7. Starley's Inventions
It is easy to underestimate the contribution James Starley made to the development of the bicycle as we know it today. Without him, and the skilled workforce of Coventry’s former clock and watchmakers, we might still be riding round on boneshakers!
This song, in a musical theatre style, requires a strong sense of performance. Encourage children to develop a sense of conversation between Starley and his benefactors.
Identify parts - get to know the narrative of this song and understand how it passes between characters. Separate children into groups to take on the role of Starley KS2, benefactors and crowd, KS1.
Good diction is required to establish the off-beat rhythm of ‘James Starley’ right from the start.
Listen out for the slightly unexpected intervals in bars 8 & 10.
Build to a big finale - stagger breathing in order to sustain the final note (whilst employing jazz hands!)
Using the accents in the syncopated rhythm (bars 5, 14 & 24) will help to place the clapping within the bar.
Watch out for the four quavers that follow as these tend to become rushed.
♫ Listen to the Horrible Histories song with a mind-boggling / bewildering list of Victorian
inventions. Which of these inventions would you rank as the top 3 in importance?
Can you imagine your daily life without the things listed in the song below:
💡 Research the many inventions of James Starley