“Thank You For The Music” Musical Drawing In The Early Years


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Oranges and Lemons

Oranges and lemons say the bells of St Clements 

I owe you two farthing, say the bells of St Martins 

When will you pay me, say the bells of Old Bailey 

When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch 

When will that be, say the bells of Stepney 

I do not know, says the Great Bell of Bow 

This classic nursery rhyme is written in 6/8 or “lullaby” timing, which is very soothing. It is used in several children’s songs, including Girls and Boys Go Out To Play, and gives a feeling of rocking on a boat or in a hammock–like the swinging of a bell. Music has been shown medically to reduce the heart rate, which is particularly helpful for anxiety and stress, so singing while creating beautiful artwork is bound to be a winning combination! 

My Bonnie

My Bonnie lies over the ocean 

My Bonnie lies over the sea 

My Bonnie lies over the ocean 

Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me 

Bring back, oh bring back 

Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me, to me 

Bring back, oh bring back 

Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me, to me 


Oh blow ye waves over the ocean 

Oh blow ye waves over the sea 

Oh blow ye waves over the ocean 

And bring back my Bonnie to me 

This traditional sea shanty is also written in 6/8lullaby” timing, and much like “Rock A Bye Baby”, has a calming and relaxing effect. The repetition in the verses and chorus makes it easy to learn and sing along to, and the imagery of a boat sailing across the ocean provides many inspirational ideas that can be used to draw or paint. 

Thank You For The Music

I’m nothing special I’m a bit of a bore 

If I tell a joke, you’ve probably heard it before 

But I have a talent, a wonderful thing 

‘Cause everyone listens when I start to sing 

I’m so grateful and proud 

All I want is to sing it out loud 


So I say, thank you for the music 

The songs I’m singing 

Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing 

Who can live without it 

I ask in all honesty 
What would life be 

Without a song, or a dance 

What are we 

So I say, thank you for the music 

For giving it to me 

This ABBA favourite is a wonderful song of hope, of ability, and an anthem in recognition of the myriad ways that music helps and improves life. While it is better for new singers to sing songs with notes that are close together, this song has notes quite far apart – the verse is quite low, and the chorus is a lot higher. So new singers may find that they can sing the middle of the song easier than the beginning – or perhaps the other way around. These types of songs are wonderful as listening pieces with the option to sing along – recognising that not everyone will be able to sing it successfully to start. Increasing opportunities to learn different styles of music, different types of songs, and different note combinations, is a gift that opens the mind to new experiences, building confidence and resilience in tackling new situations. 

Early years music ideas like drawing to music can be a rewarding experience for both adults and children alike. It can provide a respite from demanding or challenging situations, while also freeing the mind to be in the moment, not anticipating the next steps. We would love to know how your group uses this activity! 

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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