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Keep an eye out for new documents for practicing the ukulele, piano and guitar. I'll also put some links to music apps, games and cool music. Happy music making! Mr Bradley.

23/03/20 Here is the first tune for you to try if you have a ukulele.

24/03/20 Here is the warm up to get your fingers moving across all the strings.

25/03/20 Here is our own dinosaur song to go with the videos for today.

27/03/20 Here's the music for today's music video link. You can play just the melody or add the harmony part as well. Can you sing and play together?

30/03/20 Here are the melody and the full lyrics for Everyday People.

As we say at Birchfields; 'Everyone is different but we are all equal'.

31/03/20 Two songs today for our friends in Reception. 

I have added some extra lyrics to the first song. Can you learn these as well?

The second song uses words from a lovely book called 'The Something' by Rebecca Cobb.

01/04/20 A fun song today about food. Even though it's a bit silly the song is a useful reminder about eating healthily. Can you make up anothe verse using a different vegetable?

02/04/20 Having seen a lovely video on the school Twitter of a pupil playing the guitar I thought I'd add some sheets to help everyone who has a guitar at home. Try to practice a little bit on most days and you'll find you get better very quickly.

When you're reading the guitar music (we call it TAB) remember that the horizontal lines represent the strings and the vertical lines are the frets. Your fingers go inbetween the frets.

09/04/20 Let's give you plenty to do over the long weekend!

Here's a set of chords for the piano. It's called a Pop Turnaround and is used in lots of songs. Try to follow the colours in your right hand. Remember, a chord is a group of notes played together so press your fingers down together. If you can add the left hand harmony part, it's just one note at a time. can you hear the difference between the major chords (C, F and G) and the A minor chord?

09/04/20 Here's a picture of a piano keyboard with all the notes on to help you as well.

09/04/20 Here's another guitar tune. Don't forget - the lines (TAB) represent the guitar strings and the numbers tell you which fret to put your fingers in.

09/04/20 If you have a recorder at home, here's the fingering and a couple of melodies for you to practice.

16/04/20 Here are the lyrics for Arroz Con Leche. They're written in English and Spanish. They are also written out phonetically to help with the Spanish pronunciation - what you see is what you say.

16/04/20 Here's the melody and a simple harmony part for the song. I haven't written the letters on this so you'll need to work them out first to help you play it. If you scroll back up a little bit, you'll see a picture of my whiteboard with the recorders drawn on it. Along the top of my whiteboard are the notes in treble and bass clef. This will help you work out the notes.

16/04/20 The last one for today is the guitar and bass version of the melody, written in TAB. Remember, the lines are the strings and the numbers tell you which fret to put your fingers in.

17/04/20 Here's Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. The letters above the lyrics (the A, D and E) tell you which chord to play on the guitar or ukulele. The chord shapes are on the sheet below.

17/04/20 Chord shapes for A, D and E major on ukulele and guitar.

20/04/20 Here are the lyrics and chords for today's video. Underneath is a sheet with all 6 chords. You can practice this song on the keyboard, guitar or ukulele.


Here's a great pop song that you can play along with on your ukulele.

If you have a guitar or keyboard and know your chords, you can play  along as well.

If you need them, the ukulele and guitar chords are on the sheet above.

22/04/20 Another recorder tune for you today. This one is a little longer than some of the others but it still only uses the notes E, G, A, b.

If you look, you will see some bars are repeated. This makes it easier to play. Remember to count the crotchets (Doos) and quavers (DooDays) carefully. The notes that aren't coloured in are longer sounds (minims).

The fingering chart is below as well.

23/04/20 It's taken me a little while but I've finally finished putting some of Miss Coleman's brilliant acrostic poem into a song. I couldn't make all of the words fit; I've added the lyric sheet below so you can see which parts I've used. Try listening to it a few times and have ago at learning it. Maybe we can use it as a school song in a singing assembly.

Don't forget to have another look at Miss Coleman's poem on the school Twitter:

25/04/20 Here's the piano and guitar music for Pachelbel's Canon. Try playing one line at a time then put different lines together.

27/04/20 Here's the message from the staff to our pupils with a song playing in the background. Well done to Miss Campbell, Miss Coleman and Mr Pickering for playing and singing. They each recorded their part separately, which is very hard to do. Any mistakes are down to me not doing so well in the mixing of it! Lyrics and chords are below.

