My 3 favourite songs to teach

In my opinion the best songs to teach music are always the fun songs.  Subtly teaching children how to sing melodies and using their voice as an instrument in fundamental in learning music.  When teaching preschoolers the nuances of pitch, rhythm, dynamics and pitch the easiest and most effective is songs with simple melodies and body movement.

My three favourite songs to teach children always bring a smile to childrens faces and most of the time the adults too!

Here are my 3 fav’s.

Paki Paki.

This is a Maori song and completely not in English and yet it is so so easy to learn.  I always start by showing the children all the different movements we are going to do and the corresponding word for that movement.

Paki Paki = Clap Clap

Kani Kani = dance

Huri huri = turn around

E Peke = jump

Hula = hula movement

Haka = haka movement

paki, paki, paki, paki tamariki ma
paki, paki, paki, paki tamariki ma

Kani, Kani, Kani, Kani tamariki ma
Kani, kani, kani, kani tamariki ma

Huri, huri, huri, huri tamariki ma
Huri, huri, huri, huri tamariki ma

E peke, e peke tamariki ma
E peke, e peke tamiriki ma

Hula, hula, hula, hula tamariki ma
Hula, hula, hula, hula tamiriki ma

E haka, E haka tamiriki ma
E haka, e haka tamiriki ma

Here is a link of me singing with my little kiddies, such a fun song!

Paki Paki

Oma Rapeti
Another Maori song about a little rabbit.
Oma Rapeti
Oma Rapeti
Oma Oma Oma
Oma Rapeti Oma Rapeti
Oma Oma Oma
Piko, piko, piko, piko,
piko, piko, piko
toro piko
Toro, toro, toro, toro,
Toro, toro, toro
Piko, toro

The hand actions can be seen in my youtube video
Heres the link for you to listen to Oma Rapeti

and my all time fav children’s song is Inanay, an Aboriginal lullaby.

Inanay Gupa wana (clap hands to the beat)
Inanay Gup wana
Ay ay ay oola
oola ay oola ay
Yippee yay yippee yay
Goo wanna Goo wanna (raise hands above head and clap semi quavers)
goo wanna goo wanna
goo wanna

Choo (spray fingers out towards child)

I have a link of me singing this song as well!
here it is Inanay

Theses 3 songs have all the elements of simple melodic tunes, repetition and easy hand and body actions for children to copy. I hope you enjoy singing them with your students

Happy Music making



Children’s Music That Won’t Have You Pulling Your Hair Out

Over the last 5 years I have listened to a LOT of children’s music.  Some tacky, some great and a few exceptional pieces of music that leaves you wanting more.

My new favourite Childrens Musician is Anika Moa, her music is beautiful and inspired by the Maori Heritage, and I have been incorporating her music in my lesson plans since I first heard her. I reached out to her and she graciously agreed to share her thoughts and story.


Both Anika’s parents are/were musos, and grew up in a very musical family, like the jackson 5 but the NZ version of it. She explained how she loved music since she was a toddler and her parents taught her how to play guitar, to sing and how to entertain most of all. Her parents and siblings inspired her to create. Growing up in a pakeha/maori society has made for an interesting musical journey. Anika is an established musician in New Zealand and since having children of her own has now switched to childrens’ music (lucky Us)

So here are the Q’s and A’s

When I was growing up my father is a Greek musician so music was all around me, and I had the sounds of Greece in my lounge room.  What was your childhood like in terms of music, I would love to hear how/why Maori music is important to you. 

Maori music is a really gorgeous, swaying sound. it is gentle and lullaby-ish. I have grown up with it in my schooling, not in my family. I was driven to learn my language at a very young age and along with the language comes the wait as they go hand in hand.  Singing my songs in my native tongue is about teaching kids the importance of language but also melodies create memories, which creates a culture.

What was the catalyst that made you switch to children’s music?

I had twin boys and I sang to them most nights, which led me to write kids music and record it. Of course my kids inspire me greatly but life inspires too and it was SO hard being a parent of twins. it taught me a lot abut myself, some good, some bad but then that inspires stories and then it goes from there.  

What are your future plans in the children’s music forum?

I love touring so that’s what Ill do in the next year or two. There are a lot of child care centres, libraries and big school halls waiting for me to sing in them!!

I have 2 daughters and have been teaching them piano as it seemed like a natural skill to pass on. How are you educating your children with music, and how do they respond.

My sons love drums and guitar and they love doing the Haka at their kindy too. I play music to them every single day and sing to them most days. Music is a part of our life and our heritage so I am subtly helping them and hopefully inspiring them to learn through song. I think all children inherently love music so its no hard task!

I suggest you checkout Anika’s music on iTunes: Songs for Bubba & Songs for Bubba 2 if you want to have a different repertoire than The Wiggles and give yourself and your children a musical experience you will all enjoy.

You could also check out her Youtube Channel Anika Moa YouTube


Love Lola