Shake & Stop

This is a rough (and speedy!) recording I made last night, featuring my husband Tim on shaky egg. It’s a song I came up with during a music therapy session, after a tip-off from a teaching assistant who explained how my client enjoyed play that involved starts and stops. I now use it regularly with early years groups.

The song has three sections – but you could easily add another section, perhaps for solos or a call and response, or just use the A and B sections… It seems very popular at the group I’m running at the moment – perhaps because of the contrast between what’s quite a rowdy song, and the silence, and the anticipation of the music starting up again. Anticipation being a ‘primary attribute of musical cognition’ (Nordoff & Robbins, 2007), and a core part of early infant interactions with caregivers (see Daniel Stern’s wonderful book The First Relationship).

When I use this song in a group, often the older children will duly shake, and stop – but the younger children will stand and watch for a while, and then shake in the silence. There are often vocalisations from all ages – especially babies, as the silence in the music calls to be filled. The song also encourages self-regulation. One particularly active and excitable child who danced and shook his whole being during the shaking part of the song was able to pause during the ‘stops’, showing his capacity to moderate himself.

 

Shake and Stop
We’re gonna shake, shake, shake, shake and stop!
We’re gonna shake, shake, shake, shake and stop!
We’re gonna shake, shake, shake, shake and stop!
We’re gonna shake, shake, shake, shake and stop!

We’re gonna shake, we’re gonna shake
We’re gonna shake, we’re gonna shake
We’re gonna shake, we’re gonna shake
We’re gonna shake, shake shake shake and stop!

We’re gonna shake up high
So high, we nearly reach the sky
We’re gonna shake down low
So low, and very very slow

We’re gonna shake, shake, shake, shake and stop!
We’re gonna shake, shake, shake, shake and stop!
We’re gonna shake, shake, shake, shake and stop!
We’re gonna shake, shake, shake, shake and stop!

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3 thoughts on “Shake & Stop

  1. Emily Marshall

    Hi Rachel, I love your Shake and Stop’ song. I regularly sing ‘Walk and Stop'( from Voiceplay by OUP) with my pre school groups. A squeak or an echoed “stop” called out by one of the children in the silence usually sends the group into fits of giggles , but not so much so that they can’t hush themselves in anticipation of starting again.Another time, I use a visual clue to start and stop making sound with instruments, usually a small umbrella. So when it’s up we shake to make the sound of the rain and stop when the umbrella goes down. The first few times I need to say stop , then I indicate that the children only use their eyes.
    ( p.s Witney Over 50’s thriving!)

  2. Rachel Post author

    Hi Emily – that sounds like a lot of fun. We often do a ‘practice’ with the children taking it in turns to say/shout ‘stop’ or to indicate with their hands. Glad to hear Witney Over 50s going well :)

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