Daily Activities

We are posting songs, musical games and activities that you can play at home (or in school) without contact to keep developing your musicianship skills and have fun. Check back every Monday to Thursday for a new activity. Every Friday we post a song or movement performed in concert by a NYCOS choir.

We’d love to see your own versions of our activities, you can share these on social media using the hashtag #NYCOSdaily.

Video Resources

You can now find all the video resources below together with others in our new Video Resource library.

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Day 70 – A Funny Fellow

Well done to everyone who took part in our daily activities. You view all previous activities below whenever you’d like to revisit them. Our final Friday pick is ‘A Funny Fellow’, sung by NYCOS National Girl Choir at their 2015 spring concert.

NYCOS National Girls Choir - A Funny Fellow, Michael Head

Day 69 – Weevily Wheat

Today’s challenge is suitable for ages 7 and up, and you’ll need two cups placed in front of you on the floor.

The songsheet for this game is available at: Weevily Wheat

This is an adaptation of a game in Singing Games & Rhymes for Middle Years 2.

Day 68 – Bravo, Bravissimo

Bravo, bravissimo and very well done to all who have been taking part in our daily challenges. Be sure to have some sticks, pencils or chopsticks to hand for today’s activity.

The songsheet for this game is available at: Bravo, Bravissimo

This song can be found in Singing Games & Rhymes for Middle Years 2 with a different game.

Day 67 – Debka Hora

Today’s activity is an action song with clicks, claps, stamps, shoulder and knee taps. What a great start to a Tuesday morning!

You’ll find the songsheet with instructions at: Debka Hora

Suitable for ages 9 and up, this game is a Israeli song with a traditional dance which can be found online.

Day 66 – Hey Ho Nobody Home

Today’s activity is a fun cup game to help us practice our rhythm and timing.

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions at: Hey Ho Nobody Home

Suitable for ages 9 and up, this game is from Singing Games & Rhymes for ages 9-99.

Hey Ho Nobody Home

Day 65 – Sing You Now

Well done once again to everyone who has been taking part in NYCOS daily and Wee Summer Sing activities. Our Friday pick for this week is Bob Chilcott’s peaceful melody ‘Sing You Now’, sung by NYCOS National Boys Choir at their 2015 spring concert.

NYCOS National Boys Choir - Sing You Now, Chilcott

Day 64 – Willum He Had Seven Sons

Our Thursday activity is ‘Willum He Had Seven Sons’. This is a fun action game with shoulder taps, clicks and head nods (eventually all at the same time)!

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: Willam He Had Seven Sons.

Willum He Had Seven Sons

Day 63 – Bim Bom

Our midweek music lesson is ‘Bim Bom’. Once you know the song, try the whole cup game in your thinking voice.

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions at: Bim Bom.

Suitable for ages 7 and up, this is an adaptation of a game from Singing Games & Rhymes for Middle Years 2.

Day 62 – Hej Hello

Hej, hello, bonjour, Guten Tag! Our Tuesday activity is a ball game with phrases in lots of different languages. Which others do you know?

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: Hej Hello.

Suitable for ages 7 and up, this song is in Singing Games & Rhymes for Middle Years 2.

Day 61 – Chiri bim

Drumsticks, chopsticks or pencils at the ready for our first activity of the week!

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: Chiri bin.

Suitable for ages 7 and up, this song can be found on the Kodály Hub.

Day 60 – Amen, Mozart Requiem

Well done once again to everyone who has been taking part in our daily songs and activities. Our Friday pick for today is Mozart Requiem ‘Amen’ from our 2014 appearance at the BBC Proms. The edition we performed was that completed by Robert Levin, and he added a thrilling Amen fugue, believing that Mozart would have included it.

National Youth Choir of Scotland - Amen, Mozart Requiem

Day 59 – Laughing Singing

Our Thursday #NYCOSdaily is a cheery song with a ball game to brighten up your day.

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions at: Laughing Singing.

This song is in our Go for Silver publication.

