Today’s lesson is quick and easy for me, since I used it as 4th grade’s beginning of the year review last week.
“Did You Ever Ever Ever in Your Long Legged Life,” using notation. I put the following short song on the board, without the words. Double click on the picture for a larger view.
The song is good for teaching fermata, which I greatly exaggerate for the sake of fun and clarity, do, re and mi read from the staff, quarter note, eighth note and pick up note. I always begin by having them speak the rhythm. In this case the two 8th notes at the beginning will be elongated because of the fermata. When I have them clap and speak the rhythm, we will just hold the clap for each fermata. (Swinging the hands after the clap indicates a half note, which this is not, so I just hold my hands still.) After clapping and speaking I have the students “speak” the syllables in their heads rather than aloud, so that we only hear the rhythm through the clapping. These 3 steps provide 3 opportunities for practice, while not just doing the same thing over and over again.
Next we review line and space notes. They have been used to making a space note out of their head by placing one hand on top and the other under their chin. Similarly, they make a line note by placing one hand on either side of their head. As I point to line and space notes on the board, they show me by their hand position to which one they think I’m pointing. We then review do, re and mi with Curwen hand signals. I mix the signals randomly and they sing whichever one I show.
Finally, I identify do for them, and give them several opportunities to read the melody from the staff. The rhythm is so simple that they often incorporate it immediately, but if not, we go back and do that as well.
Finally, I teach them the words and motions.
The motions are as follows, on the steady beat, except for the fermata.
First 8th note patsch. Second 8th note clap.
Patch, clap, patsch, clap, hands apart, clap, patsch, clap, hands apart, clap, patsch, clap, hands apart, clap, patsch.
The effect is to always have the hands apart on the word “long”, showing length.
The 2nd verse is “Did you ever ever ever in your short-legged life meet a short-legged sailor with a short-legged wife.” Hands show a tiny space on the word “short.
3rd verse: ”Did you ever ever ever in your one-legged life”….pick up one foot on “one.”
4th verse: “Did you ever ever ever in your no legged life”…pick up both feet on “no.”
If the students are standing for this the effect will be standing on one foot for “one-legged”, and jumping for “no legged.”
The 5th verse combines them all: “Did you ever ever ever in your long-legged, short-legged, one -legged, no -legged life.” We’re all out of breath by the time we’re done!