Tag Archives: Earth Day music

Sing A Song For Earth Day – Free Music And Resources

whole world handsMany years ago I was lucky to write a song that has now become an anthem for Earth Day in over a dozen countries around the globe. A very simple song, it’s a musical parody of the beautiful African-American spiritual: He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.  Borrowing that melody; as is often done in folk music, we changed the lyrics to reflect what children can do to show love and respect for the Earth in their daily lives.

Original ideas for the song came from school children during a workshop about Earth Day and I compiled them in a 23 verse song since there were lots of great suggestions.  Later, I edited the choices down to a smaller number so the song would a bit shorter and easier to remember. I’m really proud to think about how singing this song reminds kids of all ages that the small changes they make in their choices in life can make a big difference – on Earth Day and everyday.

Write Your Own Earth Day Song

Since the song has such a simple format, we’ve created an activity where you can write your own Earth Day song. Sing the same simple chorus, but add your suggestions to the verses.  And there’s free sheet music, too, just check the resource links below.

Spanish Translation

A lovely, easy-to-sing Spanish version was written by Cecilia Fencer, head and heart of Spanglish.house.com. Click on that link below to find the words to the Earth Day song in Spanish.

Video

Here’s the official video for “We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands”.   If you want to check it out on Vimeo, you can find it here: https://vimeo.com/18765345

We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands

Links and Resources

We’ve Got The Whole World In our Hands – Free Song, lyrics, and sheet music: http://www.dariamusic.com/earthday.php

Write Your Own Earth Day Song: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/sing-your-own-earth-day-song/

Make A Rhythm Tree For Earth Day: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/a-rhythm-tree-for-earth-day-or-any-day/

Tenemos Todo El Mundo En Nuestras Manos – An Earth Day Song In Spanish
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/sing-an-earth-day-song-in-spanish/

Make An Earth Day Nature Walk Rattle: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/make-an-earth-day-nature-walk-rattle/

Earth Day CD and CD Plus 10 Recycled Activities: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EARTH-DAY-CD-PLUS-E-BOOK-OF-10-RECYCLED-MUSICAL-ACTIVITIES-658096

Official Earth Day Site: http://www.earthday.org

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A Rhythm Tree For Earth Day Or Any Day

Here’s a great project for Earth Day or a summer camp or group play activity. It’s a fun way to combine recycling and reusing materials with discovering rhythm and creative music-making.

A while back, we did a post about rhythm trees and you can find that listed below.  But since we also get questions about the best components for this project, we thought we’d share a list here, just in time for outdoor musical fun.

And remember, if you don’t have the perfect music tree, you can also do this project on a clothesline or between poles on a playground.

So here’s our top suggestions.

Pizza Pie Plate Gong

STARR GARDENS - a few instruments for Rhythm TreeThese sound great and provide a nice large surface for tapping and drumming. Look for used metal containers such as turkey pans or pizza pie plates. They can be painted and decorated and hung at various heights from your tree or clothesline. If you can find trash can lids or used pans or pots that aren’t too heavy, they might make a nice addition to the project as well.

Milk Jug Rattle

Rhythm tree - clothesline instrumentsClean a large plastic container and add some rattling components inside. Decorate the outside of the container, if you like as well.  Seal it up and hang it for a nice sound when tapped. If you hang it low enough, kids can also grab and shake or “swoosh” the container for a different kind of percussion sound.

A Giant Guiro

rhythm tree - paper towel roll guiroThreading together wrapping paper or poster tube rolls makes for a giant guiro. Take a stick or a whisk and brush it down the sides for a fun repeating percussive sound.

 

Hanging Log Drum

rhythm tree playing tubeIf you can find a large tube like these, you can hang it up and play it like the type of log drums found in Africa, the Pacific Islands or the Northern Native American tribes, like the Inuit.  Tapping different sections of the drum will produce slightly different sounds – what fun!

Play With Your Hands – Or With Recycled Mallets

homemade guiro and 6 raspsSome of the instruments you hang can be tapped or played with your hands. Easy mallets can also be created from wooden dowels, wooden spoons, sticks, unsharpened pencils, plastic spoons or forks, hair picks, chopsticks or similar objects.

 

What Else Can You Find To Make Music With?

little-guy-and-washboardThe best part of this project is seeing how creative kids can be with everyday items. Encourage your little ones to come up with suggestions of what else might become part of an amazing and fun musical tree.