Day 58 – Heidi

Our midweek #musiclesson is ‘Heidi’. For this game, you will need two cups placed in front of you side by side.
You’ll find the songsheet and instructions at: Heidi.

This song can also be found in Singing Games & Rhymes for Middle Years 2.

Day 57 – The Bell Doth Toll

Our Tuesday activity is a body percussion exercise with lots of action patterns to remember. It’s simple at first, but get’s trickier as the song goes on.

You’ll find detailed instructions at: The Bell Doth Toll.

Suitable for ages 9 and up, this song can be found on the Kodály Hub.

The Bell Doth Toll

Day 56 – Hot Potato

Our Monday NYCOS daily activity is ‘Hot Potato’. You’ll need two small balls or objects you can throw and catch, but preferably not hot potatoes!

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions at: Hot Potato.

Suitable for ages 7 and up, this song is also in Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years 1 with more games.

Day 55 – The Ship of Rio

Well done once again to everyone participating in our daily videos, and to those taking part in Wee Summer Sing.

Our Friday pick for today is Britten ‘The Ship of Rio’ sung by the Training Choir of NYCOS National Girls Choir. Enjoy, and we’ll see you again next week.

NYCOS National Girls Choir - The Ship of Rio, Britten

Day 54 – If You Dance

Today’s activity is ‘If You Dance’. All you’ll need is a small ball that can bounce on the floor. If you happen to have some dancing boots and a feather, all the better!

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: If You Dance.

Suitable for ages 9 and up, this song can be found on the Kodály Hub.

Day 53 – Derry Ding Dong Dason

Our midweek music lesson is ‘Derry Ding Dong Dason’, and for this game you will need two cups placed in front of you. Can you sing the song and do the actions in canon?

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: Derry Ding Dong Dason.

Suitable for ages 7 and up, this song is in our Go for Bronze publication.

Derry Ding Dong Dason

Day 52 – Sorida

Today’s daily challenge is ‘Sorida’ with a ball game. There’s only one word in this song, but with a few different patterns to learn.

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: Sorida.

Suitable for ages 7 and up, this song is from Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years 1.

Day 51 – Nima Naja

Hello June! How fast can you do our Monday daily challenge? Today’s activity is a song from Russia, for which you’ll need two drumsticks, chopsticks, pencils or any sticks you can find.

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: Nima Naja.

Suitable for ages 9 and up, this song can be found on the Kodály Hub.

Day 50 – Monkey Business

We’ve had some fun animal songs and activities this week so this is our Friday pick for today. Sung terrifically by NYCOS National Boys Choir, here’s some ‘Monkey Business’ from Bob Applebaum’s ‘A Trip to the Zoo’.

NYCOS National Boys Choir - Monkey Business, Applebaum

Day 49 – Who Stole My Chicken?

If you enjoyed singing like a donkey earlier this week, try some chicken and hen actions today. Our Thursday activity is ‘Who Stole my Chicken?’ with three different versions to learn.

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: Who Stole My Chicken.

Suitable for ages 7 and up, this song is from ‘Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years 1’.

Who Stole My Chicken?

Day 48 – Ice Cream

We’re all screaming for ice cream in today’s activity. We’d love to see you chanting this rhyme, you can post your own video using the hashtag #NYCOSdaily.

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: Ice Cream

Suitable for ages 9 and up, this rhyme is taken from ‘Singing Games and Rhymes for ages 9 to 99’.

Day 47 – Ebeneezer Sneezer

Got a hanky for Ebeneezer? Our activity this morning is a fun song with silly words to help with our counting. Try both versions without dropping the stick!

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions at: Ebeneezer Sneezer.

Suitable for ages 7 and up, this song is in Singing Games & Rhymes for Middle Years 2.

Day 46 – Sweetly Sings the Donkey

Hee-haw! Our Monday activity is ‘Sweetly Sings the Donkey’, suitable for ages 7 and up. The actions include tapping, stamping, clicking and clapping.

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions at: Sweetly Sings the Donkey This song can be found on the Kodály Hub.

