Friday, August 24, 2012

Play Me, Maybe I promised a tech tip for this week.  I lied.  Actually, I want to give the tech tip I had in mind a week with the kids so I can discover any pitfalls while in real practice.  I think it'll work out fine, but...I'd rather wait so I can say, "It worked for me!"

That being said, I am preparing to meet my students next week.  At the beginning of the year, I always go over rules, expectations, etc. etc. and begin with something simple.  Steady beat and basic rhythms are my topic of choice for the first week of school.

Whatever I choose, I try to make it as fun and relevant as possible (especially for my 3rd-5th classes).  One thing I like to do is create simple ostinati or instrument parts for either really cool songs I've discovered or a very popular, current song (finding one that doesn't use "questionable lyrics" is the trick!).  Since Carly Rae Jepsen came out with her hit "Call Me Maybe" late in the spring, I don't think there is any song out there that caught on quite like this one has.  We've seen Olympians and other celebrities performing lip dubs all over YouTube, etc. doesn't use any "bad words!"  (side note:  I honestly feel there are no "bad words" - just bad intentions behind them...but, being a teacher, I have to function as an upstanding member of society, so I'll stick to the traditional term for them).

The good news for us elementary music types is - it's in the key of G major!  GREAT!  Orff instruments come with an F-sharp - ROCKIN'!  So, here are two very basic ostinati for the verse and refrain of the song:

If you want to have a discussion about beat versus rhythm, you can have one group of students play the steady beat during the verse on the pitch G, then teach the rhythm and pitches shown here for the refrain.  This is also a good review/discussion about "on-the-beat versus syncopated" rhythms.

Feel free to adapt at will for your particular situation.  Be sure to leave a comment to let me know how it worked out for you!  

Until next week...


  1. Norm - I will try this with my fifth grades on Thursday and Friday next week! Thank you!

  2. Thank you! I was planning on doing this before I saw your post. Only my version would have crashed and burned (I'm fairly confidant in that). This is totally doable and my kids are going to eat it up! Have you seen the Cookie Monster Spoof on this song?! My third grade daughter loves it. Not sure what key it's in though...
    Thanks again! I look forward to more posts. I love your Music K/8 stuf.

  3. My kids are LOVING this. Eating it up. Have you seen the Cookie Monster version? Share It Maybe. We're playing to that one.

  4. This is great! I have a piano student with Autism and I just made a keyboard graphic with the note pattern for him to use at today's lesson. Will let you know how it goes!