Bought Me a Cat for the Elementary Music Classroom

“Bought me a cat, and the cat pleased me.” With those lyrics, how could I resist adding this song to my blog? Bought Me a Cat is similar to my last blog post Had a Little Rooster, in that it’s a cumulative song about barnyard animals. And once again, it’s a song that makes you feel a little less guilty about your puppet-hoarding habit.


If your class has already sang along to Had a Little Rooster, now’s a good opportunity for a quick pitch-matching assessment. Assessments do not need to be lengthy nor do they need to include a paper and pencil. Here’s how you can sequence an assessment that integrates seamlessly into your lesson.

  • Begin by singing the song to students (or playing the video below).
  • Encourage students to sing along with the phrase “cat went fiddle-i-fee, fiddle-i-fee”
  • Introduce simple hand motions that’ll keep the song interesting or have students create their own:
    • Example: pat on beat one, clap on beat two, stop to sing each phrase ending “hen went chipsy chopsy, and the cat went fiddle-i-fee, fiddle-i-fee”
  • Wait until another day to assess; this way students are more comfortable with the material and you’ll have a more accurate assessment
  • On the second day, have students sit in a circle and reintroduce the song with movements.
  • Then, have students sing in small groups (or alone if they’ve had experience and are comfortable) the phrase “cat went fiddle-i-fee, fiddle-i-fee.
    • You can indicate the small groups by using cat puppets or manipulatives
    • If you’re doing solos, students can simply go one-by-one around the circle

So much of how you approach pitch-matching assessments depends on the comfort level of your students. As a fully grown adult who detests performing solos; I always hope that teachers keep these students in mind when creating assessment opportunities. Short, easy assessment opportunities go a long way in creating a relaxed atmosphere in which students feel comfortable sharing their skills!

Notation with Ukulele Chords

The guitar or uke is a great choice for accompaniment because you can immediately dampen the strings and lean forward to help cue the students when it’s time to sing. If you’re new to the ukulele and a little nervous about playing in front of your class, this song would be a great start! There are only two chords (F and C7). Click the button below to download the song sheet with chords.