Following our African themed music we sung two African songs in choir today. The first is called ‘Nanuma’ which is a Ghanaian greeting song meaning ‘as we travel through life have we done enough to get to heaven’.
The second song is called ‘Banuwa’ which is a beautiful lullaby from Liberia meaning ‘don’t cry pretty girl’.
Both these songs are designed to be sung as a round but we have firstly been learning them in unison.
We always start with some warm ups which may include including relaxation (big yawns), breathing, gentle range building and some fun little songs.
Today we formed a circle, did some big yawns and sung our h.e.l.l.o song trying out different voices. We then followed the instructions of the traffic lights (red for stop, amber for get ready and green for go) and I used hand signals to represent the colours of the traffic lights so the children knew when I wanted them to sing, get ready and stop.
We practiced our Nanuma song with actions first and then holding hands marching in a circle. I then chose a leader to stand in the middle of the circle with a woodblock and count us in 1,2,3,4 and continue playing the beat for us to sing to. They were then taught the hand signs to bring the music to a close (grabbing your hand into a fist). This worked really well and we had a few volunteers challenging us to really watch and listen for when the conductor wanted us to stop singing.
Next we sat down in a circle to learn our new song ‘Banuwa’. I taught by rote and call and echo. The children picked up the song quickly so we practiced our dynamics. I asked them to stand in their choir positions on one side if the room. I conducted and if I moved nearer to them I wanted the to sing quietly and if I moved far away I wanted them to sing loudly. This was very effective and so I invited some volunteers to be the conductor of the dynamics.
We ended with a little lying down on the floor whilst I sung my goodbye song. It’s a little song I wrote as a calming way to end a session so they can have a stretch and a yawn then get up and wave goodbye whilst singing. Good job Year 1 Swallows.C