LPOnline: Elephants in the Custard

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An interactive musical story for schools and families, aimed at children aged 57.

What happens when you see elephants in your custard, but everyone else is too busy to notice?

The London Philharmonic Orchestra presents a brand new film of storytelling, music and audience participation based on Elephants in the Custard, the charming children’s book by Samuel Langley-Swain and Jemma Banks, published by Owlet Press.

Elephants in the Custard is now available to watch on YouTube for free.


Using a play on the ‘elephant in the room’ metaphor, the story explores how it feels to have a worry, and the importance of making time to talk to each other. The film is presented by animateur Rachel Leach, interspersed with music performed by a brass quintet from the LPO, and includes a brand new song to sing along with and lots of other fun ways to join in.

Elephants in the Custard will be available free of charge, and comes with written and video resources for Key Stage 1 teachers and ways to help you learn the audience participation song in advance (see below). 

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Learn the song

Watch the videos below to learn the audience participation song in Elephants in the Custard. We have included a full version, a spoken word version and an actions-only version in the playlist below. You can also download printable lyrics.

Elephants in the Custard - learn the song

In this playlist:
• Full song
• Spoken word version
• Actions only version

Resources for teachers

Download our Teachers' Resource Pack for ways to use Elephants in the Custard in class from composing, to arts and crafts, to discussion and drama.  You can also watch video demonstrations of the two composing activities mentioned in the pack below.

Download the Resource Pack

Elephants in the Custard - composing activities

These videos demonstrate two composing projects described in the Teachers' Resource Pack.
In this playlist:
• Waltzing Elephants!
• Mischievous Elephants!

Generously supported by the Candide Trust, Gill & Garf Collins, Dunard Fund, Mr & Mrs Philip Kan, Gill and Julian Simmonds, Vauxhall One, Vauxhall London, Lambeth Council. Part of the Classical Vauxhall Festival 2021