Land of the Silver Birch was the first tune to make it onto this page. It is from the advanced beginners class at Horsforth Music Centre, playing one of our harder tunes. Beautifully. See more information below.
Welcome to the new Play It at Home Page. This will be a series of song videos alongside their respective Foxwood Songsheets. That’s it. You see the songsheet; you hear someone else’s version of it; you play along on your pitched instrument of choice, and create your own version, or you can play it separately at a different speed [or tempo, if you want the musical term]. There will some Songsheets from the books, and some songs that I have not published. You can also buy the books from Lindsay Music (see the Foxwood Songsheets page for what songs are in what books). Also if anyone wants to record themselves playing a song, and on any instrument, please send it to the website and we will post the best (but obviously only with parental permission).
In these troubled times I wish I could give away the Songbooks away, they are self-published, which means that I spend weeks, sometimes months, choosing the right tunes, writing them out and proof-reading them, making other people proof-read them, and getting Charlotte to draw her amazing illustrations, and of course paying for them to be printed. (And I know that I am lucky that firstly Sheila from Needham-Griffin, and then Alec from Ipso was, and is prepared to take on this fiddly and awkward task)
Songs are numbered from top to bottom
1 Land of the Silver Birch by steelband
2 Liza Jane by steelband
3 Mr Rabbit with conference attendees
4 Skip to My Lou in D on mixed percussion
5 Ode to Joy by steelband
6.1 I Gave my Love a Cherry with conference attendees
6.2 I Gave my Love a Cherry on cello
7.1 Twinkle Twinkle on piccolo
7.2 Twinkle Twinkle on glockenspiel
7.3 Twinkle Twinkle on steelpans
8. Rain Rain on mixed percussion
9. 1 Skip to My Lou [in C & B flat] on clarinet
9.2 Skip to My Lou in C on steelpans
9.3 Skip to My Lou in C on piano keyboards
10.1 Merrily on piano on keyboards and handclaps
10.2 Merrily on steelpans
10.3 Merrily on mixed percussion
11 Jamaica Farewell by steelband
12 This Old Man on piano keyboards
13 Baa Baa Black Sheep on steelpans
14 Buffalo Gals on piano keyboards
15 Drunken Sailor on steelpans
16 Au Clair de la Lune on chime bars
Here is Bart, playing through Sur Le Pont twice. Note the stylish he crosses his right hand over left in order to reach and play F sharp. He is playing on the perfect school glock; it has big notes that don't fall off when you turn it upside down, or come off in inquisitive little hands. Sur le Pont is in Foxwood Songbook Kids Collection.
16. Au Clair de la Lune. This is one of my favourite recordings. The beauty of chime bars. J couldn't quite get the repetition on the Cs Ds and Es and got really frustrated so we grouped them as you can see for Lines 1 and 2, and then, wow, J split them again for Line 4. He changed the ending slightly, but, it was Take 7 and he held his nerve! Au Clair de la Lune is in Foxwood Songbook Easy Classical
15. Here's Natalie and Kirsty rocking Drunken Sailor on steel pans [double guitars and soprano [aka tenor]] with the same basic melody and chords, with chord rhythms changing from verse to verse. Drunken Sailor is in Foxwood Songbook, Kids Collection
14. Buffalo Gals is a traditional North American folk song, the buffalo in question is not a large animal, but refers to the dancing girls of the town of Buffalo. Here it is on 1 keyboards along with a drum beat, and 2. [first two lines only] as a whole class playing glocks, pans and djembes and barrels. The third and fourth lines have some fast-moving bits so the keyboardist abandons trying to get the fingering right at this point. [And there's no crime in that.] Buffalo Gals is in Foxwood Songbook, Twenty Songs in G and E minor.
13. This is Jermaine who is playing both the melody and chords on the soprano pan. He is emphasising the chords and chord changes so that you can follow what he playing whether on pans, glock, keyboard or guitar or whatever instrument is to hand. He looks like he is taking it very seriously, and actually music is a serious business, and for all the nay-sayers who music is "fun", no it is not. It is hard work, but the spiritual rewards are boundless. Baa Baa Black Sheep is in Foxwood Songbook; Kids Collection 2.
By the wonders of modern technology this Bart in Leeds playing Baa Baa Black Sheep along with Jermaine in Manchester. Jermaine is reading from the songsheet above and Bart is reading from the djembe chart on the left. Baa Baa Black Sheep is from Foxwood Songbook Kids 2
12. This is the advanced beginners piano keyboards class at Horsforth playing This Old Man. Some are playing the melody and some chords [though they are not clear in this recording]. Players are aged between 5 and 12 and this was their sixth lesson on keyboards. And they are awesome! This Old Man is from Foxwood Songbook Kids Collection
This is Pippa playing chords on the guitar, and melody on the piano. Jamaica Farewell is in Foxwood Songbook World Folk
11. Whenever we play Jamaica Farewell it just lifts our spirits. It is such a feel good song. It is not particularly easy to play the melody as there quite a few fast moving and repeated notes. Most people play their own version of the last line, so feel free to mess about with yourselves. Jamaica Farewell is in World Folk Music
10.3. This an after school club in Leeds playing Merrily [in September 2019] on xylophone, a glock, steelpans and djembes. You can clearly hear the wooden sound of xylophone playing the melody. Merrily is from Kids Collection
10.2. This is Merrily played on steelpans. I am calling out the colours for the chords to know when to change. Apart from it helping the chord-players find their notes quickly [by justlooking for notes with green or red dots on], it doesn't confuse the melody players who might confuse the name of a chord with the name of a note. Merrily is from Kids Collection
10.1 Merrily is often the first proper tune that we learn. Here it is played on keyboards at Horsforth Music Centre at their very first ever lesson [on 18th, not 17th January 2020]. The notes in 7 of the 8 bars are either the same, adjacent, or there's only one of them. So it eases you in gently to finding your way round the instrument. Merrily is from Kids Collection
9.3 This is Bart playing Skip to My Lou twice through on proper piano size keyboards. Note how precisely he holds his hands over the keyboard, and the fingering he uses with the right hand. Note that he plays the melody [EECC EEG etc] firstly as written then then he improvises the second time through.