29/04/20 Here's the music for a very simple version of the Tallis Canon. Look carefully if you're playing it on the piano because it uses Bb - B flat - which is the black note to the left of B. The melody will sound strange if you get it wrong!

The guitar and ukulele parts are beneath as well. Remember, the lines are the strings and the numbers tell you which fret to put your fingers in.

30/04/20 Here's the lyric sheet for Lean On Me.

01/05/20 To go with the videos for the maypole dancing, here's a lovely traditional lullaby, which first appeared in around 1600. If you're playing it on the piano, watch out for the C# - the black note to the right of C. Guitar and ukulele sheets are attached as well.

04/05/20 Hello Star Wars fans!

Here's a short and simple version of the main theme. Watch out for the notes with the number 3 written above them, called triplets. You play them a little quicker than the notes around them.

In your head, think of the word 'Chewbacca' when you play them; three notes, three syllables - Chew-bac-ca.

May the Force be with you!

05/05/20 I've simplified the Seneca Canoe Song (Kayawajineh) and it's here for piano, guitar and ukulele.

06/05/20 Here's the music for one of our short assembly songs called It's A Lovely Day. As I write this, the sky is beautiful and blue with not a cloud in sight. There's even a little breeze.

11/05/20 Rock & Roll music is based on the 12 Bar Blues, which normally uses a three chord pattern. Here are the chords for piano in the correct sequence.

Practice the chords with your right hand first then add the single note (C, F, G) in the left hand.

Guitar and ukulele chords are below.


13/05/20 Today's new song might help year 6 with their literacy work this week. When you play the melody, look carefully for the sharps - they are the black notes on the piano to the right of the white notes.

Guitar and ukulele parts are below. Remember - the lines are the strings and the numbers tell you which fret to put your fingers in.

A song to help year 3 with their geography project. If you're playing it on the keyboard, watch out for where your fingers move around.

16/05/20 Here's another recorder melody. This one uses a wider range of notes so look carefully at the fingering chart at the bottom of the sheet.

18/05/20 Here's a song for you to learn all about the special people we know and love. Maybe you can learn to sing it, record yourself and share it on Twitter.

Thanks to Miss Coleman, Mrs Porteous & Mr Pickering for their great work in learning and recording the song for us.

When you're practicing it, watch out for the F#. It's the black note to the right of our normal F. Also look carefully at the structure of the song. There's a note on there telling you in which order to play the sections.

Guitar and ukulele sheets are shared below as well.

20/05/20 If you check back to when we put Everyday People on the page for you to work on, there's a audio clip of this next song. It's called Different And Equal. It's only very short but the message reminds us to be kind, honest and respectful towards each other.

22/05/20 Here's a nice, simple song for you to practice over the weekend. It's a special weekend for everyone celebrating Eid - perhaps you can sing this song together.

Here's a slightly simplified version of Stravinsky's Firebird theme. If you've listened to the recording of it, you'll hear that the opening theme is repeated at a higher pitch so make sure you move up on the keyboard. Guitars & ukuleles - the numbers tell you which fret to use and for this piece you have to go quite far up the neck.

Disclaimer: Birchfields Primary School is not responsible for the content of external sites such as YouTube, although we endeavour to make sure all our links are safe and rely on parental supervision to help us achieve this. 

Children under 13 should not use YouTube without parental supervision.

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23/03/20 Music word of the week: Tempo

                                                                                                                              23/03/20 Music app of the week:

  Novation Launchpad

You can find this on the App Store. Use it to create your own backing tracks. Try changing the track while it's playing.

23/03/20 Music video of the day:

This is called 'Spring' from 'The Four Seasons' by an Italian composer called Vivaldi.

This performance is by a violinist called Nigel Kennedy.

Vivaldi wrote music to go with a set of poems. The Spring poem goes:

Springtime is upon us.
The birds celebrate her return with festive song,
and murmuring streams are
softly caressed by the breezes.
Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar,
casting their dark mantle over heaven,
Then they die away to silence,
and the birds take up their charming songs once more

Can you hear how the music matches the words?                                                                                                                                                                                             

24/03/20 Music video of the day:

Today's video is a bit of fun. Lots of you have seen this before and enjoy watching it.