Sweetly Sings the Donkey

Day 45 – When Jesus Saw the Fishermen

As we approach this time of year when the first of our Regional Choir summer concerts were scheduled to take place, here’s our Friday pick for today. This hymn was sung by a multitude of NYCOS Regional Choir members alongside the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and conductor Christopher Bell in 2006.

Enjoy, and we’ll see you next week for more #NYCOSdaily activities.

When Jesus Saw the Fisherman

Day 44 – The Sailor’s Hornpipe

Here’s some brain gym to keep you busy over the weekend. Our Thursday activity is a cup song, suitable for ages 9 and up.

Do you recognise the tune? ‘The Sailor’s Hornpipe’ is a well-known traditional melody. Happy diddling!

You’ll find the songsheet with instructions at: The Sailor’s Hornpipe.

Day 43 – Bala Pata Zoom

New day, new country. Our midweek music lesson is ‘Bala Pata Zoom’, a traditional Ghanian song ideally suited for another body percussion exercise.

Today’s activity is suitable for ages 7 up. The songsheet for this game is available at: Bala Pata Zoom.

Day 42 – Sarasponda

Our Tuesday activity is a Dutch spinning song suitable for ages 7 and up. Pick up two drumsticks, chopsticks or pencils and you’re good to go!

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions at; Sarasponda.

This is a new game to the song ‘Sarasponda’, which appears Singing Games & Rhymes for Middle Years 2.

Day 41 – Four White Horses

Our Monday activity is ‘Four White Horses’, a fun body percussion exercise with clicks, claps, knee tapping and jumping. What better way to start the week?

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions at: Four White Horses.

Suitable for ages 7 and up, this game is adapted from the song in Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years 1.

Day 40 – Under the Greenwood Tree

Well done to everyone who has reached the eighth week of NYCOS daily activities. Our Friday pick for today is ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’, a song about the advantages of country life. Gary Carpenter’s arrangement of Shakespeare’s text was sung splendidly by NYCOS National Girls Choir in their 2015 performance.

Available on Only a Singing Bird.

Day 39 – Ah, Poor Bird

Our final activity for this week is ‘Ah, Poor Bird’, a body percussion exercise suitable for ages 9 and up. Can you do all three patterns without stopping?

You’ll find the songsheet with more information at: Ah, Poor Bird.

The song can be found on the Kodály Hub.

Day 38 – One, Two, Three a Learie

For our midweek music lesson you will need three cups placed in front of you set out as a triangle. Enjoy! We love seeing your own versions, please do keep sharing using the hashtag #NYCOSdaily.

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: One, Two, Three a Learie.

Suitable for ages 7 and up, this song is adapted from adapted from Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years 1.

Day 37 – A Ram Sam Sam

Today’s activity is another great ball game suitable for ages 7 and up, for which you’ll just need a large ball or object. Try not to drop the ball on guli guli! This song is from Singing Games & Rhymes for Middle Years 2.

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: A Ram Sam Sam.

Day 36 – Rocky Mountain

New week, new songs! Today’s #NYCOSdaily is a 2 cup game, suitable for ages 7 and up.

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: Rocky Mountain.

This game is from Go for Bronze.

Day 35 – The Singing of Birds

Well done once again to everyone who has taken part in the sixth week of #NYCOSdaily activities. Springtime is certainly here so our Friday listening is Bob Chilcott’s ‘The Singing of Birds’ for upper voices, sung here wonderfully by NYCOS National Boys Choir.

NYCOS National Boys Choir - The Singing of Birds, Bob Chilcott

Day 34 – Old Joe Clark

Our last activity for this week is a fun cup song suitable for ages 9 and up. It sounds to us like Old Joe Clark has been panic buying, for every storey in his house was full of chicken pie…

As ever you’ll find the songsheet with more information at: Old Joe Clark. This song is adapted from Singing Games & Rhymes for ages 9 to 99.

Day 33 – Switch It

Today’s activity is another great ball game suitable for ages 7 and up, for which you’ll just need a small ball or object. Let us know if you manage to catch each ‘switch it’ on your first try!

