Back to

Music Education
Resources by Paula Downes, a lot of music by Andrew Downes

Autumn Song

The sixth of six cross-curricular lesson plans on Autumn and Fall for Primary or Elementary School children using songs and animations, poetry analysis and writing, music analysis, instrument making, art projects and play ideas.

Autumn Song
Animation by Paula Downes, music by Andrew Downes, poetry by Margaret Rose.

The Poem
October is a piper,
Piping down the dell-
Sad sweet songs of sunshine-
Summer's last farewell.
He pipes till grey November
Comes in mist and rain.
Then he puts his pipe away
Till Autumn comes again.

Poetry Discussion
Watch the following video to see what happens during the four seasons in Britain.

Watch the following video to learn why we have seasons (you will already have seen this if you have done the lesson on Mid Autumn Moon):

Poetry Analysis
Discuss the idea of the personification of October as a 'Piper' and how it helps us to describe the sadness we feel at the end of summer because of the cold, wet, dark seasons to come.
What is a 'dell'?
Look for adjectives, nouns and rhyming words.

Poetry Writing
Brainstorm all the nouns, adjectives (including colours), and events associated with Autumn/Fall.

Ask the children to select words that rhyme from the brainstorm.

Ask them them to write a poem with the same rhyming structure as the poem in the song as well as using the idea of the personification of Autumn.

Music Analysis
Watch the following videos of instruments so they can be easily recognised in the song:



Plucked Strings (pizzicato):

Bowed Strings (arco):



Now listen to the song again:
- Notice the opening glockenspiel chords and the melody on the flute.
- Then listen out for the plucked strings and piano before the voice sings the same melody as the flute just played, accompanied by piano chords and countermelodies on bowed strings and flute.
- The trumpet then takes over the melody, accompanied by plucked strings, bowed strings and glockenspiel, and a descant played by the flute.
- The voice returns singing both the trumpet melody and the flute descant introduced by piano and plucked strings, then accompanied with violin (bowed strings) countermelody and piano chords.
-The trumpet and flute interlude returns, this time with a piano countermelody and a new glockenspiel countermelody.
-All instruments join the 2 voice parts until the voice is left alone to sing the first four lines once again.

Art Project
Draw the same tree four times, showing a different season on each picture.

Home>Primary & Elementary>Autumn & Fall>Autumn Song
Home>Cross-Curricular>Autumn & Fall>Autumn Song

Music Education
Resources by Paula Downes, a lot of music by Andrew Downes

Back to

Follow Cynthia Downes on Instagram to keep up-to-date with her blog posts.

If you have performed in any of Andrew Downes' works or come to listen, please share your experiences in the Premieres Blog! Also see what others have said. Thank you so much for your contribution.