It mixes a piece for the cello written by our composer from yesterday, Vivaldi, with a song called Thunderstruck by a rock band called AC/DC. I hope it makes you smile!

25/03/20 Music video of the day:

Here's two videos that we've watched in class when our project was Dinosaurs.

Can you learn the chorus for both songs?

Which dinosaur would you be?

26/03/20 Music video of the day:

This is a bright and breezy cover version of a brilliant pop song.

We look at this video when we do our string lessons in class. It's a tune that's really easy to dance to - go on, give it a try!

27/03/20 Website link of the week:

Here's a link to the Out of The Ark website. They make lots of great resources,especially songs - we use them in school. Go to the website and click on the link to 'free resources'. We've also put the link on the school app. Have a good explore!

27/03/20 Music video of the weekend:

This is one of our songs about the school Values that will keep you singing all weekend. I've posted the music for those of you who have a keyboard or piano at home. Can you learn all of the sign language too?

30/03/20 Music word of the week: Dynamics

30/03/20 Music video of the day:

Good morning everyone. Today's song is another one that we've used as a Values song. Everyone is key stage 2 learnt this back in the autumn so see if you can still remember it. The lyrics and the melody are in the column on the left.  

30/03/20 Music app of the week:

  Apple GarageBand

Many of you will already have this on your Apple tablet but this message might remind you to have a go at using it!

31/03/20 Music video of the day:

To go with the two Reception songs for today, here's John Denver and the Muppets singing about the garden.

01/04/20 Music video of the day:

Here's a funny but moving little piece of music for April Fools' Day that tells the story of Tubby the Tuba.

02/04/20 Music video of the day:

An inspiring guitar video today from a little girl. It shows how she has progressed as she's grown older and what you can achieve over time with lots of practice.

03/04/20 Music videos of the weekend:

Here are some videos to keep you busy over the weekend.

The first is just lovely. In it, a little girl is playing the ukulele and singing a song by Elvis Presley - do you remember the big Elvis poster in my classroom?

On her ukulele is a capo (the metal clamp on the strings). This is used to make the pitch of the strings higher, which then makes it easier for her to sing the song.

The second video is much longer.  It is called 'The Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra' and shows us the four families of instruments in turn. It's a great way to get to know all of the different instruments and the sounds they make. The lady talking also helps to identify them all.

The original music for the piece was written by a very famous English composer called Henry Purcell. His tune can be found on this web page from the BBC:

There are lots of terrific videos on this page. Perhaps you'll have time to look at a few of them.

Happy viewing!

06/04/20 Music word of the week: Pitch

06/04/20 Music app of the week:

 Memory Color - Mind and brain training
There used to be a handheld game called 'Simon', where players tapped the colours in different sequences. Here's the modern version. How many can you remember in one go? It's a similar idea to the game Bop It.

06/04/20 Music video of the day:

A lovely bright and sunny piece to listen to today. This was written by a man called Johann Sebastian Bach, who has been possibly the single most influential composer we know of. Even now, pop music uses ideas from Bach. I like today's video especially because you can see the musicians really enjoying what they're doing - watch how they keep looking at each other and smiling while they're playing.

07/04/20 Music video of the day:

A longer video today where a cartoon story matches what's happening in the music. It is set in New York and we follow four characters as they go through the day. The music was written by the American composer George Gershwin and is called Rhapsody In Blue. The cartoon is from a longer Disney film called Fantasia (2000). There are two Disney animated films called Fantasia - one from 1940 and the other from 2000. They both use a fantastic selection of classical music.

08/04/20 Music video of the day:

A stirring video today from another American composer.  Aaron Copland wrote The Fanfare For The Common Man in 1942. How does it make you feel? It makes me think of someone doing something heroic. This video fades out before the ending so perhaps you'd like to find another video of the longer tune. There's also a version by a rock band called Emerson, Lake and Palmer. You could compare both versions and see which one you prefer.

09/04/20 Music video of the day:

Today's video is a blast from the past. It's great fun and all you need is a cup....

09/04/20 Music videos of the weekend:

For all the aspiring rock band musicians and singers here's a few videos for the songs we've been working on. Can you learn all of the lyrics from memory?

