Anne Miller


Music Educator



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Hey, Ho, and Up She Rises Unit



A unit of varying lengths for grades 1-5

As taught at Reeder Elementary, Gretna, NE 2013

Suggestions for further teaching ideas in italics

Materials needed: Tubano (or other large) drums, Recorders, Bass Xylophones, Soprano/Alto Xylophones, at least one Soprano Metallophone, Glockenspiels


Hey, Ho, and Up She Rises

Hey, Ho, and Up She Rises

Hey, Ho, and Up She Rises

Ear-lye in the morning

Lesson stages:

Grades K, 1-5: Learn the song. Students should keep the beat on their lap.

• Singing Assessment: Teacher can use this song to assess accurate singing of arpeggios, as well as coming down the scale with a variety of skips and steps at the end, and still end on pitch, which can be tricky with this piece.

• After learning the song, the teacher can ask a variety of questions about content and form. Which lines had the same words? Which lines had the same melodic shape? Which lines had the same rhythm? This could lead to a discussion of form (aaab, aa'bc, etc) and line (use string to show the shape).

• Talk about the lyrics. (Define the word "Lyrics" as the words to a song.) Note that some students might have heard different lyrics to this song and that there have been many different lyrics written to this melody. Point out that "Sailors and Pirates" wrote this song. This explains why we're singing "Ear-lye" instead of "Early". Ask the students to think about who or what the sailors might be referring to when they sing about "She" in "Up She Rises." Point out that there is not necessarily one right answer, since they were often stuck out at sea for long periods of time, and had to come up with interesting ideas to pass the time. The answer the teacher is looking for is "The Sails On the Ship."

• Discuss "work songs." I explained to the students that if the sailors did not all pull on the ropes at the same time in rhythm, the force would not be correct, and the sails would get tangled, leaving them stranded. (I used the analogy of blinds that get tangled.)

• Students should then stand and sing the song while pretending to pull on a rope on beats 1 and 3.

• Remind them that the ropes on these ships were very big, and that you would need to throw your entire body weight behind it to really pull. Add a foot stamp to the singing.

• The next time, allow the students to think of some way to act out their favorite part of being a pirate (hook hand, eye patch, peg leg, parrot on their shoulder) that does not prevent them from keeping the beat or using their best singing voices (no pirate singing voices allowed.)

• For the youngest grades (k, 1, 2), have them line up in front of the Tubano drums. The first people in line get to keep the beat while the others sing, keep the beat with their actions and feet, and pretend to be pirates. Those not giving their full effort will be passed up on their turn to play the drums.

Grades 2-5: Learn Ostinati. "What do you do with a sailor?" "Rises Up" "Hey Ho"

• Grades 2 and 3 should only learn "What do you do with a sailor,*rest*". It should be patted on the lap, on the right leg, except for the "or" of "sailor" which should cross over to the left leg. Always start with the right hand so that the left hand is free for the cross-over to the left leg on the final beat of the pattern. Of course, the teacher mirrors for the students. Once the students have this beat down, have half the class "play and say" the ostinato on their lap while the other half sings the song. Once this is solid, see if any students can sing the song while playing the ostinato simultaneously.

• Grades 4 and 5 should learn all three ostinati because they will translate into mallet parts. The crossover in "What do you do with a sailor" is because they will be moving down to a lower note once they move to those instruments. "Rises Up" (rest, ti-ti ta, rest) should be learned "*palms out*, right pat, left pat, right pat, *palms out*". "Hey Ho" comes every two "What do you do with a sailors."

• Rises up becomes the most difficult part to keep steady, since it comes in on beat 2. I taught this by telling a series of "Interrupting Knock Knock Jokes." Ex: Knock Knock. Who's there? Interrupting cow. Interrupting co- MOOO! Use as many times as possible with any animals you can think of. They especially like interrupting pterodactyl and interrupting starfish (extended hand towards their face). Point out that "Rises Up" is like the "interrupting cow" part. It hears the start of a question ("What do you...") and answers too quickly. This part is made simpler if the students are used to reading rhythms on some kind of staff, however, these students were not.

• Practice performing all ostinati simultaneously. It works best to layer them in starting with "What do you do with a sailor," then "Rises Up," and finally, "Hey Ho."

Grades 4, 5: Transfer Ostinati to Mallet Instruments

• "What do you do with a sailor" is "short D" to "long A." Take time to practice hitting the A on the "or" of "Sailor" instead of during the rest that comes after it. This will be tricky. It helps if you add a snap or a gesture to hold the place of the rest. Alternating hands is key for rhythmic precision.

• "Rises Up" is "short D, short E, short D." Spend time reviewing the "Interrupting cow" concept. Ex: "What do you, Rises up!" Try to get them to think in 4 measure phrases.

• "Hey Ho" is "Always short D, the first one long G, moving to long A." Having at least one soprano metallophone playing with the glockenspiels adds the extra low octave to round out the sound. Remind them that this happens ONLY every 2 "What do you do with a sailors."

Grades 4, 5: Learn the Recorder part.

• Learn line by line, learning new notes as needed, practicing moving between skips.

• Warm up was:

(play) A- A- AA (sing) she rises,

(play) G- G- GG (sing) she rises,

(play)A- A- AA (sing) she rises

ear-lye in the morning

This way the students could practice the tonguing of the rhythm separate from the difficult fingerings of the new notes. When we learned the new notes, we learned them without the extra rhythm until we combined it at the end. 4thversion, while 5thLow C, High C, and High D in addition to their current vocabulary to play this piece.

• When putting all of the lines together, remind them that there are no breaks in between the lines.

• Point out that the last line is the only one not to have the extra rhythm at the beginning.

Grades 4, 5: Putting it all together.The final form of the piece should be:


What do you do with a sailor x2, Hey Ho

What do you do with a sailor x2, Hey Ho

Rises Up enters here, 4 lines with Rises up

(Main Body)

1. Singers sing a verse along with the mallet ostinatos

2. Recorders play a verse along with the mallet ostinatos

3. Singers and recorders combine on a verse along with the mallet



Mallets watch director for cut off. It should end with a "Hey Ho."


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