Song and dance {Three great activities for your older students}

07 July, 2014

The week before last, I finished up teaching Level I for the Kodaly program at DePaul University in Chicago. My class had 18 music teachers, and they were a GREAT cohesive and supportive of each other!  A few days before the class ended, one of my students mentioned that he couldn't find the song "Oboshinotentoten" on YouTube (as they have to check YouTube during the retrieval process for any versions of that song) so he suggested we make our own video. I thought this was a great idea, so we recorded ourselves playing the song, as well as performing two other dances!

Song and Dance: Three great activities for older students, including two great folk dances and one singing game!

Here is "Oboshinotentoten":

...and here is the music (thanks to my friend Sue Leithold-Bowcock for teaching it to me!)

Since we were having fun recording, we thought we should go ahead and record the dance for "Sesere Eeye," which is folk dance from the Torres Strait Islands off the coast of Australia. I learned this many years ago from an Australian teacher at the International Kodaly Symposium Conference in Columbus, and my students have enjoyed learning and performing it!

Here is the music for the song; you could perform it with a recording (many can be found on Itunes; this recording is by the OAKE children's choir and I don't think it can be found on Itunes) or you could have students sing as they dance:

One last dance we recorded was Dandiya Raas, a folk dance from India that I learned from my friend Meghan. The recording is "Chakkardi Bhammardi" by Manoj Dave/ Kishor Manraja/ Raghuvir Kunchala/ Forum Mehta/ Himali Dholakia, and can be purchased on I-tunes. 

Click here to read more about the traditional Dandiya Raas dance. This particular dance is done in an ABCB form, with A being the slow part (bend/ tap/ bend tap), B being step/circle/step/circle, etc., and C being faster (tap right 2x, tap left 2x, etc.)

Thanks so much to my class for being willing to videotape in order to share these wonderful songs and dances with other music teachers! I have done all of these with my older students (3rd-5th grade) and the activities are well loved by all!

Please comment below if you have any questions, and thanks!


  1. So much fun! I think I might have to add a couple of these to my current curriculum. Thanks for sharing

  2. These look like such fun! Thank you for taking time to make the videos. I find it easier to learn a new song/dance when watching teachers.

  3. I feel like I know the first one from Girl Scouts or something but the other two are new to me and I've never done any with my kids so thank you for posting! :)

    1. I thought the same! Girl scouts. . .I think that the one we're thinking of is Bobo-ski-watten totten. It's on the site with the cute bunnies showing all the moves. . .sorry summer brain fog!

  4. I love Obosh... so much fun! I learned it a couple different ways (a million variations to this, I think). I also really enjoyed the videos..thank you! The Indian stick dance is beautiful; I have several parents from India and one teaches this every couple of years for our multicultural day. Thanks for the post!
    Aimee @

    1. Thanks Aimee! I've enjoyed your blog...thanks for reading mine! :)

    2. Thanks, Aileen!
      A quick (or maybe not) question; do you have the dance directions for Sesere Eeye written down somewhere and do you know if it has been published? I am working on a collection of international clapping songs, games, rhymes and dances and I would love to include these, of course with acknowledgements to you and permission from another source if already published. I would be so very grateful if you could tell me your source and share a set of written directions for the dance.. thanks in advance! :)

  5. There is an excellent YouTube video of Sesere Eeye being taught to the Young Voices of Melbourne by a Torres Strait Islander. You can also purchase the music from the Young Voices of Melbourne website, as they are the publishers. YVM and Gondwana also have great recordings, as well as videos from live performances. Much more authentic than OAKE, especially the vocal style.

  6. Aileen you are amazing! I've been searching all night on YouTube for something super fun to do with my kids this week while learning about music from India. I should have known to just go to your Pinterest page first! I love Dandiya Raas! Thanks!


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