The Bear Hunt Song and the magic of music without lyrics

The "Bear Hunt Song" is not really called that. It is a piece of classical music called Hall of the Mountain King from the Peer Gynt Suite by Grieg. I use it in my classes to introduce the classical genre to young children and also to nurture listening skills and encourage little imaginations to run wild. The children sit and listen carefully to the music which changes tempo and volume, tapping their fingers to the beat. As the volume increases, the children use two, three, four then five fingers to tap. They then stand and as the tempo increases they go from fairy steps to running very fast on the spot, leading up to a big climax with cymbals clashing! I asked a group one day what they thought the story was behind the music and the "Bear Hunt Song" was born. Being chased by a bear, fairies running away from monsters, hearts racing from being scared or excited. Many interpretations of the "Bear Hunt Song"exist and all of them are correct because that is what the children feel inside of them!



Below is a summary of more #whereisthelearning in the Bear Hunt Song.


· Revises children’s knowledge of elements of music such as dynamics and tempo. Teaches a new music concept – crescendo which means going from soft to loud

· Develops fine motor skills as children manipulate their fingers into 1, 2, 3, 4 fingers tapping

· Develops gross motor skills and core strength as children run on tippy toes and go faster and faster

· Develops music appreciation of the classical genre

· Increases confidence through self-expression

· Increases spatial awareness and self-regulation as the children restrain themselves from going completely berko in the super fast parts!

Opportunities for Extension:

· Play any piece of classical music for the children and ask them after listening: How did the music make you feel? or What could you see while you listened to the music? or What do you think is happening in this music? Listen carefully to the answers. If you would like to know more ask : What makes you say that?


· Ask the children: Could we make up a story to go with this music? How will we tell the story? (Perhaps you could make up a play, a ballet, a puppet show?)


We are the music makers,
we are  the dreamers of dreams...
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