by Author Kate_MB

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Band song to use in the early years

This song is a total hit as a 'band' song in the early years

I am currently working with two year olds in North Shields as part of The Terrific Twos at Riverside, my current Youth Music-funded early years music project.

At the moment, we are having lots of fun exploring the ukuleles and observing how the children choose to play and explore them. 

I find that it helps to have a few different songs tucked up your sleeve which you can use with instruments. I love this one, as it's a great tune and the children respond very well to it, as you will see in this video.

Video of children's responses to this song as part of my current project (1 min 37 in if you don't have 6 minutes)


Repetition and pace

I intentionally sing slower and make sure I sing songs lots of times with these two year olds. We are working with a speech and language therapist who assures us that this is essential, to give the children time to process the information and find their own way of joining in. 

Band song words (tune of of when the saints go marching in):

Oh when the band begins to play x 2 

I want to be in that band

When the band begins to play

Oh when *Sophie plays the *shaker x 2

I want to be in her band

When Sophie plays the shaker

*personalise to the child you are with and the instrument they are playing

Ukulele chords:

C maj, F maj, G7

Listen to the song here
Band song history:

I love this little band song, which Steph Brandon made up when I worked with her over at Sage Gateshead. It uses the tune of ‘oh when the saints go marching in’. Thanks Steph!

How to use this song:

Change the words so they are about your child and have some fun making up some new words of your own.

If you are working with a group, it works well to alternate the ‘solos’ with all playing together to keep the children engaged. This is great for those personal, social and emotional skills like turn taking, cooperating and respect for others. In larger groups you can group the children into shakers, scrapers and tappers if there are too many for solos.

Let me know how you get on and whether you think you could use this in your work in the early years...