Heel, Toe, On the Line

This is a popular Valentine's Day song, that I learned a long time ago (so sorry I don't remember the specific source.)  I do know that I've seen it presented at CMEA (Colorado Music Educator's Association Conference) and one person that presented it was Jill Trinka.  I've done this with kindergarten, first and second graders and each grade level loves it

Here's the song:

Here are the dance directions:

Formation: single circle, with partners facing each other
Phrase 1:  Holding hands with your partner, tap your heel on the word “heel,” using the foot that’s closest to the center of the circle.  On the word “toe,” using the same foot, tap your toe.  On the text “on the line,” take three steps in place, starting with the foot closest to the center.
Phrase 2: holding your partner’s hands, trade places with your partner.
Phrase 3: same actions as phrase 1.
Phrase 4: point your finger at your partner, shaking it to the rhythm, on the text, “maybe “yah” or maybe.”  Then, on the word “Nien,” turn away from your partner (180˚, so that you’re facing a new partner) and cross your arms in front of you.
Play repeats and continues.

And, here's a PowerPoint that I made to go with it (there is a title slide before this slide):

There's a beat slide:

A rhythm preparation slide  (if you're kinders are working on beat vs. "the way the words go" this is good for that representation.  I know I'm not quite there with my kinders. . . give me a couple months!):

A rhythm reading slide (this is also written out in stick notation with note heads):

Iconic representation of pitch (for the whole song, this is a sample slide):

And iconic representation on the staff with the text (again, for the whole song, this is just a sample slide):

Now, pedagogically, this is not a re preparation or practice song (in my opinion).  Songs that I use to prepare re have re in ascending or descending patterns with mi and do.  That is, I'm preparing re in patterns that have mi-re-do or do-re-mi.  By the time my kids are reading re in the way it is in this song they have already been presented with re.  In my opinion, this song is a good opportunity to teach about re in other patterns than mi-re-do or do-re-mi.  In this specific song, we'll be looking at re and it's intervallic relationship to so.  Practicing intervallic relationships is as equally important as teaching patterns and is too often over looked.  So, this PowerPoint doesn't have a re preparation slide.  Instead it starts with laying out the solfége used in this song.  I will use this slide to do some intervallic practice before we read the solfa on the following slides:

After solfa warm-up, we'll read the solfa, represented spatially on the slides (here's a sample, see that re-so interval that I was talking about?):

And then we'll read it solfa on the staff:

Then with "real" notes:

And with my 3rd graders we'll use the absolute pitch slides as a "mystery song" from last year:

Because I'm using this song for intervallic practice, I made some solfa ladders.  I will print out enough for each of my students to have one (making sure to laminate it so it lasts for years) and then they will start with echo singing.  I will sing a pattern on solfa and they will sing it back.  Then we'll move to me singing patterns on "loo" and them singing them back on solfa, all the while they point to the solfége that they are singing.  The time in which you transition from echoing solfa-to-solfa to "loo"-to-solfa depends on how much practice and experience your kiddos have with this prior to this activity.
This PowerPoint can be found in PDF form on my Teacher Pay Teachers store.  (PDFs very easy to convert into a PowerPoint, if you ever have any problems please let me know!)  Speaking of my Teachers Pay Teachers store, I'm throwing a sale currently that lasts until tomorrow night.  You can buy anything for 28% off the normal price.  Many other teachers are participating, be sure to search around, there are some amazing things that other teachers have posted!!

Have a great rest of your weekend!


  1. Your real note notation should be Do Mi (instead of Do So) in order to pair with the "Heel Toe" song. You have great stuff. Using Power Point is not practical for me (being a traveler) but I would like to know where to get hard copies of these great materials.
    Lisa Marxer

    1. Yikes!!! You're correct!!! I will get that fixed right away!

      If you purchase the PowerPoints you can easily print them out and have the hard copies. Everything's available on my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.


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