The Clock Song is a fun and easy way to learn musical note values. It helps kids to understand and recognise the difference between Minims (or 1/2 notes), Crotchets (1/4 notes) and Quavers (1/8 notes) by making it into a fun game. In essence, this simple activity makes the musical concept clear, and the note names and values easy to remember.
Using the the printable sheet (scroll down and click the picture to download).
- First, discuss the three different types of clock and clap and chant the sound that they make.
- Slow, long tick-tocks for the Grandfather clock.
- Medium length tick-tocks for the kitchen clock.
- Fast, little tick-tocks for the little watch.
- Then sing the song together whilse pointing at each clock and making the tick-tocks with wooden sticks.
Grandfather Clock goes
t-i-ck to-ck, ti-ck to-ck, ti-ck to-ck,
Mummy’s kitchen clock goes
tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock,
My little watch goes
tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock
tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock.
Chime Bar Tune of The Clock Song
An Easy Way To learn Musical Note Values
Once they have mastered the song, blow some magic on your hands and rub it on your feet – a useful way to encourage enthusiastic participation! Then you can sing the song while taking steps in time to the tick-tocks, big steps for the Grandfather clock and medium steps for the kitchen clock, and fast little steps for the watch. Using the wooden sticks you can then test them on the note values by playing the three tick-tocks in a different order, and asking them which is which.
If you want to see how The Clock Song fits into a music lesson plans for kids of a variety of ages take a look at my Clocks and Mice lesson plan.
If you are new to music theory, read my Introducing the Note Family post, which explains basic note values in a child friendly way and check out my How To Read Music Made Easy ebook which is accompanied by lots of handy printables and worksheets.
To print the free sheet music (vocal line) for The Clock Song and the free printable resource, click the pictures below