Coldplay - Viva La Vida - live performance. The song starts at 2 minutes 54 seconds but the whole video is worth watching because the playing and singing is fantastic.

Blur - Song 2 official video

The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army official video

Oasis - Wonderwall lyrics and guitar chords

13/04/20 Music word of the week: Melody

13/04/20 Music app of the week:

Don't Tap the White Tile promo art.png  Piano Tiles

There are several versions of this to download nowadays but they all use the same idea of tapping the moving tiles. Great fun.

13/04/20 Music video of the day:

Here's a weird and wonderful little video for today. It's shows all the creatures going to a party. Of sorts....

14/04/20 Music video of the day:

Today's video is so lively I bet you can't sit still. 

Mambo is a dance style from Cuba. This one comes from the musical West Side Story, which is a modern re-telling of the Romeo & Juliet story. In the movie, this mambo section depicts competitive dances between two gangs - the Jets and the Sharks.

15/04/20 Music videos of the day:

I think this video is amazing. First we have a great pop song from a movie that came out in 1984. Then we've got some fantastic clips of  dancing from a selection of old movies.

If you watch the dancing carefully, you can see where people like Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake got a lot of their moves from. I'm already tapping my foot!

This is a longer video that will give you plenty to do. It's been made by an orchestra called Manchester Camerata and features one of their musicians, a lady called Kate. In it she shows you how to do a little bit of singing, make a really simple shaker, draw a picture and play along with her. You also get a look inside her piano. This might keep you busy for quite some time today.

16/04/20 Music videos of the day:

Three versions of the same song today. This is a little Mexican tune that we looked at when Year 6 did their Hola Mexico project.

First is the traditional children's song - we learnt the first part in class.

In the second version, they've written their own lyrics. You can also see the different instruments they're playing. We use all of these in school. Can you name them?

The last version is great fun. Now it's time to get rocking.

If you scroll down the column on the left you find the lyrics we used as well as the melody and a simple harmony part. The lyrics are written phonetically, which means you say what you see, as well as in English and Spanish. However, you'll need to work out the letters for the music first.

17/04/20 Music video of the day:

A really relaxed video today with a lovely positive message. This style of music is called Reggae and suits a bright sunny day.

I've put the lyrics in the left hand column; there are letters on the sheet to show you where to play the chords on either a guitar or a ukulele. To help with this I've also added a sheet showing you how to play the chords. Relax and enjoy!

18/04/20 Music videos of the weekend:

Here's a cracking version of Peter & The Wolf by the Royal Ballet & the Royal Ballet School. The music is great - can you hear the different themes for each character? There is a narration to help us follow the story and the dancing is terrific.

The second video is another of the Mini Music Maker programmes by the Manchester Camerata. Today we are with Gemma, a violinist so get ready for body percussion, singing, drawing and listening.

20/04/20 Music word of the week: Harmony

20/04 20 Music app of the week:

BEAT MP3 2.0 - Rhythm Game  Beat mp3 2.0

If you are familiar the Guitar Hero type game this is similar. It can get quite tricky so it's definitely good for your brain!


20/04/20 Music video of the day:

Today's song has such a powerful and positive message that we can all share. The first video is a live performance by Bruno Mars. Listen carefully to the lyrics so you can hear his message. I've put the lyrics below. The chords and lyrics are in the column on the left so you can play the song on your keyboard, guitar or ukulele.

Here's a cover version of the same song. Lovely harmonies from the ladies when they  are all singing. Can you identify the instruments they are using?

The last version has two children singing and playing their guitars. They must have worked so hard to be this good!

21/04/20 Music video of the day:

Here's a song from one of the great musicals, Singing In The Rain. The slapstick humour is guaranteed to make you smile. The actor, Donald O'Connor, did all the stunts himself too. If you can find it, try watching the whole movie; every song is a classic.

22/04/20 Music video of the day:

Here's another song from a musical. This one is an animation called The Aristocats and the song is called Everybody Wants To Be A Cat. If cats are this cool, I definitely want to be one.

23/04/20 Music videos of the day:

This is not strictly a music video. However, the music in this animation really helps create the atmosphere. The story is called Twelfth Night and is a short re-telling of a famous play by William Shakespeare. I've put this video here because today is the day Shakespeare was born and died.

