Use these fun songs with your young choir or music class as energizers or warm-ups.

Oo a Lay Lay

This is a traditional echo song from Polynesia. The words have no specific meaning.

‘Oo a Lay Lay‘ is great for teaching:

Different phrase lengths

Form – Call and Response

Focus can also be drawn to pitch, tempo and dynamics by changing the way it is to be sung.

  • Give the students a higher/lower starting note.
  • Have them sing it faster/slower and louder/softer.

Have the student create a movement for each of the call phrases


Oo A Lay Lay (Call) 

Oo A Lay Lay (Response) (2X) 

Mala Tika Tumba (Call) 

Mala Tika Tumba (Response) 

Oo A Lay Maluwa Maluway (Call) 

Oo A Lay Maluwa Maluway (Response)

I think it’s best sung unaccompanied but here is a link to a YouTube clip with an accompaniment

Ickle Ockle

This song is great for teaching:

  • The concept of pulse
  • Melody element ‘do’
  • ‘sa’ rest rhythmic element and


Ickle ockle, blue bottle

Fishes in the sea

If you want a happy friend

Just choose me!

Here is a YouTube clip showing a couple of good ideas for teaching this song

Alert, Alive, Awake Enthusiastic

This fun song with movement is sung to the tune “If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands”

Use this song to:

  • Energise and refocusing your class
  • Work on diction and crisp consonants
  • Tempo and pulse

Sing the song and touch the body part that matches the words. Sing it faster and faster.


I’m alive, awake, alert, enthusiastic,
I’m alive, awake, alert, enthusiastic,
I’m alive, awake, alert, 
I’m alert, awake, alive,
I’m alive, awake, alert, enthusiastic.

Add the following actions as the song is sung:

Alive: touch ankles
Awake: touch hips
Alert: touch shoulders
Enthusiastic: arms up in the air

If you have a song your young singers love to sing tell us about it in the comments below!

Kim Maloney

I've been in the classroom teaching for over thirty years and still love the joy every new day brings in the classroom! I teach grades 7- 12, general music, music industry, vocals and have a tertiary music class. My special area of interest is singing and my training my a'cappella choir.