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What I'm Feeling

How do we know what we're feeling?…Think about it.
It might seem obvious, but it does takes some thought. This song will help children look for the signs; some are physical, some are more subtle. By being able to recognise their feelings and emotions they will understand themselves - and others - better. To help convey the message, feelings are likened to external things such as the weather.

See teacher notes below for more ideas.

There are 2 versions included:
2-part choir or a simple unison. Both suitable for children 5 to 8 years.
What I


What I'm Feeling
Download includes:
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2 vocal recordings*
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backing track
2 piano/vocal scores*
teacher notes
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piano/vocal score only
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Copyright law requires that scores be purchased based on the number of singers. Please support my work by respecting this requirement.

Note: through an arrangement with APRA/AMCOS schools from Australia and New Zealand only may make 5 copies of each score purchased.
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5 to 8 years
cool jazz
1 or 2-part choir
Musical Range:
D4 to A4
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vocal recording - preview
What I’m Feeling
words and music by Glyn Lehmann

How do I know what I’m feeling?
How do I know, I know?
How do I know what I’m feeling?
How do I know, I know?

Verse 1
When I’m happy
I smile from ear to ear
When I’m happy
I want to give a cheer
When I’m happy
Like a sunny day
When I go out to play

Verse 2
When I’m sad
I let my head hang down
When I’m sad
I cry and wear a frown
When I’m sad
Everything seems grey
The colours all fade away

How do I know what I’m feeling?
How do I know, I know?
How do I know what I’m feeling?
How do I know, I know?

Verse 3
When I’m angry
My heart will start to race
When I’m angry
I have a bright red face
When I’m angry
There’s a great big storm
Growing inside of me

Verse 4
When I’m excited
My eyes are bright and wide
When I’m excited
I feel like I could fly
When I’m excited
I jump up and down
Like a young chimpanzee

How do I know what I’m feeling?
How do I know, I know?
How do I know what I’m feeling?
How do I know, I know?

Verse 5
When I’m worried
I lie awake in bed
When I’m worried
The thoughts go round my head
When I’m worried
Like a big black cloud
Is covering up the sun

Verse 6
When I’m scared
I might scream out loud
When I’m scared
Or be as quiet as a mouse
When I’m scared
My heart goes boom boom boom
Pounding inside of me

That’s how I know what I’m feeling
That’s how I know, I know
That’s how I know what I’m feeling
That’s how I know, I know

© 2013 Glyn Lehmann
Teacher notes
Write Your Own Verses

'What I'm Feeling' touches on six emotions; happiness, sadness, anger, excitement, worry and fear. There are of course many others. Once you have taught the song to your students, and everyone is familiar with the melody of the verses, why not try writing your own verse(s) with them.

The structure is simple:
1. When I'm….
2. Da da da da da da
3. When I'm…..
4. Da da da da da da (rhymes with line 2)
5. When I'm…..
6. Da da da da da
7. Da da da da da dah

With the children, make a list of feelings, emotions and moods. For each one of these ask them how they would recognise it eg. facial expression, body language, behaviour. These answers form the lyrics for lines 2 and 4. Don't worry if it's too hard to make a rhyme.

Lines 6 and 7 generally focus on something 'outside' of ourselves that reminds us of how each emotion makes us feel. Like in verse 3 of the song, 'When I'm angry there's a great big storm growing inside of me.'

Once you've written new verses substitute them for the originals. You will need a total of 6 verses. You can still use the backing track of course to sing along with.


There are plenty of opportunities for actions to accompany this song.
Ask the children to suggest ideas how they might put actions to the verses. Almost every line provides a source of inspiration to add life, fun and drama to the song!

You may choose to divide the group into singers and doers and then reverse the roles each time.
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More songs about feelings…
Feelings - a song for children to sing
Everyone has feelings - but where do they come from and where do they go?
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