Musical Activities Using The Sights & Sounds of Autumn

It’s autumn time again. I just love everything about this season, it's my favourite time of year. A step between summer and winter, it can be a wonderful mix of very warm days along with milder, cooler ones. The days get shorter and sleeping gets more satisfying than ever! In every way the autumnal season is a delight to the senses, some are so appealing and you don’t need to feel sorry that the summer is over. I thought it would be fun to list some of the different ways we can experience the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of autumn.

Sight - Nothing compares to the colour of autumn leaves at the peak of their splendour. The rich, vibrant tones produced as the leaves lose their chlorophyll, and reveal their true colours is a breath taking sight, no matter how often you’ve seen it. The green foliage of summer gradually gives way to colours that span the spectrum from dull browns to spectacularly vivid reds, oranges and yellows. This provides opportunities to create leaf rubbings and other leaf related crafts. We can rake leaves together, which naturally leads to jumping into the leaf piles! Other autumn sights include the vee of migrating birds, a touch of frost on the grass or window pane, or squirrels gathering their cache of acorns and shiny smooth conkers.

Smell - There are good smells coming from our kitchens in Autumn, it is true but also the smell of smoke coming from piles of burning leaves, bonfires or maybe an early fire in the fireplace, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste - The delicious food is certainly part of the appeal of autumn, apple and blackberry crumbles, juicy apples and hot chocolates. Yum!

Feel/Touch – As we begin to experience chilly autumn days the cool, crisp air and frosty mornings. The warmth of Indian afternoon summer sun. Wind and rain of autumn brushing against your face

Sound - The sounds of fall are abundant, the crunching of leaves underfoot, the cries of geese flying south, or the wind blowing through the trees. In the country you can hear the tractors as the farmers harvest their crops.

This can be the most melancholic – and often most beautiful – season of the year and it has influenced poets and songwriters to write some of the greatest works of all time from W.H Auden to the Kinks, Eva Cassidy and Manic Street Preachers. Which one is your favourite?

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. George Eliot

Winter will soon be here, but while we’re in this rosy moment, why not seize the inspiration, go outside armed with autumn songs, involve the children and have some fun together with your outdoor musical instruments. Whether you want to sing about starting school, collecting conkers, harvest festival or the changing seasons our musical instruments are perfect for some fun outdoor music time this term-time.

So to get you in the full leaf-crunching, tea and toast spirit - here’s a few autumn song ideas (excluding spooky Halloweeny music, which is really its own genre):

Sing the following words to "London Bridge"

Autumn leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down, Autumn leaves are falling down, welcome autumn! Sweep the leaves and put them here, put them here, put them here, Sweep the leaves and put them here, welcome autumn!

Jump right in and have some fun, have some fun, have some fun, Jump right in and have some fun, welcome autumn!

This is sung to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"

All the leaves are falling down, Orange, yellow, red, and brown. Falling softly as they do, over me and over you. All the leaves are falling down, Orange, yellow, red, and brown.

As you sing this, you can have the children slowly turn and twirl as they lower to the ground. (It's a good "wind down" song after more active songs.)

Sing the following words to “The Wheels on the Bus”

The leaves on the trees turn orange and brown, orange and brown, orange and brown, the leaves on the trees turn orange and brown all through the town. The leaves on the tree come falling down, falling down, falling down, the leaves on the tree come falling down all through the town. The leaves on the ground go swish swish swish, swish swish swish, swish swish swish, the leaves on the ground go swish swish swish all through the town

Sing the following words to "Row, Row Your Boat"

Leaves,leaves falling down Falling on the ground, Red, yellow, orange, brown Falling on the ground.

Sing the following words to “When the Saints”

Oh, when the leaves, fall off the trees. Oh, when the leaves fall off the tree. We know that it must be autumn, when the leaves fall off the tree.

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