MusicallyMontessori100 Songs! Don't Forget the Traditional Ones... 20 More Favorites!


Magical Movement Company 100 favorite songs
"Don't forget the traditional children's songs! Design from Shabby Blog Designs

All over the world, the songs that children sing are very beautiful with their sweet little voices and their big eyes shining! Likewise children, world-wide,  sing and chant little verses in their native language by the time they are three or four years old. Interestingly, the melodies of some of these songs are exactly the same no matter what language. 

You know... that sing-songie "Rain-rain-go-away-come-again another-day" melody! Remember?

That particular style of singing has a genre all its own and in the world of music education, it's called the "falling third". It is often sung as "sol-mi" when teaching children the beginning lessons in music notation. In which case, the "Rain, rain..." Song would be sung like this:

 Sol     mi    sol   sol  mi
(Rain, rain,  go   a   way)
Singing the names of the notes on the musical scale:
also has a musical term, "solfege". You can learn more about solfege by clicking this link: Solfege at wikipedia. In European countries the "ti" is sung as "si."

Musical scale solfège

Musical scale solfège  Dollar Photo Club

In the Orff-Schulwerk and Kodaly methods of music education, it is surmised that the simple sol-mi falling third interval is heard universally in children's songs because it is easy for children's voices to move in that interval range and actually seems to come spontaneously and naturally.

That is probably why so many of the very simple traditional children's songs are still big favorites for the little ones. Lots of these incorporate the "falling third" interval in the melody of the song!

Speaking of the musical solfege scale...Over the years, an all-time favorite of the children in my Montessori Primary Classroom has been: SINGING THE CHILD'S NAME UP (OR DOWN) THE SCALE.

Singing the child's name up the musical scale

Singing child's name up the musical scale

As the group gains experience with making music, the hand signals of solfege can be taught so that children can begin to sing as a choral group.

Here's the chart from the classic Kodaly Music Education Pedagogy:

Solfege hand signals from Wikipedia: Kodaly Music Education

I found this great little video on youtube that shows the Kodaly hand signs being used for the Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star song!

Following are twenty more favorites from my list of 100 songs that children love from the Montessori Music Room! If you missed my past post on the first 20 songs you can read it by clicking here: A Hundred Favorite Songs: The First Twenty.

I've included links for listening to each song,  and you can download most of the songs at their links, as well!

100 Favorite Songs Categorized

  1. Wheels on the Bus (*See below for a fun video using rhythm sticks with this song)
  2. Rain, Rain, Go Away (Stay A While)/ Starlight, Star Bright (*See below) 
  3. Ring Around the Rosey (Helpful for children to develop body coordination as they "fall")
  4. London Bridge is Falling Down (Here I teach the children the traditional game) 
  5. 1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Fingers (Great finger play for small muscle development)
  6. One, Two, Tie My Shoe (First 2 words are sung, then last 3 are spoken)
  7. Hickory, Dickory Dock (Great for hand motions, puppets, & acting out the little story)
  8. Miss Polly's Dolly Was Sick (Use hand motions with this one)
  9. Little Red Caboose (Children line up and move together faster, then slower, etc)
  10. Mary Had  A Little Lamb (Even this one is fun for acting out: 1 child is Mary & other is  her sheep who follows...etc)
  11. Row, Your Boat (Sit facing a partner and hold hands while swaying forward & backward as if rowing a boat)
  12. She'll Be coming Round the Mountain (Many fun hand motions & sound effects in this song)
  13. This Old Man (A Counting game and great for memory skills development)
  14. Five Little Ducks (Another math song/game with subtracting numbers!)
  15. Frere Jacques (There is a version of this song for virtually every language...teach them all!)
  16. Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (Great for days of the week, or drama play)
  17. Oats, Peas, Beans, & Barley Grow (Another beautiful little dance & song)
  18. It's Raining, It's Pouring (Sol-mi classic!)
  19. Aiken Drum (*see below for a link to a great video of this song!)
  20. Mouse, Mousie (*see below how to play this circle game using puppets)
*WHEELS ON THE BUS: Yes, I know you've sung it a million times, but check out this video with Brenda H. at the Orem Public library playing rhythm sticks with a group of preschoolers: Youtube Wheels on the Bus with rhythm sticks.

*RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: Here's a nice alternative I like, to the traditional lyrics:
"Rain, rain
Stay a while.
Kiss the trees 
And, make them smile!"

*AIKEN DRUM: Madeline Potts has a very entertaining video rendition of this well-known song. Click here to view it: Youtube Madeline Potts Aiken Drum. 

*MOUSE, MOUSEY: This makes a delightful circle game activity. 

  • You will need a cat puppet and a small mouse puppet
  • Children are gathered in a circle
  • One child is the "cat"
  • The "cat" closes eyes, wears a blindfold, or sits out of sight of the group
  • The little mouse puppet is passed around the circle of children while everyone sings the song.
"Mouse, mousey
In the house
Hurry do!
Or the kitty
In the housey
Will be
Chasing you!" 

The child who has the mouse puppet at the end of the song is the "mouse". All the children hide their hands behind their backs so the "cat" won't know which one is the "mouse."
Then, the "cat" is invited to guess who is the "mouse".
When the "mouse" is found, then that child becomes the new "cat." 

I am so happy that you are here reading my blog and I hope you have found some fun ideas to use with your child/ren! 

Watch for my NEXT Hundred Songs Post: 20 MORE FAVORITES ESPECIALLY FOR MUSIC CONCEPTS with some fun activities, little videos, and links to the songs. 

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Want to learn how to teach a new song to your child/ren? Or, how to allow children to "move" in a large group without too much chaos? And, what about playing rhythm instruments in a way that doesn't give you a headache! 
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