A' Chiste-chiùil

A programme of music activities and training in Gaelic pre-school groups

A' Chiste-chiuil montage

We hope that opening this treasure chest will take you and the children you work with into the wonderful world of music. As you work through the sessions you will learn alongside the children and will become a confident music leader.

This is your opportunity to really play with music. We don’t expect an artist like Picasso to appear on the scene ready made; he had to start with scribbling and trying out the laws of perspective first.

Similarly we cannot expect children to be wonderful musicians and beautiful singers if they haven’t had the chance to seriously play with the raw materials first.

The majority of this pack is based on excellent material published by the National Youth Choir of Scotland, largely inspired by Lucinda Geoghegan; particularly the books Singing Games and Rhymes for Early Years and Singing Games and Rhymes for Tiny Tots.

Singing and using rhyme are wonderful for supporting language learning. Just as children will enjoy their favourite story over and over again, they will want to sing the same song (particularly if it is combined with a game) and in this way acquire vocabulary and a real Gaelic blas without realising they are learning.

When adapting and choosing material for this pack we have tried to ensure that the language we use is suitable and useful for young children.

There is always debate about how to pronounce words and also about what vocabulary would suit most Gaelic speaking areas. There is no definitive view so please feel free to adapt and add to this material to suit your needs. You will find yourself writing your own songs before long, once you have all the building blocks in place. Keep a record of all your new material and share it with colleagues.

Christine Richings
Early Years and Out-reach Co-ordinator
Young Musicians Hebrides

A' Chiste-chiùil Handbook

Download PDF

Through music, learners have rich opportunities to be creative and to experience inspiration and enjoyment. Performing and creating music will be the prominent activities for all learners.

Through these activities they develop their vocal and instrumental skills, explore sounds and musical concepts, and use their imagination and skills to create musical ideas and compositions.

They can further develop their understanding and capacity to enjoy music through listening to musical performances and commenting on them.


Graphic- A' Chiste Chiuil


Audio Files

Rannan / Rhymes

Òrain / Songs



Ag Obair le Òrain

Tutorial videos to help you use the resources

Please remember that these videos are intended to show the resource being used rather than teaching the language.

Singing group

A’ Glacadh Rionnach

Dà rionnach mòr a’ leumadaich san lìon
Boig, boig, boig, boig
Dà rionnach mòr a’ leumadaich san lìon
Boig, boig, boig

(Ceithir rionnaich, Sia rionnaich... )

Image - 2 Mackerel