Links and Resources

Make Your Own Rhythm Tree:  http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/a-music-tree-or-rhythm-clothesline-for-outdoor-musical-fun/

Natural Instruments – Sticks, Stones and Bamboo Percussion For Kids: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/all-natural-instruments-sticks-stones-and-bamboo-percussion-for-kids/

Seven Awesome Summer Music Activities:  http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/7-awesome-summer-music-ideas/

Turn A Milk Jug Into A Recycled Shekere: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/turn-a-milk-jug-into-a-recycled-shekere/

Sing An Earth Day Song In Spanish

Earth Day Song in SpanishMusic is such a wonderful way to promote learning languages and bilingualism. If you’re celebrating Earth Day, here’s a fun way of combining caring for our planet with expanding your language skills in Spanish.

The song is based on my earth Day anthem heard all over the world, and if you haven’t heard it yet, make you get your free mp3 download at the links below or cruise over to the videos and hear it yourself.

Tenemos Todo El Mundo En Nuestras Manos

(New version of lyrics in English)
 Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou
 (Spanish translation) Cecelia Fencer

Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
 (chorus – sung four times)

 

Debemos reciclar, ahora que podemos.

Reducir, reusar y reciclar

Reducir y reciclar ahora que podemos.

Tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

 

Tenemos plantas y animales en nuestra tierra,

plantas y animales en nuestra tierra.

Tenemos plantas y animales en nuestra tierra.

Tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

 

Tomemonos de las manos, como hermanos.

Tomemonos de las manos como hermanos.

Tomemonos de las manos como hermanos,

tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos

 

Encuentra tus sueños y haz lo que puedas,

ten tus anhelos y lucha por ellos.

Encuentra tus sueños y haz lo que puedas,

tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
 (chorus – sung four times)

Links and Resources



world in hands iconFree Lyric Sheet – We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands (English) http://www.dariamusic.com/wholeworld.php

We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands – Youtube Video – (In English) https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=eIQUOIyE7q0

Earth Day CD Plus E-Book With 10 Recycled Activities: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EARTH-DAY-CD-PLUS-E-BOOK-OF-10-RECYCLED-MUSICAL-ACTIVITIES-658096

Official Earth Day Site: http://www.earthday.org/

How To Make Bottle Cap Bangles For Recycled Musical Instruments

tambourine-with-zilsIf you’ve ever made a homemade tambourine or sistrum, you’ve probably wanted to use bangles like those seen on traditional middle eastern drums or instruments.  Technically, these round thin mini-cymbals are called zils.  You can see some lovely large zils on this antique tambourine from the Middle East.

If you’re crafting an instrument that uses these bangles, it’s easy to make a simple version of zils out of recycled bottle caps using a few tools that are handy around any home or garage.

bangles-work-areaWhat You Need

Metal bottle caps
Piece of Wood
Hammer
Large nail with a head
Safety Goggles

 

Safety First

Although this is a reasonably safe and easy project, it’s always a good idea to use caution.  Wearing safety goggles means that your eyes and face are protected if you accidentally hit the cap too hard and it bounces off the wooden work surface. In general, a good tip for this project is to use the hammer slowly and gently, tapping repeatedly until you get the desired results.

Set Up A Work Area

Set the piece of wood down either on the floor, the ground or a sturdy table.  Place the metal bottle cap (cap-side-up) and then position the large nail above it, directly in the center.  Gently tap until the nail has pierced the cap and reached down into the wood.  This creates the hole that will allow you to thread it onto whatever you are making.

Next, With cap-side-down, next gently strike all the edges of the bottle cap until it slowly flattens.  This can take 15, 20 or more gentle taps with the hammer.

bangles-from-bottle-capsNext, turn the bottle cap over.  Continue to tap the outer edges and the inner circle until all the sharp edges are flattened and pressed into the cap’s surface.  Although some recycled projects use the bottle caps in their original form – such as the wooden sistrum from Africa seen below – flattening the bangles makes them safer to handle and use in any project.

If you’re doing this project with very small children, you might wish to create the bangles in advance and focus more on how the children can string the bangles plus other rattling objects onto their craft instrument.

giveaway-wooden-sistrum-africaWondering what else you could add to a tambourine or sistrum project?  In addition to bottle cap zils, you can add paper clips, buttons, jingles, beads or pull tabs from soda cans.  Remember, while you’re reducing, reusing and recycling, you’re also teaching kids to limit their use of resources but never limit their imagination or creativity!

And that’s a win/win for everyone!

