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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Lessons to Celebrate Singing

For Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM®), I thought I would share some of my favorite lessons for celebrating different forms of musicking. These are the lessons where we just bask in the joy of music-making- what's better than that? And (because I can never help myself) there are always musical skills and concepts students get more practice with in the process. Today I'm sharing some of my favorite lessons that celebrate singing!

1. Moose Song

I saw a video of the wonderful Maria Ellis doing this echo song as a choral warmup several years ago and it quickly became the number one favorite song for my Kindergartners to sing! Here's that video, and here is the slide I made with the lyrics for each verse on it (because honestly, the Kindergartners aren't reading it, the lyrics are just there for me to remember the words):

This song is perfect for Kindergarten because it's an echo song, and of course it's silly! But the "on the loose" part at the end is perfect for getting them to sing in their head voice, and the chorus gets them singing in a strong middle range. The song has nothing to do with singing like the others on today's list, but it's just so fun to sing- my students always really get into the jazzy feel, they love it!

2. Sing Your Way Home

I love this song because it feels good to sing. It's in a singable range, and the lilting feel and uplifting lyrics make it such a nice, peaceful, happy song to sing together with lower elementary! If you've never heard it, this site has sheet music and a recording. Here's the slide I use:

The other great thing about this song is the triple meter. I use this song with 2nd grade to explore the difference between duple and triple, and it's perfect for adding some movement with the downbeats or a clapping pattern to reinforce the triple meter feel. I also use it to explore dynamics and review dynamics vocabulary, singing it at different volumes and asking students to identify the word that matches.

3. Let Us Sing Together

This is a great one for 3rd-5th grade because it is a round! It's another one that's easy to learn and in a comfortable singing range. Here is a recording, and here's the slide I use:

This song also happens to have a "syncopa" rhythm pattern in it several times, which makes it perfect for 4th and 5th grade! It's also really easy to add in dynamics, tempo, and even articulation review. I have students sing the song with different elements as I point to the vocabulary words or symbols on the board.

4. Sing

It doesn't get better than Sing by Pentatonix for upper elementary / middle school! The only thing I change to make sure it's in a singable range is at the beginning of the chorus, when it says "sing" 4 times, I have them stay on do (or alternate between do and mi to make it more interesting), and obviously sing the bass singer's melody part on verse 2 up an octave. The rest is well within their range for this age and not too difficult to learn. Here is the original music video (which I highly recommend showing your students), and here is a video with the lyrics that I use for students to sing along with:

I honestly don't do a ton of other concepts with this besides working on good singing tone, but I do have students improvise (or rehearse and perform) body percussion patterns during the rap section. I have students take turns doing 4 beats each and go around the room (there are 8 measures of 4 beats each).

Of course there are many others that come to mind, but these are my highlights for each age group. I hope you can use them to enjoy singing with your students! If you have other favorites that your students love to sing over and over again, I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below. 

Want to catch up on the other posts in this series? Click below for my posts on lessons celebrating:

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