Skip to My Lou is from Kids Collection
9.2 This is a local school from East Leeds getting their pans out during Lockdown and teaching themselves a tune. There are is only student here actually from Natalie's regular class. Awesome. Skip to my Lou is from Foxwood Songbook Kids Collection
9.1 This is Fehmina, picking up her clarinet again, reading Skip to My Lou in the key of C, but as the clarinet is a B flat instrument, when she reads the note of Bflat, she actually plays C! Listen to the listen between she playd and what Bart plays.
8 Rain Rain is a traditional English nursery rhyme, and is an easy one chord/two note/four bar song. Here it played on steelpans and mixed percussion at a Leeds primary school in 2019. It took just twenty minutes rehearsal to get the students to start and stop together, to play in time with other, to phrase the melody correctly and play pans with a nice tone. You make a round of it, swop the melody round different instruments, play it unison or play it chords and tune on different instruments. Rain Rain is from Foxwood Songbook Easy Peasy
7.3 This is Grimesdyke Primary School in Leeds, the first school in Leeds to get their steelpans out during Lockdown and play a tune as well as they play Twinkle Twinkle here this. This is not necessarily the class that was doing steelpans, but a mixed age group who are there now, and they are with staff who may or may not have been learning pans this year. Big shout out to Natalie, their regular steelpan teacher that they work independently and do this without her. Twinkle Twinkle is in Kids Collection.
7.2 Here is Twinkle played by three Leeds primary school students. they are taking turns playing different lines, and one is experimenting with playing two glocks at once, and at a different angle. It is a 1 2 3 4 count-in.
Twinkle Twinkle is from Kids Collection.
7.1 Here is Twinkle Twinkle played on the piccolo. Note that the song goes, in lines: 1 2 3 4 1 2, then starts again. Thanks to Tamsyn for donning these most appropriate of specs! Twinkle Twinkle is in Foxwood Songbook Kids Collection
6.2 This is Pippa from Manchester playing her version of I Gave My Love a Cherry on cello. She didn't know the song beforehand, so it is nice to hear what she made of it, just given the chords and notes for the tunes. Note how she programmed her keyboard and then played along with it.
6.1 I Gave My Love A Cherry. This 16 bar song is squashed into 8 bars, so if you count to 4 as a count-in that will probably last the first G chord. It is from the songbook called Twenty Songs in G and E minor, which is what it says on the tin, and was originally conceived for any steel pans which are limited to the notes of the key of G. For the foreseeable future the songsheet is a downloadable PDF. Click below to download.
5. This is Ode to Joy from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony [sometimes called the Choral Symphony, cos it has words!]. This piece has 16 bars, and 3 chords, which are very fast changing. It was recorded last year at Horsforth Music Centre. It has 4 beats to the bar.
It is in the Foxwood Easy Classical Songbook.
4. This version of Skip to My Lou is in D. It is from the Foxwood Kids Collection songbook, and is partner to Skip to My Lou in C. I included in the book so that 1. the Bflat instruments could play along with the concert pitch instruments, and 2. players could play and feel key changes. Note that the Fs and Cs are Fsharps and Csharps.
3. Mister Rabbit is a four bar one chord song, played a few times on pans, glox, Bamboo Tamboo and djembes by the assortment of music and drama teachers at London Expo 2020. The words are, bar by bar [box by box]:
Mister / Rabbit, Mister Rabbit, Your / Ears are awful long. Yes sir, they were / sewn on wrong
It is from Easy Peasy, also available from Lindsay Music
2 : Liza Jane
This is North Steel playing at St Gemma's Fun Day Fund Raiser in July 2019. They are sight-reading this tune, and as you can see, some of them are sight-reading it from inside their neighbour's pan. Lol! It is rough and ready, the acoustics are a bit harsh, but you get the general idea. Wanda didn't have a F on the single bass, so she used her single guitar for that. The new North Steel shirts look good though!
1 : Land of the Silver Birch
This is the Not-Such-Beginners class at Horsforth Music Centre playing a Canadian folk/camp fire type song. It is usually played at a much faster tempo, but I have always like this delicate almost moving way of doing it. It is one of the relatively few songs where the melody is much easier than the chords. It gives the tunists a break while giving the chord players a very satisfying challenge. Try out the A7 and Am7 from the last line before embarking on the whole thing. The carpeted room always gives pans a nice warm sound but this group of players has always naturally on the warm, gentle and expressive side. Land of the Silver Birch is from Twenty Songs in G and E minor