let you be the judge of what will work best with your group!

We hope you find this a useful tool to create your own music curriculum from scratch, enhance your existing curriculum or to bolster and extend Sing Up Music.

ELEMENTS

EYFS

KS1

Pitch, Timbre and dynamics

  

Developing 'singing' voice

- Ring a ring o' roses (3 notes)
- Witch, witch (3 notes)

- Step back baby (3 notes)
- Who are we? (4 notes)

Vocal timbre

- Five fine bumble bees
- Old MacDonald
- Hickory dickory dock
- Little green frog
- Twinkle, twinkle, little star

 

- Boom chicka boom 
- Creepy castle
- Hot Potato!
- Bright blue sky
- Kum ba yah

Developing 'thinking' voice

- Little green frog
- Old MacDonald

- BINGO
- Head, shoulders, knees and toes​​​​​​​

Developing good listening habits through turn-taking

- Witch, witch
- Come dance with me

- Boom chicka boom ​​​​​​​
- Who are we?

Pentatonic

- Old MacDonald

- Gettin' on the train

Minor

n/a

- Sweet the evening air of May
- Minibeasts

Major

- Hello, how are you?
- The grand old Duke of York

- Tony Chestnut
- The farmer in the dell​​​​​​​

Major/minor contrast

- Five fine bumble bees

- Happy face

Introducing harmony

n/a

- Butterfly
- London's burning 

Pedal/drone

n/a

n/a

Triads & chords

n/a

 n/a

Instrumental timbre using backing tracks

- Shake my sillies out​​​​​​​
- Baby beluga
- Twinkle, twinkle, little star

- Minibeasts
- Creepy castle​​​​​​​
- The change train

Loud, soft, louder, softer

- Rocking​​​​​​​ (soft)
- The grand old Duke of York (loud)

- Creepy castle (soft)
- The farmer in the dell ​​​​​​​(loud)
- Boom chicka boom ​​​​​​​ (vary dynamics)

 

Pulse, rhythm and tempo

  

Developing coordination

- Head, shoulders, knees and toes
- Come dance with me

- Tony Chestnut
- Going over the sea

Pulse actions

- Shake my sillies out​​​​​​​
- Row, row, row your boat 
- Witch, witch
- Here we go round the mulberry bush

- The farmer in the dell​​​​​​​
- Who stole my chickens and my hens?
- BINGO
- Grandma rap

2/4 & 4/4 (good to march to)

- The grand old Duke of York
- One finger, one thumb

- Minibeasts
- The animal fair

3/4 (can feel like a waltz)

- Rocking​​​​​​​
- Slap clap clap

- Giggle song
- Oranges and lemons

6/8 (can feel like a skipping rhythm)

- Ring a ring o' roses
- One finger, one thumb

- Hickory dickory dock
- As I was walking down the street

Syncopation

n/a

- Bassez down

Irregular metre

n/a

n/a

Fast/slow

- Baby beluga (slow)
- Alice the camel (fast)

- The change train(fast)
- Minibeasts (slow)

Changing speed

- Five fine bumble bees

- Train coming

 

Structure

  

Repetition (call and echo)

- Shake my sillies out​​​​​​​
- Witch, witch

- Boom chicka boom ​​​​​​​
- Kye kye kule

Question & answer

- Come dance with me

- Hot Potato!
- Doo-bi-doo! 

Sequence

- Hello, how are you?

 - In the autumn

Verse only

- Shake my sillies out​​​​​​​

- If you're happy and you know it

Verse/chorus

- Baby beluga

- People who help us

Verse/chorus/middle eight

n/a

n/a

Intro/outro

n/a

n/a 

Ostinato/riff

n/a

n/a 

Exploring chord patterns, e.g. 12-bar blues

n/a

n/a 

 

Texture

  

Solo and unison

- Witch, witch

- Boom chicka boom 

Unaccompanied

- Ring a ring o' roses
- Row, row, row your boat 

- Who are we?
- Hot Potato!

