Fun music

One Two Three-Flea!

This is what fun music is really like in preschool.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of finding out how much children love singing really silly songs and having fun.

I was in a local preschool with about thirty children, late morning just before the younger ones went home.

Their teacher, Louise, had bought our Program, “Singing All Day Long” with 44 titles and 10 different music activities. There were a few songs she hadn’t made use of so I went in to teach them directly to the kids and staff.

I started with ‘One Two Three Flea’, a body percussion activity.  I love it because it’s a song my own mother and father used to sing at the kitchen table which often had a teapot on it. These are the lyrics:

One, two, three, Mother caught a flea,

Put it in a teapot and made a cup of tea,

The flea jumped out,

Mother gave a shout, “Dad”

And in came Father with his shirt hanging out.

I introduced this ridiculous idea by pulling out a large teapot, my prop to gain their attention.  I talked about and acted out a dog scratching under the tea table, a flea escaping from the dog and jumping around the teapot, the mum catching the flea and so on until the whole story was exposed. (No animals were harmed in the telling of this story.)

Then I slowly sang the song without accompaniment while demonstrating the much simpler hand actions – starting by counting to three on fingers and finishing by fast slapping on the inner thighs for dad’s dramatic entrance.

When I finally put on the backing track and we took off with the whole song at speed there was an amazing energy released into the room. At the end, children and staff alike were chortling with laughter and voices called out ‘again. again’.

One Two Three Flea (fast)

That release of joy reminded me of why we sing songs together.  A quote from my favourite writer on music, Daniel Levitin now springs to mind and once again my profession as a music teacher is confirmed in my heart.  Dan says:

Singing together releases oxytocin, a neurochemical now known to be involved in establishing bonds of trust between people.

Daniel J Levitin 2008, The World in Six Songs.

Do you want fun music in your classroom?

This backing track with a slow and a fast version and the accompanying vocal tracks is available on our website over at Musical Child on the body percussion page.  You also get the written instructions so go get it now and have fun music today!