Today is also St. George's Day and this video is a cute version of the story of St. George and the Dragon.

24/04/20 Music video of the day:

Here's a lovely bit of cello music for you. It is a pair of dances called Bourees.

A Bouree is a plain and simple type of dance. No fancy moves, just good old jumping around.

When I watch this video it feels as if the man (his name is Yo-Yo Ma and he's a very famous cellist) has just sat down and is playing his cello for the sheer pleasure of it.

There are two main sections in this piece:

Bouree 1 is a happy, bouncy piece, which has two small sections that are repeated. Bouree 2 also has two small sections that are repeated.It is slightly sadder in feel - it's in a minor key. Then Bouree 1 comes back again to lift the mood. So, overall, the structure is ABA (Bouree 1/Bouree 2/Bouree 1) and within that, Bouree 1 goes AABB and Bouree 2 goes AABB. Phew!

25/04/20 Music word of the weekend:  Ostinato

25/04/20 Music videos of the weekend:

Our first video is a graphic score. This is where signs and symbols are used to represent the notes.

The piece is called the Canon in D Major and is by Johann Pachelbel. It's a very famous tune and  the structure - the way the chords are played in a sequence - has been used in lots of different ways.

Here's a live recording of the Canon using instruments from the time Pachelbel was alive (1653 - 1706). He lived during a period called the Baroque era.

This video is a pop song by The Farm. It was a top ten hit in 1990. Listen carefully to the beginning and you will hear the chord sequence is exactly the same as the Canon.

A different pop song by the Pet Shop Boys from 1993. It's a cover version of a disco song called Go West, originally by the Village People (they did YMCA). Again, as soon as the song starts you can hear the chord sequence.

Wow! |This is totally different. A heavy metal song called The Valley Of The Damned by Dragonforce. You might love it, you might hate it but you'll still hear the chords from Pachelbel's Canon!

The last video is for a song that lots of you will recognise. Don't Look Back In Anger by Oasis doesn't stick completely to the Pachelbel chords as it changes in the chorus. But it uses them as a starting point and that's a good enough reason to have a listen!

27/04/20 Music word of the week: Duration

27/04/20 Music app of the week:


Chord Player Keyboard by Jochen Falck 

Chord Player Keyboard. A clever little app that plays chords at the touch of a button while you can make up tunes. You can change the sound and the tempo. Lots of fun.

27/04/20 Music video of the day:

Wow! This is such a difficult piece of music to play.

The lady playing it, Hilary Hahn, is a virtuoso violinist. A virtuoso is someone who has outstanding talent and amazing ability.

The piece is called Caprice No. 24 and was written by a composer called Nicholas Paganini, who was himself a virtuoso violinist. We hear a short melody, which we'll call the Theme. Then we hear different versions of the Theme, which we'll call Variations.

Many composers have used this short piece as inspiration for their own compositions.

One of the most famous is by a composer called Rachmaninoff, a Russian composer from the 19th Century. It's called the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and is a much longer piece than the original. It has lots of different Variations. One of the Variations has become famous in its own right as being one of the loveliest melodies you can hear.

This video is a performance by orchestra and piano of the Rachmaninoff Rhapsody. The beginning part has the pianist talking about the piece. This is very helpful for when you listen to it. Try listening to it all but if you can't wait, Variation No.18 is our beautiful melody. It starts around 20 minutes and 20 seconds on the video.         I defy anyone to say it's not fantastic.

28/04/20 Music video of the day:

Only listen to this if you're ready to spend all day singing it. This song must have one of the catchiest melodies there is.

This video is called Play That Song and is by train, an American pop band. It's based on a song from 1938 composed by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Frank Loesser.

If you want to play it yourself, the chords are over in the left hand column on 9th April, where it's called the Pop Turnaround. Hundreds of songs use these chords,which is one of the reasons we like the sound of it so much.

Here's a lovely version of the tune that shows the chords and the melody.

Well done, guys!

29/04/20 Music video of the day:

Today's song is very calm - great for a few moments of mindfulness. See if you can find a quiet place, close your eyes and let the music relax you.

The song is based on a song from the bible, known as a psalm. It is generally called Tallis' Canon. Thomas Tallis was a very important English composer who lived during the Tudor period. He wrote music for Henry 8th, Edward 6th and Elizabeth 1st. He must have been very good at his job!