Links and Resources

Color An Ancient Egyptian Sistrum  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-An-Ancient-Egyptian-Rattle-The-Sistrum-2166721

Ancient Instruments – Make Your Own Egyptian Sistrum https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ancient-Instruments-Make-Your-Own-Egyptian-Sistrum-Rattle-1617163

Ancient Instruments From The Middle East, Kids Mini-Lesson https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ancient-Instruments-From-The-Middle-East-Mini-Lesson-2127995

Sing A Song For Earth Day In Spanish

Screen shot 2016-04-11 at 11.44.18 AMMusic is such a wonderful way to promote learning languages and bilingualism. If you’re celebrating Earth Day, here’s a fun way of combining caring for our planet with expanding your language skills in Spanish.

The song is based on “We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands”, an Earth Day anthem heard all over the world.  But if you haven’t heard it yet, make sure you get your free mp3 download at the links below or cruise over to the videos and hear it yourself.

Spanish Language Cheat Sheet

Thanks to the translation skills of a wonderful bilingual mom – Cecelia Fencer – here’s the Earth Day song in Spanish.

If you’re unfamiliar with Spanish, here’s some of the recurring words with their English translations.

Tenemos – We Have

Todo El Mundo – The Whole World

Manos – Hands

Reciclar – Recycle

Tierra – Earth

Plantas – Plants

Animales – Animals

Hermanos – Brothers

Sueños – Dreams

Tenemos Todo El Mundo En Nuestras Manos

New version of lyrics in English/c 1994 Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou
c 2104 Spanish translation Cecelia Fencer

Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.

Debemos reciclar, ahora que podemos.
Reducir, reusar y reciclar
Reducir y reciclar ahora que podemos.
Tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

Tenemos plantas y animales en nuestra tierra,
plantas y animales en nuestra tierra.
Tenemos plantas y animales en nuestra tierra.
Tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.

Tomemonos de las manos, como hermanos.
Tomemonos de las manos como hermanos.
Tomemonos de las manos como hermanos,
tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos

Encuentra tus sueños y haz lo que puedas,
ten tus anhelos y lucha por ellos.
Encuentra tus sueños y haz lo que puedas,
tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.

Links and Resources

Lyric Sheet – We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands (English) http://www.dariamusic.com/wholeworld.php

Write Your Own Earth Day Song http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/sing-your-own-earth-day-song/

Earth Day CD and CD Plus 10 Recycled Activities: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EARTH-DAY-CD-PLUS-E-BOOK-OF-10-RECYCLED-MUSICAL-ACTIVITIES-658096

DARIA’s free resources for Earth Day  http://www.dariamusic.com/earthday.php

Official Earth Day Site: http://www.earthday.org/

Sing Your Own Earth Day Song!

small hands change the worldMany years ago, I wrote a simple parody of the beautiful song “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” and I’m proud to say that it has since become an Earth Day anthem used all over the world.

From Singapore to South America, from Scotland to China and all across the USA, people are humming this familiar tune and have added new verses about what it means to care for and protect the Earth.

Although you can see the recorded lyrics and video below, I’d love to encourage you to write your own version. The chorus is oh-so-simple:

We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands

To write your own version of the song, ask your kids or classroom to suggest their with ideas for protecting and nurturing Mother Earth. They can be as simple as “don’t throw trash” or “make more parks”. Or they can share more complicated ideas such as “stop global warming” or “use more solar power”.

After you have a list of ideas, pick one phrase and work it into a sentence for the verses. For instance, the suggestion of “use more solar power” could turn into a verse like this:

Use the power of the sun or the wind for our homes.

Or the idea of having more parks:

Build more parks where all the people can play.

You get the idea. Each line is about 10 – 12 syllables long, but if you sing it out loud, it’s so easy to adjust any phrase until it becomes a singable sentence!

Whatever you do this year, remember that these little changes can make a big difference. We do have the whole world in our hands!

We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands

Links and Resources

Lyric Sheet – We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands: http://www.dariamusic.com/wholeworld.php

Earth Day CD and CD Plus 10 Recycled Activities: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EARTH-DAY-CD-PLUS-E-BOOK-OF-10-RECYCLED-MUSICAL-ACTIVITIES-658096

DARIA’s free resources for Earth Day  http://www.dariamusic.com/earthday.php

Official Earth Day Site: http://www.earthday.org/

Earth Day Song in Spanish https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/an-earth-day-song-in-spanish/

Make An Earth Day Nature Walk Rattle!

Earth Day Rattle Finished

Take a nature walk and make a musical instrument! Here’s an easy and fun way to recycle a plastic container and spend some quality time outside all at the same time!