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: Switch It.

This game is adapted from Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years 1.

Day 32 – This Old Man

Our activity for today is another well-known rhyme with plenty of actions, suitable for all ages. Can you think of any other rhyming words to use in verses 6 and beyond? Let us know by sharing your own videos to social media using the hashtag #NYCOSdaily.

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: This Old Man.

Day 31 – King Arthur’s Servants

Our Monday activity is cracking ball game to start your week. We have a simpler version using one and a trickier version using two. Gain some beginners juggling skills!

Suitable for ages 7 and up, ‘King Arthur’s Servants’ is adapted from Singing Games & Rhymes for Middle Years 2. You’ll find the songsheet and instructions at: King Arthur’s Servants.

King Arthur's Servants

Day 30 – Fight the Good Fight

Well done to everyone who has taken part in week six of NYCOS daily activities and Over the Rainbow last night (especially if you’ve taken part in both).

Our Friday listening for today is John Gardner ‘Fight the Good Fight’ by the National Youth Choir of Scotland and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in 2006, conducted by Christopher Bell. Enjoy, and we’ll see you again next week.

National Youth Choir of Scotland - Fight the Good Fight, John Gardner

Day 29 – Let’s Put the Rooster in the Stew

Cocka-doodle-doodle-doo! Pick up some drumsticks, chopsticks or pencils for today’s activity. If you don’t have any sticks, we also have a clapping version so everyone can join in.

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: Let’s Put the Rooster in the Stew.

‘Let’s Put the Rooster in the Stew’ is adapted from Singing Games & Rhymes for ages 9-99.

Let's Put the Rooster in the Stew

Day 28 – London Bridge

Our first NYCOS daily this week is ‘Lord I want two wings’, a ball game suitable for ages 7 and up. Enjoy!

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: London Bridge.

This is new game is adapted from the song in Singing Games and Rhymes for ages 9 – 99.

Day 27 – Down the Mississippi

Today’s NYCOS daily is a great cup song about the Mississippi River to brighten up your Tuesday. Suitable for ages 9 and up, you’ll need four cups for this game.
As always, you’ll find the songsheet and instructions at: Down the Mississippi.

Down the Mississippi

Day 26 – Lord I want two wings

Our first daily this week is ‘Lord I want two wings’, a ball game suitable for ages 7 and up. Enjoy!

You’ll find the songsheet and instructions for this game at: Lord I want two wings.

This is new game is adapted from the song in Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years 1.

Lord I want two wings

Day 25 – The Wind that Shakes the Barley

As we reach the end of our fifth week of NYCOS daily activities, our Friday listening for today is ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’. Ken Johnston’s arrangement of Katherine Tynan’s text is sung here beautifully by NYCOS National Girls Choir in their 2015 performance.

Available on Only a Singing Bird.

NYCOS National Girls Choir - The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Ken Johnston

Day 24 – Tumbai

Our Thursday activity is a fun action song suitable for ages 9 and up. ‘Tumbai’ has some slightly tricky words and actions to keep you singing over the weekend.

You’ll find the songsheet for this game at: Tumbai.

This song is adapted from Singing Games & Rhymes for ages 9-99.

Day 23 – Go Round the Mountain

Today’s activity is ‘Go Round the Mountain’, a cup song suitable for ages 7 and up. Sing it the first verse loudly and the second softly, with the actions imitating this throughout the song.

You’ll find the songsheet for this game at: Go Round the Mountain.

This song is adapted from Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years 1.

Go Round the Mountain

Day 22 – Okki Tokki Unga

Today’s activity is a ball game suitable for ages 7 and up. The words to ‘Okki Tokki Unga’ are great fun, and a little silly! You’ll find the songsheet and instructions at: Okki Tokki.

Day 21 – Moses supposes

Today’s activity is tongue-twister with tricky actions to start your week. ‘Moses supposes’ is rhythmic cup song suitable for ages 7 and up.