A Canon is very similar to a Round, such as Frere Jaques or London's Burning. Different people sing the same song but starting a different times. Listen carefully and you can hear them joining in.

These versions show very clearly the Canon, where different groups are singing the different parts at the same time. The first one has a small group of singers, the second has a very big choir.

All three versions are sung A Cappella, which means you can hear just voices. There are no other instruments playing.

A simple copy of the music is in the column on the left. 

30/04/20 Music video of the day:

An important message today. This first video is a virtual choir from NHS workers in an area called Lanarkshire, in Scotland. The song is called Lean On Me by an American singer/songwriter called Bill Withers.

Here's the lyric video. The lyric sheet is also in the column on the left.

YOUnison, an American student run organisation, is targeting April 30 as a “Worldwide Day of Gratitude,” inviting teachers and students, as well as the general public, to learn how to play the classic song Lean On Me. It’s a great idea that is musical, educational, humanitarian and just positively uplifting. They’ve even partnered with a music publisher to give you the tools to learn the song on an instrument:

Here's a version recorded by Canadian pop and rock stars, including Avril Lavigne and Justin Bieber.

01/05/20 Music video of the day:

To celebrate the start of May, here's a video showing some children maypole dancing.

This is a very old tradition, dating back around 700 years in the British Isles. Maypoles would be raised in the village to celebrate the return of warmer weather.

It has generally been the tradition that children would dance around the maypole. Watch carefully and you'll see the ribbons make patterns on the pole. Some of the dancing is quite complicated. The whole village has turned out to watch the dancing. The ensemble playing is a traditional brass band.

The second video is from 1939 and shows a whole village watching and taking part in May Day celebrations, including the May Queen and some very complicated maypole dancing. Strange to see the old fashioned clothes but it's similar to the first video as everyone is there to watch or take part.

02/05/20 Music videos of the weekend:

Two videos to watch and compare over the weekend. Both are from a suite written in 1886 called the Carnival of the Animals by a French composer called Camille Saint Saens.

First is a delicate piece called The Aquarium. Can you hear how the music matches the fish floating, darting and gliding around? Can you picture yourself floating around under the water?

The second piece is called the elephant and is played on the double bass. Why do you think Saint Saens used this instrument for this piece?

Altogether, there are 14 pieces in the Carnival of the Animals. Perhaps you can investigate some of the others as well.

04/05/20 Music words of the week: Melody, Harmony, Interval

04/05/20 Music app of the week:

Groove Coaster 2 - Apps on Google Play 

Groove Coaster 2. Tap and hold while following the lines. Keep to the beat.

04/05/20 Music video of the day:

To start the day, here's a gloriously silly song. Turn it up and sing along. It could get stuck in your head all day long!

05/05/20 Music video of the day:

This is totally different from yesterday's video. T

Today we see the legendary American folk singer, Pete Seeger, in an interview about how he came to learn a Native American song called Ka iyo wa jin eh. It's from the Seneca tribe and is a song they would sing when they paddled their canoes up and down the river.

What makes this short video really great is the way he goes from talking to singing in a heartbeat. To him there is clearly no difference between the two and he has no embarrassment about singing in front of people at all. Something we could all try perhaps!

A simplified version of the song is in the column on the left. Maybe you could make up a canoe dance as you pretend to paddle down the river.

06/05/20 Music video of the day:

A lovely, positive song for today. This is Jimmy Cliff's cover version of I Can See Clearly Now, which was originally recorded in 1972 by Johnny Nash. It's great on a bright, sunny day like today and goes nicely with one of our assembly songs called It's A Lovely Day. You'll find the music for this in the left hand column.

07/05/20 Music video of the day:

Today's tune is called Clair de Lune and was written by the French composer Claude Debussy in about 1890 as part of a suite of music. Its name comes from a poem by Verlaine called "Clair de lune", the title of which means "moonlight" in French.

The first video is a piano roll animation where the notes light up to show you which ones are being used.

The second video is a live performance of the piece. Which do you prefer?

Tonight will see the last supermoon of the year.

A supermoon (officially called a perigean moon, but supermoon is easier to say) is when the moon is full and when it's at its closest point to the Earth. It appears larger and brighter in the night sky.