Supplies

Clean plastic container (wide-mouthed plastic bottles work best)!

Small amount of sand (or salt or sugar)

Tape (to seal the rattle)

Find A Great Green Space

Can you connect with nature in your front or backyard? If so, head on out and enjoy. If not, there are always parks, play areas, nature sanctuaries and arboretums within a short distance from most homes. And even if you think you know your area, a quick internet search will probably turn up some new places to discover where you can have a picnic or snack, do a nature craft or simply enjoy the great outdoors!

Collect Your Treasures

Bring a small bucket or container to collect your treasures. As you walk, keep an eye out for interesting items such as acorns, nuts, leaves, seeds, seedpods or pinecones. You might come across a feather or small shells if walking by a lake or stream. You may find beautifully shaped rocks or pebbles or smooth sticks that you’d like to collect.

Earth Day Rattle ContentsIf you’re walking at a local park, there are often naturalists who can help you identify what you’ve found or tell you more about what you’ve just collected or discovered.

Make Your Rattle

Start each rattle by pouring in a small amount of sand (or salt or sugar). Then, carefully add each item you’ve chosen to the container. Although you can do this craft without the sand, it will add a soft whooshing sound and then each treasure you add to the bottle will appear and disappear into the sand as you shake the container.

Seal It Up!

Once you are finished, seal up your rattle with a sturdy tape, such as colorful duct tape or electrical tape. It adds a nice design element and keeps small hands from opening the lid and creating a safety hazard.

Play Along To Some Some Earth Day Music!

What does your rattle sound like? Is it soft or loud? Did a friend, sibling or parent make a rattle, too?  Do their rattles look and sound, alike or different?

You can explore all kinds of listening skills with these quiet rattles and they are perfect for paying along with your favorite music. If you’d like some green musical inspiration, play along to the Earth Day anthem on the video below or click the link below for a free download of “We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands”.

Links and Resources

Free song download - “We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Handshttp://www.dariamusic.com/earthday.php

14 World Music Instruments That Can Be Made From Recycled Materials https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/14-world-music-instruments-that-can-be-made-from-recycled-materials/

Sing A Song For Earth Day!

whole world hands

Over a decade ago I wrote a song for Earth Day that has made it literally around the world.  Since it was recorded, it’s been used in programs and presentations in Taiwan, China, Singapore, Japan, Scotland, South America and across the entire United States, too!  It’s just a fact that honoring the Earth is a concept shared by everyone, everywhere, all around the globe!

“We’ve Got the Whole World In Our Hands” had very humble beginnings.  I was working with a group of elementary school students on an Earth Day project and they were excited about the many ways they could make a difference for the Earth.   To share what they learned, we decided to write a song to a melody that everyone recognized.  We chose the beautiful spiritual song  “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” and changed the lyrics slightly to reflect the idea of being a good steward of the Earth.

earth day handsNext, we added the children’s ideas to the song.  Naturally, the first suggestion had to do with the three “R”s – reduce, reuse and recycle.  Then the kids got really creative.  They offered dozens of suggestions that encompassed not only being green and living simpler, but also being kind to everyone and everything around them.  It was truly inspiring to see their vision of a planet filled with peace, harmony and more thoughtful life choices!

The original song has over 10 verses filled with great ideas about caring for the Earth.  When we recorded the song, we had to limit it to 4, so the song would not be too long.  Here’s the words to our final version:

Chorus:      We’ve got the whole world, in our hands
                     We’ve got the whole world, in our hands
                     We’ve got the whole world in our hands
                     We’ve got the whole world in our hands

We should recycle now – all that we can
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – all that we can
We should recycle now – all that we can
We’ve got the whole world in our hands

Be kind to the plants and animals – of our land
Be kind to the plants and animals – of our land
Be kind to the plants and animals – of our land
We’ve got the whole world in our hands

Join hands with sisters and brothers – throughout the land
Join hands with sisters and brothers – throughout the land
Join hands with sisters and brothers – throughout the land
We’ve got the whole world in our hands

Dream your bright dream – then do all that you can
Dream your bright dream – then do all that you can
Dream your bright dream – then do all that you can
We’ve got the whole world in our hands

Here’s the video!

Lyrics and songsheet here:

http://www.dariamusic.com/wholeworld.php

An Earth Day Song Challenge!

Stay tuned.  Next week we’ll be asking you to write your own version of this song.  Cool prizes and more details to follow!