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Take 5 – issue 3

Take 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week to enjoy some music | Released 22 March 2021

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

UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories and in the world’s toughest places to reach the children and young people in the greatest need. Watch this video of Pata Pata by Angelique Kidjo.

This version of Pata Pata is a fresh take on Miriam Makeba’s 1967 South African dance hit and was made during the current pandemic.

People from all around the world were invited to send in videos of themselves dancing to the song and some were selected to be part of the recording Angelique made at her home in Paris.

Pata Pata was once called “the world’s most defiantly happy song”. The name of the song is a play on the Xhosa word ‘phatha’ which means ‘touch’. The original words have been changed to spread the message about working to get rid of COVID-19. 

  • Introduce | Use the information above to introduce the context of the song first.
  • Watch | Listen to the words of the song and try to count how many different countries are represented.
  • Think | In the last couple of weeks we have shared music that makes people happy. Discuss what piece of music instantly makes you smile.


Take 5 2

Another dance that has a happy, uplifting feel is Juba Dance composed by Florence Price.

  • Set the context | Florence is an important figure in music history as she was the first black woman to have a composition played by a major American orchestra. The Juba dance is part of a much bigger piece of music called a symphony. Also known as the ‘hambone’, or ‘pattin’ juba’, this dance was originally performed by African slaves and featured music provided by their own body percussion. The Juba dance is the forerunner to tap dancing.
  • Go to BBC Teach | Use the button link below to go to the BBC Teach website. Scroll down the page to the Juba Dance video (the one with the african drum as the preview).
Go to BBC Teach
  • Watch | Look out for the West African drums (djembe) in the orchestra. What other unusual instrument did you notice in the orchestra too?
  • Listen | Listen out for the changes of tempo (speed) towards the end. What happened?
  • What else? | If you had to draw a picture or write a story that this music makes you think of what would it be? You could listen to the first minute of the piece again with your eyes closed. 


Take 5 3

Time for a bit of Rock’n’Roll today by performing Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog. First, watch this video of Elvis himself singing this hit.

  • Think | This performance was from 1956 – 75 years ago – when all televisions were in black and white! What do you think about his style of dancing?
  • Tempo | This music is at a fast tempo – a word that is important for this next body percussion play-along. Do you know what this word means?
  • Play-along | Follow the button link below to the Musical Futures website for the play-along videos you'll need for the rest of this activity. Start with the "Slow Tempo" video.
Go to the Musical Futures website
  • What will you need? | You will need knee slaps, hand claps and foot stamps. It starts off simply and then get progressively more difficult with 3 actions on the same beat. If you want to keep it a really simple just clap and beats 2 and 4 or make up your own actions.
  • Challenge |  Move on to the second video – "Full Tempo" which goes much faster!


Take 5 4

Today we want you to experience a piano being played like you will never have seen before... Watch the video below of What Makes you Beautiful by One Direction. 

  • What can you see? | This is a grand piano with the lid opened so that all the strings are exposed. 
  • Think | How many different ways do the performers make sounds? Can you describe how they do this? (Answer: This set of brothers and sister (twins, triplets, two singles) play the piano using plucking, tapping, banging the strings. The material that you can see being pulled through the strings is from a violin bow).
  • For younger pupils | Ask the children to think of something that makes them happy or what that they think is beautiful. Ask them to close their eyes as they listen to the music. Or, you could start the video at 53 seconds ask them to move around the room creating ‘beautiful’ shapes.
  • Want more? | If you want to see more from the Rogers family, watch this performance of Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid. They perform in an aquarium with 2 grand pianos!


Take 5 5
  • By Chris WIlliams, with permission of Concern Worldwide | A SingUp! song

Sing along with Rachel to this catchy song, about how important it is to have good friends. 

  • Body Percussion | The song starts with a body percussion rhythm which you'll need throughout the song. Copy and learn the same one as Rachel, or see if your pupils can invent their own short pattern, that can be repeated four times
  • Sing along | Select "English CC" in the [CC] button in the toolbar, and the words will show with the song for you as you sing along. Once your class has listened to the first verse and chorus, they'll be able to join in.
  • Discuss | Discuss what it means to be a good friend and what their best friend(s) mean to them.
  • Sing and Sign | This is quite a repetitive song and the Makaton signs are straight forward. I'm sure your pupils will soon pick them up, making this song accessible to all.