For this, you’ll need two cups or objects you can tap with your hands. You’ll find the songsheet with more information at Moses supposes.

‘Moses supposes’ is adapted from Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years 1.

Day 20 – The Gospel Train

Well done to those taking part in our daily activities. Our Friday treat for this week is ‘The Gospel Train’ medley by Alexander L’Estrange. Sung wonderfully by NYCOS National Boys Choir, the arrangement includes much-loved gospel songs.

Happy listening, and we’ll see you again next week.

NYCOS National Boys Choir - The Gospel Train, Alexander L'Estrange

Day 19 – Kouralengay

Today’s NYCOS daily is one to practise over the weekend, suitable for ages 7 and up. Kouralengay, kalengana, chum, chum, pah – the words are repetitive, but the actions slightly tricky. Enjoy!

You’ll find the songsheet for this game at: Kouralengay

Day 18 – My dame has a lame tame crane

Here’s another fun action song. Today’s music lesson is ‘My dame has a lame tame crane’, suitable for ages 7 and up. We love seeing your own versions, please do keep sharing using the hashtag #NYCOSDaily

You’ll find the songsheet for this game at: My dame has a lame tame crane.

This song is adapted from Singing Games & Rhymes for Middle Years 2.

My dame has a lame tame crane

Day 17 – Red Bird

Here goes a red bird through the window, high dum diddle dum dee!

Today’s #NYCOSdaily is a ball game suitable for ages 7 and up. You can be creative with this one and make up your own actions too. You’ll find the songsheet and instructions at: Red Bird.

Day 16 – Mrs MacLeod of Raasay

Today’s activity is another cup song suitable for ages 9 and up. ‘Mrs MacLeod of Raasay’ is a very well-known melody from 1809. It has been described as ‘an original Isle of Skye reel’, used for mouth music songs in both Gaelic and Scots. Happy diddling!

You’ll find the songsheet for this game at: Mrs MacLeod of Raasay.

Mrs MacLeod of Raasay

Day 15 – Dies irae

Well done for all your work on our second week of NYCOS daily activities, time to sit back and enjoy our Friday video. In 2014 the National Youth Choir of Scotland was thrilled to be part of the BBC Proms singing Mozart Requiem at the invitation of Donald Runnicles and the BBC SSO.

But the real thrill of that concert lay in the choir itself: I have seldom heard the Requiem delivered with such sensational attack and vibrancy. – The Independent

Down in London we don’t get many chances to hear the National Youth Choir of Scotland, and the choirs we do hear simply aren’t a patch on them. – Michael Church, The Scotsman

National Youth Choir of Scotland - Dies irae, Mozart Requiem

Day 14 – Un poquito

Our Thursday NYCOS daily is a South American song with actions for practising over the Easter weekend, suitable for ages 9 and up. It means ‘a little singing, a little dancing, a little le-lo-la like a canary’.

You’ll find the songsheet with more information at: Un poquito.

‘Un poquito’ is adapted from Singing Games & Rhymes for ages 9-99.

Day 13 – Ding Dong

Ding Dong, Hot Dog! Today’s NYCOS daily is an active song suitable for all ages, with plenty of actions and challenges to enjoy.

‘Ding Dong’ is adapted from Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years 1.

You’ll find the songsheet with instructions at: Ding Dong.

Day 12 – Liza Jane

Our Tuesday activity is a rhythmic cup song suitable for ages 9 and up. For this, you’ll need two cups or objects you can pick up and pass around the floor. This game works perfectly for one person and equally well as a round.

You’ll find the songsheet with more information at: Liza Jane.

‘Liza Jane’ is adapted from Singing Games & Rhymes for ages 9-99.

Day 11 – Once a man fell in a well

New week, new songs! ‘Once a man fell in a well’ is another fun action song, suitable this time for ages 7 and up. This song can also be sung as a round. We love seeing your own videos, do keep posting them with the hashtag #NYCOSdaily.

This song is adapted from a version in Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years 2 and Go for Silver.

You’ll find the words and extra challenges at: Once a man fell in a well.

