Nursery Sounds

Welcome to week two of Summer Camp! We would love to see you taking part. Share your photos and videos with us using #rsno on social media. 

Classic Nursery Rhymes

Join RSNO musicians as they sing, play and sign makaton along to little ones' favourite nursery rhymes.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Incy Wincy Spider

Old MacDonald Had A Farm

Hickory Dickory Dock

Humpty Dumpty

Family Playlist for Babies, Parents and Young Children

A selection of pieces chosen by RSNO musicians and staff for families with young children to enjoy together and to encourage the exploration of orchestral music from an early age.  Each piece on this playlist has a personal connection to one of our musicians and we hope that you enjoy their choices as much as they do. There are pieces of music on this playlist to wake you up; pieces to dance and move to; pieces for nap time; pieces to inspire your own stories and pieces for relaxation and reflection.

Playlist programme notes:

Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet Suite No2, Montagues and Capulets

This is one of my favourite pieces and I think it’s a great one to introduce orchestral music to young people. It’s full of drama - during the first few seconds of the piece, there is suspense and you’re not sure what’s going to happen. Then it opens up into a full on tour de force of orchestral power depicting a battle between two sworn enemy families.

I’ve used this piece in my musical story telling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the part where the bears come home and discover that someone has been eating their porridge, sitting on their chairs and sleeping in their beds - they are not happy at all!! I’ve also used it to depict the Giant from Jack and the Beanstalk, you can just hear those big, loud footsteps and in workshops I get the children to stomp around the room! Prokofiev is brilliant at telling stories through his music so you can really let your imagination run wild when you listen to his pieces.

Lisa Rourke, RSNO Sub-principal Viola

Saint-Saëns: The Carnival of the Animals, Aquarium

When babysitting my 18-month year old goddaughter and her brother, I introduced them to this piece to dance to and to imagine that we were going on an adventure. The children loved the music and wanted to explore more music from Carnival of the Animals along with learning about ballet – we listened to and danced to Tchaikovsky ballets.

We’ve been on lots of musical ‘adventures’ since, most recently singing songs together over Facetime during lockdown. Music is so integral to imaginative play and helps children explore in a whole new way.

Bekah Cork, RSNO Artistic Planning and Tours Manager

Brahms: Wiegenlied No4
Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite, Infernal Dance of King Kashchei

My daughter didn't sleep well at all when she was wee, we tried every routine and suggestion possible but one of the most positive and calming effects was to play the Brahms Lullaby. The cello sound was so beautiful, warm and soothing and I also made up my own words to sing along.

Another piece we used to love playing was the Danse Infernale from Stravinsky's Firebird Suite. It was so much fun making up a dance to the exciting and dramatic sounds. Creeping about or jumping to the loud bits in the music. We also used to make up a wild and wonderful story to go along with it, which ended up a bit like all the Julia Donaldson books (The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Zog etc) rolled into one!

Lorna Rough, RSNO Violin

Benjamin Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell

This was one of the first pieces of music that I completely fell in love with as a child. It's educational, atmospheric, poetic in some way, and brilliantly composed. I remember rewinding the end of the fugue, over and over and over again because I thought that it was just SO funky! It remains a favourite of mine to this day.

Paul Philbert, RSNO Principal Timpani

Julius Fucik: Florentiner Marsch, Grande marcia italiana

I have a six-year-old daughter, Beatrice. When she was younger she was very happy to listen to cheerful music, and especially enjoyed listening to Julius Fucik's Florentine March. Every night, this was the music she wanted to listen to before going to bed!

Paolo Dutto, RSNO Principal Contrabassoon

Bach: Concerto for 2 Violins, Strings and Continuo

This is the first piece of music that we played to our little boy when he was just a few days old and it instantly transports me back to that time as soon as I hear the opening phrase. We played it regularly at that time and I find it incredible how certain pieces of music can so clearly take you back to a particular point in your life, bringing with it all of the emotion you were feeling. It will always be a very special piece to me and our little boy still loves hearing it!

Samantha Campbell, RSNO Head of Learning & Engagement

The Penguin Song

Before I had my wee boy, this piece always reminded me of the joy of an RSNO Family Christmas Concert. Nothing says Christmas more than RSNO brass players dressed as penguins and 2,000 children and adults hopping about in unison. I now have a three-year-old and we love singing the Penguin Song all year round, proving a penguin it seems is not just for Christmas.

Jane Donald, RSNO Director of External Relations

Actions for The Penguin Song!

In between each chorus, add one of the following by calling out the following commands with actions. Each time you call out a new command, you add it to the existing motions.

Right Flipper (Flap right arm)

Left Flipper (Flap left arm)

Right Foot (Kick right foot)

Left Foot (Kick left foot)

Bob your head

© Royal Scottish National Orchestra 2021