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Bernards Heath Junior School

'Knowing Every Child'


Week Beginning 1st June 2020

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Basic Rock Drumming Rhythm - Let's Have Some Fun!



Hello Year 5.  I hope you have all had a good week and enjoyed singing 'Don't Worry Be Happy' last week, as a change from learning about instruments of the orchestra.  Did you manage to make up a rhythm to accompany the song?  At first it's quite difficult to sing and play at the same time, but as you get to know a song really well and are familiar with all the lyrics, playing with the vocals becomes much easier.


This week I'd like to continue thinking about performing a rhythm to a song that doesn't need any other accompaniment.  If you recall, a song with no accompaniment is called 'a capella' which means 'in the manner of the chapel', a place where songs were often sung with no instruments. I am sure you have all heard of the 'Cup Song', and this week I'd like you to learn the rhythm to this song.  Find a PLASTIC cup (this is very important.  It MUST NOT be glass as this could break whilst you are performing and you could hurt yourself).  I am going to show you a link to the song below, but first, here are the moves:


1. Place the cup upside down on a table with the base facing up.

2. Clap your hands twice and then tap the base of the cup three times, tap, tap, tap (first with your right hand, then left, then right again).

3.Clap your hands together once, then grab the cup with your right hand, pick it up and put it down again slightly further to the right.

4. Clap your hands again once, grab the cup with your right hand, twisting your hand so that your thumb and first finger pick it up from the base.

5. Bring the cup up to your left hand, turning the cup the right way up as you do so, tap your left hand with the top of the cup and then place the cup on the table the right way up (rim facing upwards).

6. Immediately bring the cup up again with your right hand then grab and hold the cup with your left hand, then tap the table with your right hand.

7. Finally take your left hand over your right hand and place the cup upside down on the table ready to start the rhythm all over again.


That's it.  Now see if you can learn it from memory and when you can, see if you can play it with the link below, repeating the rhythm again and again throughout the song.  Listen to the rhythm carefully so you can copy it exactly.  Have fun:-


Hello Everyone in Year 5!  Last week I gave you a music instrument quiz which had 15 sounds for you to identify.  Here are the answers - check your own answers and see how well you did.

1. Flute - Woodwind Family

2.  Piccolo - Woodwind Family

3. Trumpet - Brass Family 

4.  Cello - String Family

5.  Bass Drum - Percussion Family

6.  Timpani - Percussion Family

7.  Clarinet - Woodwind Family

8.  Oboe - Woodwind Family

9.  Glockenspiel - Percussion Family (has metal keys)

10. Violin - String Family

11. Double Bass - String Family

12. Xylophone - Percussion Family (has wooden keys)

13. Trombone - Brass Family

14. Snare Drum - Percussion Family

15. Tuba - Brass Family


This week, I am giving you something totally different to do.  I would like you to learn a reggae song. It's called 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' by the singer Bobby McFerrin.  Try and whistle and sing along with the music and then try and work out your own rhythm, either by clicking your fingers, tapping your fingers on a table or using something to tap with on a table to sound like a drumbeat.  This song can be sung 'a capella', which means with no instruments to accompany it at all, so you can try and sing it with no accompaniment or whilst beating your own rhythm.  You'll find it easier to do if you learn the words from memory.  It's a fun song and I hope you enjoy it.  But don't worry if you find it hard, it's a difficult song, although I know you can manage it if you try!



Hello again everyone.  I hope you have all had a good week and enjoyed listening to the 'Carnival of the Animals' by Saint Saens.  Which was your favourite piece?


This week I am going to attach a link to a listening test which I would like you to do for me. There are 15 questions. Write down the names of the instruments you can hear in each test.  I will give you the answers next week.  All the instruments used are in the picture shown with the music.


To remind you of the instruments, I am going to list them below in their family groups, starting with the smallest and highest playing instrument in each group followed by the next highest and so on.


THE STRING FAMILY: The violin is the smallest and highest sounding instrument in this family followed by the viola, cello and double bass.  The harp is also a member of the string family, and has a wide range of notes from very low to very high.

THE WOODWIND FAMILY:  The piccolo is the smallest and highest sounding woodwind instrument followed by the flute, oboe, clarinet, cor anglais, bassoon and double bassoon.

THE BRASS FAMILY: The trumpet is the smallest and highest sounding instrument in this family followed by the french horn, the trombone and the tuba. The tuba is the largest of the brass instruments with its tubes coiled around to make it easier to play and to carry.  If you uncoiled these tubes then the tuba would be about 18 feet long!

THE PERCUSSION FAMILY:  The instruments of the percussion family are placed in two groups - they are either tuned or untuned percussion.  Percussion instruments are those that are either hit, scraped or shaken. Some of these instruments can change their pitch (tuned percussion) and those that can only play one note that cannot be changed are called untuned percussion.

Untuned percussion:  Examples are castanets, tambourine, gong, woodblock, snare drum, triangle, cymbals - they cannot play different pitches (notes). 

Tuned percussion: glockenspiel, xylophone, marimba, vibraphone, celesta, timpani - they can play different notes and so tunes can be played on them.


Now see if you can recognise the instruments in the music test in the link below.

I will list the answers next week.  Enjoy trying to remember the sounds of all these instruments.  Have a good week everyone - keep smiling and stay well!




Hello to everyone in Year 5.  Are you finding the weeks are going quickly or slowly whilst you are at home?  I am sure that you have had lots of work to do, but I do hope that you have also been able to enjoy the beautiful sunny weather.


Last week, I gave you the link to the story of 'Peter and the Wolf' written by the composer Sergei Prokofiev to watch and listen to, which I hope you found interesting.  I hope that as well as watching the story you also concentrated on listening to the various instruments that represented the different characters in the story.  Another composer, the German Richard Wagner (born in 1813 and died in 1883) was famous for his use of instruments to describe characters, places, ideas and plots also.  We call this use of instruments 'leitmotifs'.  


This week I would like you to listen to three movements from a piece of music called the Carnival of the Animals written by the French composer Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921). In this piece Saint-Saens wrote 14 different movements and each one represented a different animal.  The four movements I would like you to listen to are The Aquarium, The Lion, the Elephant  and the Swan.  Do you think the music describes these animals well? What instruments did the composer use for each animal?


If you were writing a piece of music about a lion, a shark, a horse, a chimpanzee and a turtle, which instruments do you think you would use to represent the animals best and how fast would you want the music to be?  Perhaps you could discuss this with your family and see which instruments they would use and the tempo for each.  Did you all choose the same instrument and tempo?


If you enjoyed listening to these movements, try listening to the whole of Carnival of the Animals and see if you can guess which animals Saint Saens is representing in each of the 14 movements.



Hello Everyone! Over this year in school we have learnt about the four families of instruments in the Orchestra - The String Family, the Woodwind Family, the Brass Family and the Percussion Family.  We have learnt which instruments play high pitch notes and which ones play low pitch notes.  For example the String Family consists of the violin, the viola, the cello and double bass. The violin is the smallest instrument in this family and plays the highest notes and the double bass is the largest instrument in this family and plays the lowest notes. See if you can remember all the instruments in the other three families and make a list of them starting with the highest playing instrument in each group.  (Remember that the larger the instrument, the longer and thicker the string or the tube, the lower the notes that instruments plays).


Once you have done this I would like you to listen to the story of Peter and the Wolf - the link is shown below.  Listen to the story.  Each character is represented by an instrument of the orchestra.  See if you can recognise the instruments as you listen.  I hope you enjoy this very famous piece of music written by the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev (born in 1891 and died in 1953).