Accompanied

- Shake my sillies out
- Rocking

- Bassez down
- Giggle song

Round

 n/a

- Butterfly
- London's burning 

Partner song

 n/a

n/a 

Multiple parts

 n/a

n/a 

 

ELEMENTS

Lower KS2

Upper KS2

Pitch, Timbre and dynamics

  

Developing 'singing' voice

- Tańczymy labada (4 notes)
- Hot cross buns (6 notes)

- Wonder and mystery (6 notes)
- Wayfaring stranger (pentatonic)

Vocal timbre

- Plasticine person
- Warm up and stomp canon
- Across the fields
- Pirates!
- Hey, Mr Miller

- A young Austrian
- Baloo baleerie
- Can you hear my voice?
- Video killed the radio star
- Eye of the tiger

Developing 'thinking' voice

- BINGO
- Top-notcher

- Baby one, two,three
- I've been to Harlem

Developing good listening habits through turn-taking

- Hot Potato!
- Tongo 

- Oleo 
- H.E.L.L.O.

Pentatonic

- Japanese/pentatonic warm-up

- Sakura

Minor

- Greensleeves
- The giant's garden

- Scarborough Fair

Major

- Nanuma
- Oats and beans and barley grow

- Senwa dedende
- Oleo 

Major/minor contrast

- Zoomah

- I got rhythm

Introducing harmony

- Moon round
- Nanuma

- Ain't gonna let nobody
- I'm still singing

Pedal/drone

- Viva la musica

- Unst boat song (Stark virna)

Triads & chords

- Nanuma

 

Instrumental timbre using backing tracks

- Hey, Mr Miller
- Life is a highway 
- Video killed the radio star

- Opportunity
- Daisy Bell
- Touch the sky

Loud, soft, louder, softer

- Across the fields (soft)
- Hot Potato! (loud)
- Pirates! (vary dynamics)

- Scarborough Fair (soft)
- Opportunity (vary dynamics)

 

Pulse, rhythm and tempo

  

Developing coordination

- Top-notcher
- Going over the sea

- Baby one, two,three
- Tony Chestnut

Pulse actions

- Emmanuel Road
- Who stole my chickens and my hens?
- Four white horses
- Tańczymy labada

- Bungalow
- I've been to Harlem
- Concentration
- Juba

2/4 & 4/4 (good to march to)

- The lining up song
- Roll the old chariot along

- It's a long way to Tipperary
- Siyahamba

3/4 (can feel like a waltz)

- Top-notcher
- Greensleeves

- Daisy Bell
- Scarborough Fair

6/8 (can feel like a skipping rhythm)

- Oats and beans and barley grow
- The tale of Sir Elgamore and the dragon

- Filimioomiooriay

Syncopation

- Janie Mama
- Chilled-out clap rap
- Hey, Mr Miller

- Big Sing Up mambo
- Shall we syncopate?
- I wanna sing scat

Irregular metre

Thalasa

- Thalasa

Fast/slow

- Tongo (slow)
- Life is a highway (fast)

- Touch the sky (fast)
- Baloo baleerie (slow)

Changing speed

- Kalinka

- Plynie statek

 

Structure

  

Repetition (call and echo)

- Tongo
- Down by the bay

- A little echo
- H.E.L.L.O.

Question & answer

- Amen, say Amen
- A Keelie

- Oleo  (both Q&A and echo)
- Halima pakasholo

Sequence

- I love the flowers

 - Senwa dedende

Verse only

- Hambone

- Scarborough Fair

Verse/chorus

- What shall we do with the drunken sailor?

- Roll the old chariot along

Verse/chorus/middle eight

- Count on me

- Wonder

Intro/outro

- Life is a highway

- Rather be

Ostinato/riff

- Ken and Barbie beatbox groove

- Wish 

Exploring chord patterns, e.g. 12-bar blues

Songwriting backing tracks 

- Songwriting backing tracks 

 

Texture

  

Solo and unison

- Amen, say Amen

- A Keelie

Unaccompanied

- Hot cross buns
- Top-notcher

- A Keelie
- Oleo 

Accompanied

- Tongo
- Hey, Mr Miller

- Unst boat song (Stark virna)
- Daisy Bell

Round

- Moon round
- Frère Jacques

- Baião de ninar
- Dona nobis pacem (Give us peace) 

Partner song

- Singing playgrounds
- Mary Mack/Furrem be me heen

- Gospel Medley
- Chick hanka/ Step back baby

Multiple parts

- Be kind online
- I'm still singing
- Sing with joy

- I wanna sing scat
- Can you hear my voice?
- Ain't gonna let nobody