The Tempest. 1: Rock the ship

Tutorial 1: 'Rock the ship'

Tutorial: 'Rock the ship'

Key timings in the tutorial are:

00 00: Listening to Verse 1 of the song for inspiration.
01 21: Learning Verse 1, beginning: 'Looks like we're going down...' and noting that the words begin on the second beat of the bar. Also noting the falling chromatic scale at the start of the song.
06 59: Learning Verse 2, beginning: 'The point of no return...' which is sung to the same melody as Verse 1 except for the first two lines.
07 45: Singing Verse 2 right through and adding backing vocals - 'BVs' - for the words 'burn, burn, burn' and 'down, down, down'.
08 56: Getting into two groups to either stamp or clap the rhythm of the instrumental section - three claps followed by two stamps - before all joining together.
10 58: Standing up to sing 'Rock the ship' all the way through - Verse 1, Verse 2 and the instrumental.

The story

Episode 1 of the story: Prospero and Miranda live in a cave on a desert island...


Prospero and his daughter, Miranda, live in a cave on a desert island. Twelve years before Prospero had been the Duke of Milan but he was overthrown and then he and Miranda - then just three years old - were put to sea in a leaky boat and left to die.

Prospero has spent his time on the island learning magic and is an expert on 'just about everything'.

A ship is passing the island returning to Italy from Africa and those onboard just happen to be those responsible for Prospero's situation. He summons his sprite helper, Ariel, and uses his magic to conjure up a storm to ship-wreck them.

See Resources below for a quiz about the story episode.

Song: 'Rock the ship'

Song 1: Rock the ship (vocal)
Song 1: Rock the ship (backing)

Learn the song 'Rock the ship' - sung by the sailors on the wrecked ship.

Once you have learnt the song singing with vocal version you can polish your performance singing with just the backing track.

Click here for the lyric sheet.

Click here for the music sheet.

Listening music: An extract from 'Storm' from 'Four Sea Interludes' by Benjamin Britten

Listening music: An extract from 'Storm' from 'Four Sea Interludes' by Benjamin Britten

Listen to the extract from ‘Storm’ by Benjamin Britten, from his Four Sea Interludes.

  • How does the music convey a storm?
  • Compare and contrast this piece of music with others that evoke a storm - eg Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture - ‘Fingal’s Cave’.


Tutorial 1 - transcript
Song 1 - lyrics
Song 1 - music
Episode 1 - story transcript
Teacher's Notes
Pupils' pamphlet
Carrie's vocal warm-up
Meet the characters
The playscript
Music / SFX for playscript

More from this series

2. Set me free
3. Full fathom five
4. Toledo steel