Each full moon through the year is given a different name in various cultures around the world. The May full moon is commonly known as the Flower Moon because it coincides with spring blossoms in the northern hemisphere.

08/05/20 Music video of the day:

To commemorate VE Day here's a piece written for a film called The First Of The Few.

The music, called the Spitfire Prelude and Fugue was composed by William Walton, who was a leading British composer of the twentieth century.

,The film is about the man who designed the Spitfire aeroplane. His name was R. J. Mitchell. The title of the film refers to a speech made by Winston Churchill about the heroic Spitfire pilots in the Battle of Britain: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".

This is a short audio clip of part of Churchill's speech.

Remember that it was made in 1940 at the time of the Battle of Britain.

09/05/20 Music videos of the weekend:

A joyous piece of music for the weekend. This is Jupiter from The Planets Suite by the English composer Gustav Holst (1874-1934).

The sound of the music reflects the fact that Jupiter is the fastest spinning planet in our solar system; can you hear how quickly the strings are playing a three note pattern at the start? Jupiter is also the biggest of our planets and Holst uses the whole orchestra to create big sounds.

There are various themes you can pick out as the music goes on. One theme that is particularly lovely (and famous) comes about 3 minutes in. The music slows down and a gorgeous melody appears.

Holst rewrote this section of Jupiter to fit a poem by Sir Cecil Spring Rice called 'Urbs Dei'. The song (or hymn) became known as I Vow To Thee, My County and is very famous in its own right.

This is an interesting version of Jupiter, which has been rewritten for a wind ensemble. Can you name the instruments?

Here's a flashmob performing I Vow To Thee, My County. From the solo cellist at the beginning to the full ensemble it's just lovely. Also, they must have practiced so much to get it sounding this good.

This video is a pop song from 1973 by the band Manfred Mann's Earth Band. You'll hear straight away that it's based on a theme from Jupiter. Love the 1970s fashion!

Here's a link to the NASA website in case you want to find out more about the planets.

11/05/20 Music word of the week: Rhythm

11/05/20 Music app of the week:

Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game on the App Store

Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game

Tap the black tiles, avoid the white tiles. Sounds simple!

11/05/20 Music videos of the day:

Following the sad news that Little Richard died on Saturday, here's two of his best known songs, Tutti Frutti and Long Tall Sally. When he burst onto the music scene in the early 1950s, Little Richard was like no-one else and was seen as shocking and wild. Along with Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis he was one of the pioneers of Rock and Roll.

Here he is performing both songs with his band in the film Don't Knock The Rock.

This is Little Richard performing Hound Dog, a song made famous by Elvis Presley.

12/05/20 Music video of the day:

As year 6 are working on a Harry Potter project this week I thought we'd remind ourselves of a terrific song that looks ahead and sees trouble. Not just trouble but double trouble!

The music is in the column on the left.

Tomorrow I'll put on a new Harry Potter song that might help year 6 with their work.

13/05/20 Music video of the day:

Here's a full orchestra playing Hedwig's Theme from the Harry Potter movies. The instrument at the beginning is called a celesta.

In the column on the left is a new song about one of the spells that are used in the movies. Perhaps year 6 can make up some extra lyrics as they do their literacy work this week.

14/05/20 Music video of the day:

Two songs about volcanoes to help year 3 with their geography project today. Mr Parr has very cleverly taken pop songs and changed the lyrics to make them all about volcanoes. There's so much information in these songs!

In the column on the left I've added a volcano song we use in school. It's a bit easier than these two songs!

15/05/20 Music video of the day:

I've used a bit of poetic licence for today's video.

It's called Compass by Lady Antebellum. I was looking for songs that year 4 might find useful for their geography project. However, this song is not really about geography. Instead it's simply a positive message about the power inside of you.

The lyrics are about following your heart to do the things that make you happy.

Your heart is your compass. Enjoy.

Here's an excellent live version that really highlights how good their singing is, particularly the harmonies they get.

Warning! This is  an emotional version of the song that was videoed at a children's hospital with the staff and children. It really highlights the positivity of the message, particularly the part about never being on your own.

