Explore songs and pieces of music from different cultures which are inspired by the moon. Celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year by making your own origami boat and learn a traditional Chinese folk song…

A few moon facts 

  • At night, the moon is freezing, and in the daytime, it is very hot.
  • The moon doesn’t make its own light.
  • There is no air and no wind on the moon.
  • Only 12 people have walked on the moon.
  • The moon is 238,900 miles away from the Earth. It would take 9.5 years to walk to the moon.
  • The moon has always fascinated and inspired humans. This video by BBC Ideas tries to understand what the moon is and what it means to us…

Moonlight from France

In 1890, composer Claude Debussy wrote a piano piece called Moonlight (Clair de Lune in French). It was inspired by a French poem by Paul Verlaine. One of the lines from the poem goes like this:

“With the sad and beautiful light of the moon  

Which sets the birds dreaming” 

The music Debussy created is very gentle and calm. He wanted the moon to sound still, sad and lonely.

Watch this video for a calm breathing exercise whilst listening to Debussy’s Clair de Lune.  Follow the star as it travels around the moon slowly breathing in and out in time with Leila.

Aiken Drum

This Scottish folk song is about a man called Aiken Drum who lived in the moon. His clothes were made of lots of different things, and he played different instrument… even a kitchen ladle!

Learn the song by watching this video of Jenny. If you can, follow with all the words and the actions!

You might need some props for this: a ladle and something that looks a bit like a violin…

Sing along to the lyrics

Lunar New Year

Every year, Chinese people celebrate the Lunar New Year around February time. Chinese New Year is a festival in itself, and the most important holiday in China. It is also known as the Spring Festival. The Chinese New Year always starts when the new moon appears. In 2021, it falls on Friday 12 February and marks the start of the year of the Ox.

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, we are going to learn how to make an origami boat! Grab a piece of A4 paper and let’s get started…

Silver Moon Boat

Now that you have made your own origami boat, we are going to learn a Chinese folk song called Silver Moon Boat with Jenny and Nicola.

Watch this video and join in!

It’s time for our final performance! Can you sing along? And why not use your origami boat to make your own music video?

We hope you enjoyed your journey to the moon. If you want, you can share your music video with us on social media using #ONLittleSchool.


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