YELLOW BRICK ROAD MUSIC

Bluebird Through My Window for the Elementary Music Classroom

Bluebird Through My Window is a perpetual hit with kindergartners. They will love the active nature of the accompanying game, and it gives each student a chance to lead.

NOTATION

CIRCLE GAME

  • Students stand in a circle with their hands joined.
  • The circle represents a house and their arms represent the windows.
  • When their arms are raised, the windows are open. When their arms are lowered, the windows are close.
  • One student is in the middle pretending to be the bluebird. The bluebird will weave in and out of the house as the students sing the song.
  • During the phrase, “Oh Johnny, I am tired.” the windows shut and the bluebird is trapped either inside or outside the house.
  • The bluebird then taps another student on the shoulder, and they both fly in and out during the second verse.
  • This pattern repeats until you have several bluebirds flying around.
  • Repeat the song until all students have had a chance to be the bluebird.

SONG VARIATIONS

I’ve seen at least three versions of this song. The version I shared above is the one most familiar to me. However, there’s another version in the HNU Kod├íly Center, which I think would work even better. They suggest to have students tap someone on the shoulder, and then use the color of that person’s shirt to name the next bird in the song (green bird, purple bird, etc.) You can learn more at their website HERE.

SAME AND DIFFERENT PARTS

This song is a good one for talking about same and different parts. Students repeat the same line “bluebird, bluebird through my window” three times and sing the different line “Oh, Johnny are you tired?” once.

This image is from a resource of mine, where students are able to find the same and different parts of the song.

MELODIC CONTOUR & MATCHING PATTERNS

As I dig deeper into the Feierabend philosophy, I discover even more reasons to follow his number one “non-negotiable”, which is to “Sing for the class, not with the class”. In fact, these “non-negotiables” were explored in the lastest episode of the podcast The Tuneful, Beatful, Artful Music Teacher. If you haven’t already subscribed, I’d highly recommend it!

As I listened to that episode, I was struck by some of the things I did naturally in the classroom that connected with the Feierabend philosophy. For example, creating “mystery patterns”, in which students would decode pitch patterns from a neutral syllable.

In the following slide from my resource, the teacher can sing the pattern shown (using a neutral syllable), and ask the students to identify the line from the song. In this case, the pitch pattern is from the line in the song “through my window”. You can see more of this ready-made resource for Bluebird Through My Window HERE.