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Take 5 – issue #1

Take 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week to enjoy some music

Take-5Re-engage with learning and build confidence with our series of short and sharp activities to encourage working together back in the classroom.

We've prepared a different activity for each day of the week which you can do at a time that suits you.

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Take 5 1

Time to re-energise your class with a bit of movement – just follow along to the video! This can be done standing behind chairs. 

Turn the volume up and get moving!

  • Get moving | Copy the simple dance moves on the video. You could watch the video first, or dive straight in. Feel free to allow some free-styling if you wish. 
  • Discuss | Ask "Are you happy to be back in school?"


Take 5 2

Get your class seated, comfortable and relaxed for a bit of listening to something a little different. This music is by a composer called Edvard Grieg – it lasts for just over three minutes.

  • Discuss | Allow some table talk around the following question: "What is unusual about the way the orchestra are playing?"
  • Possible answers | Mostly standing up except for the bigger instruments | There is no conductor at the front waving a stick (baton) to keep them in time with each other | Only string instruments – no trumpets, flutes or drums | They start dancing whilst playing their instruments | The piece is called ‘Rigaudon’ which is a lively dance from the 17th century


Take 5 3

We're going to compare two versions of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" in today's activity. 

  • First | Watch the first 50 seconds of the original below
  • What can you see? | It starts with just the drums, then the piano joins in, then the alto saxophone. You can also see someone in the background plucking the strings of a double bass.
  • Next | Listen to the first two minutes of this orchestra from Pakistan play the same piece of music but with some of their culture's traditional instruments mixed in – this is called Fusion music.
  • Similarities | Talk about how this music is similar to the first piece – they both start with drums | they are both played at a fast tempo
  • Differences | Talk about how they're different – Instead of a full drum kit there are just two drums being used – these are called Tabla | The person on the floor, on their own, is playing a string instrument and is called a "soloist". The instrument is a Sitar and can have between 18 and 21 strings. 
  • Which do you prefer? | Why is this?


Take 5 4

Join Rachel in singing this well known song, used in previous Comic Relief trailers, starring so my famous faces, but in particular Peter Kay.

  • Watch first | Watch the video first to get a sense of how it goes and how the words fit to the music
  • Personalise it | Insert your school name instead of "my great school"
  • Words | Select "English CC" in the [CC] button in the play bar and the words will show with the song for you to follow.


Take 5 5

Time for a bit of body percussion! Ask your class to stand and have enough space to move their arms and body without hitting anyone else whilst following along to this video of Offenbach's Can Can. 

  • Watch first | Watch the video first and listen to the music. Does anyone recognise it?
  • Join in | You'll need three body percussion actions – tap your thigh, clap and stamp
  • Top tip | it goes quite fast, so saying the action at the same time as doing it helps the brain to connect with the right part of your body