September 10, 2022

10 Ways to use the Winning Hook, Line and Sing-Along Song

Each April/May the winning Hook, Line and Sing-along Song is released after a national competition that students can enter in March (however as of 2023 this competition has been discontinued – last one was in 2022). 

Young composers write to a set of guidelines including length, using a NZ topic, suitable pitch range, suitable tempo for signing, singability and easy uke chords. The release of the recorded and notated winning song is timed to be able to be used in May, NZ Music Month. It has often been celebrated on the 31st May at noon with multiple groups around NZ singing it at the same time!

This year’s winning song “Summertime” was written by Finn (13) and Hugo (11) Clark who are homeschooled by their mum Rosie in Hawke’s Bay. Judith Bell – Summertime HLS22 – Uke chart 190422 Judith Bell – Summertime HLS2022 Lead sheet 1504

HERE’S SOME IDEAS of ways to use the HLS song that we have used at Chisnallwood Intermediate over the years:

  1. The School Choir and all school classes learn it to sing in May (NZ Music Month).
  2. Ukulele players (ensemble and classes) Summertime learn it to perform in May.
  3. All students learn to sign it (NZSL videos are produced each year) and perform in May.
  4. Have a school Sing-along or sing-off. For a few years we had a whole school sing-off competition where each house performed the song as well as singing it massed. We brought in outside judges and gave house points to all houses, but more to the house who had learnt it/performed it best. This often came with a lot of creativity from classes in what they wore, actions, and use of instruments.
  5. Combine with another school to celebrate NZ music month. We combined with our next door primary school for some years, singing it together to celebrate NZ music month with a sense of community.
  6. Run a local community event and invite schools and whānau to join in. We have held this at our central library (Tūranga) in the past and ran it as an open event. Anyone was welcome to turn up and could optionally bring or borrow a uke. We had school groups register and come along who ranged from an Early Childhood centre to primary schools, intermediate school choir and uke group, secondary singing and signing group, and the general public visiting the library. We warmed up with a couple of kiwi songs, had a rehearsal and then filmed the final rendition of the Hook, Line and Sing-along song, with participants’ permission.
  7. Make a school-wide compilation video with different classes contributing their footage. We did this for the last two years due to Covid restrictions not allowing the full school to be together. It turned out to be a fabulous way of learning, preparing and performing the song that digitally brought the whole school together with a video the students could be proud of. We included classes, groups such as choir, and in 2020 individuals at home in lockdown. There was some fabulous creativity shown in these. It’s much easier when all videos are filmed to the complete backing track all the way through in one -take, and filmed in landscape orientation: Click here for the video
  8. Perform it in a huge festival later in the year such as Strum Strike and Blow in Christchurch, or NZ Kiwilele Festival around NZ. Thousands of tamariki have performed the winning song each year in these awesome festivals and sometimes with the composer as a guest star! Click here for the video 
  9. Play the song at home on your own or with your family or friends. It can simply be used as an at-home sing-along! Previous winning song resources are also available on the website for a music session of discovery and kiwiana.
  10. Use the song to inspire budding songwriters to compose an entry to the following year’s song competition. Check out previous entries in the Hook, Line and Singalong competition: Click here.

Thank you to the team at Hook, Line and Sing-along, MENZA and the NZ Music Commission for helping keep NZ music alive.

Judith Bell, 2022

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