18/05/20 Music word of the week: Ensemble

18/05/20 Music app of the week:



Just pick your instruments, draw notes, record & sing, and drag & drop one of over 2100 loops or samples. Medly breaks up your song into Sections that you can easily pick up, move, delete, copy, and link together to make loops. It's quite a sophisticated sampler that you can use to create more than just basic rhythms.

18/05/20 Music video of the day:

Here's a a great ensemble piece by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. They are a very clever group who regularly cover songs that you wouldn't expect. It's nice to be surprised by their imagination. Here they are (during lockdown) performing a cover version of Shiver Me Timbers, a song by an American singer-songwriter called Tom Waits. If you're a pirate... get ready!

19/05/20 Music video of the day:

To carry on with our link to this week's PSHE work, here's a gorgeous song by one of the greatest songwriters of all time. The song is called You've Got A Friend and was written by Carole King. Here she is performing it with James Taylor. In the introduction, he explains how Carole King let him record the song, which went on to be a huge hit around the world. Listen carefully to the lyrics while you think about your special people.

This is a lovely version of the song by a choir called London City Voices. I love how 'full' it sounds with all those voices. The harmonies aren't too bad either!

20/05/20 Music video of the day:

Another video for you to listen to while you do your PSHE work on special people. The lyrics remind us that we can be special to other people as well.

21/05/20 Music video of the day:

Continuing with our theme of special people, here's another powerful song. Written by Paul Simon in 1969, the song, Bridge Over Troubled Water, is sung by Art Garfunkel. This is a live version, performed at a free concert for 500 000 people in New York's Central Park in 1981. I'm amazed at the way Art Garfunkel makes the singing look so effortless, standing there with his hands in his pockets!

Originally, it was to be a simple two-verse song with guitar accompaniment. The third verse was added in the recording studio when they felt the song needed a bigger finish. They also swapped the guitar for a piano, to better match the vocals.

Art Garfunkel sums up the message behind the song very simply:

‘Whoever you are, if you need some solace, I will try to be a moment of sweetness for you’. 

22/05/20 Music video of the day:

Here's an old favourite from Friday assemblies. This is M People performing Search For The Hero. Again, it ties in nicely with our special people project. 

I love the lyrics where it mentions Aiming High - the song could have been written for Birchfields!

This is terrific. The song is called With A Little Help From My Friends and was written by The Beatles. This performance is by a singer called Joe Cocker, and is from a music festival called Woodstock in 1969. He made the song famous and had a big hit with it. What I particularly like is that he puts everything he's got into his singing. He must be worn out at the end of it.

The message of thee song reminds us that we all need help, and our friends are a very good place to start.

Here's a different version. In this one, the band (called The Main Squeeze) really do get their friends to help out.

23/05/20 Music videos of the weekend:

Here's another great version of Peter And the Wolf. Last time, we looked at a ballet performance. This video is an award-winning animation. Although what you're watching is different the story and the music are the same; can you hear how the instruments are used to identify each character? I think the animation is brilliant, and you can see why the film won awards. 

Another excellent video from our friends at Manchester Camerata. This time, Dave is playing the French Horn and working on some cyphers & codes.

25/05/20 Music word of the week: Timbre

25/05/20 Music app of the week:

Remixlive - Make Music & Beats on the App Store


A sophisticated little loop and sequencer app. You can play around with the sounds  and alter them in lots of ways to customise your own tracks.

25/05/20 Music videos of the week:

The music venue, Band On The Wall has an excellent page that you can explore that is an exciting programme of music and heritage learning and research. There's loads for you to dive into.

This is the first in a series of videos made by the |Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment and it starts a discussion about the theory of music. If you ever wanted to know more about the 'how' and 'why' of music, start here and follow their other videos as they are added.

Two more videos from our friends at the Manchester Camerata. Firstly, Ryan shows us his tuba and writes out a graphic score, playing some unusual instruments to get the sounds.

Secondly, Gemma plays her violin and shows us some puppets.

01/06/20 Music word of the week: Texture

01/06/20 Music app of the week:

djay - DJ App & Mixer | iOS Icon Gallery

DJay is a great app that lets you practice your mixing skills. What I like about this is that if you have songs on your phone, you can use them.  

01/06/20 Music website of the week:

Here's another page from the BBC Ten Pieces site. This one looks at the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky and his piece The Firebird. I've put a slightly simplified version of the theme in the column on the left.