Once a man fell in a well

Day 10 – The Ships of Arcady

Thanks for all your hard work on our second week of NYCOS daily videos, time to sit back and enjoy ‘The Ships of Arcady’. One of the most divine solo songs that Michael Head wrote, his later arrangement in three parts is beautifully sung here by NYCOS National Girls Choir.

Available on Only as Singing Bird.

NYCOS National Girls Choir - The Ships of Arcady, Michael Head

Day 9 – Chumbara

Today’s NYCOS daily is one to practice this weekend. ‘Chumbara’ is a cup song suitable for ages 7 and up. For this, you’ll need two cups, or if you don’t have available you can use any two items you can pick up and tap together.

‘Chumbara’ is adapted from Singing Games & Rhymes for Middle Years 2.

You’ll find the words and extra challenges at: Chumbara

Day 8 – A Sailor went to Sea, Sea, Sea

Get stretching to your knees and toes! Today’s music lesson is an action song for ages 3 and up adapted from Singing Games & Rhymes for Early Years 1.

You can be creative with this one, let us know any other actions you can think of using hashtag #NYCOSDaily

You’ll find the words and extra challenges at: A Sailor went to Sea, Sea, Sea

A Sailor went to Sea, Sea, Sea

Day 7 – Tony Chesnut

Today’s activity is a fun action song suitable for all ages. Remember to imitate the actions without touching your face.

You can have fun with this one, replacing the words and actions to anything you’d like! Post your own version using the hashtag #NYCOSDaily

‘Tony Chestnut’ is adapted from Singing Games & Rhymes for Middle Years 2.

You’ll find the words and extra challenges at: Tony Chesnut

Day 6 – I’ve Been to Harlem

Ready for a new week of homeschooling? #NYCOSdaily is here to help with the music lessons.

We have a ball game today but don’t worry there’s an alternative version without a ball too.

This game is adapted from the NYCOS publication Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years 1 and is suitable for ages 7 and up.

You’ll find the words and extra challenges at: I’ve Been to Harlem

I’ve Been to Harlem

Day 5 – The Circus

Well done to everyone who has been working hard on our daily videos. Take a break today (or scroll down to practice them all over again) and enjoy Steven Deazley ‘The Circus’ from NYCOS National Boys Choir’s 2015 performance.

We’ll see you again next week.

NYCOS National Boys Choir - The Circus, Stephen Deazley

Day 4 – I Left My Luggage

Yesterday’s activity was a simple song with a complicated pattern. Today we have a rhyme with a simple tapping pattern and complicated words.

If you need help remembering the words you can turn on subtitles to begin with. It’s a challenge, but you will get there with practice!

This activity is from Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years 1 and is suitable for ages 7 and up.

You’ll find the words and extra challenges at: I Left My Luggage

Day 3 – Reuben, Reuben

Today we have a traditional folksong from America. ‘Reuben, Reuben’ is a simple song but with quite a complicated clapping pattern suitable for ages 9 to 99.

You can personalise the song by changing the names. It’s easy if you know someone with a two-syllable name.

We’d love to see you singing this song, post your video using the hashtag #NYCOSdaily.

The songsheet for this game is available at: Reuben, Reuben

Day 2 – Have You Ever, Ever, Ever

Today’s activity is a fun song suitable for ages 7 up with either long or short legs! Have you ever, ever, ever is a mi re do song adapted from Go for Bronze.

Once you’ve got the hang of it you can add your own verses with different words and actions. Let us know what you come up with by posting your own video with actions using the hashtag #NYCOSdaily.

The songsheet for this game is available at: Have You Ever, Ever, Ever

Have You Ever, Ever, Ever

Day 1 – Senua De Dende

This particular song, Senua de dende from Ghana, is about a mother calling her child home. The accompanying game is suitable for ages 9+ and might need some practise. We will have different games every day for a variety of ages and abilities.

Adapted from Singing Games & Rhymes for ages 9 to 99 the songsheet for this game is available at: Senue de dende