Faerie Princess, Faerie King – Pentatonic Flute Lesson 3 and 4

Faerie Princess, Faerie King is the second song I teach children when learning the pentatonic flute.  It grasps on to the basic emotion of “wonder” in the children.  It tells the story of Boy and Girl completing their chores, then playing in a spring meadow.  They discover something quite magical along the way!  Your students, too, will discover magic as they use their imagination to expand their playing on the flute, or even just in singing and playing.

For sheet music, click the image:

Introduction Story:

Girl and Boy were laying about in the field by their cottage one sunny afternoon.  The golden light streamed down from the sun and washed over them, making them warm and happy. As they lay on their stomachs in the tall grass that was as green as spring sycamore leaves, they seemed to be very busy at something; they had discovered something special.

Earlier that day, as the birds were singing their morning carols, Girl and Boy had been working around the house.  Girl had fetched dry wood from the shed and stacked it by the fireplace.  Boy had fed the animals, and swept the floor.  Girl had carefully carried water from the well, and filled a basin in the washroom where she and Boy had done a very thorough job at washing their clothes, and bedding.  Together they had completed their chores by placing some flowers in a vase on the table for mother, then hanging all their laundry on the line just as the day began to warm, and the sun peaked over the barn.

They had chased the dragonflies, swimming through the air like fish, deep into the meadow, and followed a bee-line from a large yellow flower straight to it’s hive high in a tree.  They had taken turns counting how many times the other could spin round and round and round before laughing and falling to the soft grass.  They had even tested whether they could jump higher while flapping their arms like birds, or holding them straight at their sides.

After they had done their playing, they sat down in the sunshine and picked at things in the dirt.  There were pill-bugs and the ever-present ants scurrying about.  Ant-chores never end, you know.  There were ladybugs and pebbles and small clovers with red tips.  And, there were wildflowers.  The valley was carpeted in blue and lavender, the brightest yellow and the palest pink.  Innocent white flowers moved with brushstrokes across the meadow, and spatters of purple accented little hilltops.  And, wherever there was a little dip, yellow monkey flowers sprang to life with their little brown smiling faces.

The wind began to blow ever so slightly, dancing the grass like a great waltz.  Girl thought she heard someone singing, so she started humming along.

“What is that?” asked Boy.

“Did you hear it too?” replied Girl.

“Was it the wind blowing?” asked Boy.

Smiling her little smile, Girl giggled.  “No, silly.  It was the wind singing.  And, it was lovely.”

“What is it singing that is so lovely?  Will you sing it for me?”

Girl took a deep breath, turned her face to the sun, and sang:

Faerie Princess, Faerie King
Are you listening?
Faerie folk, the bluebells ring.
Ding, dong, ding.

And that was when, there in the meadow laying on their stomachs, they discovered something special.  Just in front of their noses, the lovely bluebell flowers began to sway back and forth, and for just a moment, rang like tiny bells.

Faerie Princess, Faerie King
Are you listening?
Faerie folk, the bluebells ring.
Ding, dong, ding.

They sang again, and again, and again, and each time the little blue flowers tinkled in the breeze.  They ran to a patch of bluebells over by the creek, and they rang.  They ran to a patch by the forest’s edge, and they rang.  Everywhere they sang the song, every new patch of bluebells they found, every time they believed hard enough, and had enough strength to sing, the bluebells rang.  Sometimes like tiny tinkling gypsy music, and sometimes like great church bells pealing over the hillsides.  And sometimes they rang like clear sweet-toned silver bells, but what no matter where they stood, when they sang, the bells rang.

And every Spring, after their chores had been completed with care, and they had played their games in the meadow, and sang their secret song, the bluebells rang for Boy and Girl.  It was their special new discovery.

Ways to implement “Faerie Princess, Faerie King” into your daily practice:

Faerie Princess, Faerie King is a tune that should elicit wonder in a child’s imagination.  Enjoy these ideas of how to practice the song with the children.  You’re the best judge, but daily for a week is how each lesson were designed.

Treasure Hunt

Take the students outside and let them search for faeries by singing and playing their magic song.  Help them choose one of the faerie homes they found, and give them time to create a picture of it.

All Around the Meadow:

Make some giant Bluebells by wrapping bells in handkerchiefs or scarves.  Tie these in a line on a springy stick to make a big bluebell.  Let some kids hold the flowers at different points in the room and hide under green silk scarves for grass.  They can pretend to be faerie princesses and kings.  The other children can move around the room singing and then playing to the flowers as Boy and Girl.  When they are sung to, the flowers of course ring with beautiful bells!

Once they are comfortable with this game, substitute singing for flute-playing.

Re-write!

Work together as a class to write lyrics for what happens next in the song.  Maybe Boy and Girl get swept away into the world of the faeries, and audience before the princess and king!  It’s easy!  Just copy the meter of the original song.  Your class could come up with a whole story in a song with many verses.

Have some kids sing while the others play their flutes, then switch places.

The Next Step (lesson 4):

Once students are completely comfortable playing “Faerie Princess, Faerie King” on their flutes, it’s time to grow.  “Wildflowers in the Field” contains only the same notes, but this time they are not only consecutive.  Where “Faerie Princess, Faerie King” only moved from b to d to e and back again, this song plays them out of pattern, jumping directly from b to e, and vice-versa.

For sheet music, click the image:

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