Double Duty Songs

Like a lot of specials teachers, I see my students 1 time  a week.  By the time you add in things like performances, prepping to sing (some of my students sing often for the church community the school is a part of in addition to semester performances), I really need to make sure I’ve got good choices in songs that can work for me in teaching concepts. I always try to pick songs that do “Double Duty”.  I look for songs that can teach a rhythmic concept as well as a melodic concept.

A couple tips: 

-Try to pick songs that really drive home the elements you are preparing.  It’s important it isn’t just a passing note.
– Don’t skip on the prepare phase.  Preparing the concept is really the most important part of the process.
-Don’t rush just because you don’t see the kids a lot.  It’s more important that the concepts are taught well and the kids understand it than you are stuck to making sure you are ‘on time’ with the sequencing.
Here are 3 great songs for a double duty music room:
1) Here Comes a Bluebird {Ta-a} {La}

Here Comes a Bluebird

This is a  great song for La and Ta-a (Ta-o, Half Note, whatever you call it), and the game is pretty simple as well.  In this game, children are in a circle with arms up serving as arches and one child weaves in an out of the circle under the arches.  When the words “take a little partner,” are sung, this child takes a partner, and with both hands joined they face each other and galop out through the opening where the child was taken from the ring, and back again, or dance the same around inside the ring. The first child joins the ring, the partner becomes the bluebird, and the game is repeated.

2. Bow Wow Wow  {Ta Rest} {Do} {Re}

Bow Wow Wow

This song serves as a fabulous song for Ta Rest when students are in first grade.  Later on down the road, this is a great example to help students learn Do, and can even help PREP Re depending on your needs.
The Game: Students are in a circle and facing a partner. On the words “bow wow wow” students stomp to the beat, but not on the rest. On the words “whose dog are thou” the children point up and down to the beat with opposite hands, again, doing nothing on the rest. On “Little Tommy Tucker’s dog”, they grab hands, switch places, and continue to sing “bow wow wow” (with the stomps). On the last beat, the rest, the children jump around to face the person behind them and they all should have new partners. The song and game begin again.
3. Lil Liza Jane {Syn-co-pa} {High Do}

Lil Liza Jane

I usually teach this song with a clapping game that goes pat, clap, partner, clap, repeat.  After the students are comfortable with it, I allow them to make their own 4 beat pattern to perform with the song.  I know there are other variations and games.  I also use this to showcase different styles of music and play two versions: a bluegrass version by Alison Krauss and Union Station (one of my favs!), easily found YouTube…
And a jazz version from Preservation Hall.
This week, I released my first Double Duty pack (I’m sure I will make more eventually!) I really love Double Duty songs for my younger students because it allows me to really reinforce concepts with other games and practice.  This pack contains 5 songs for Ta TiTi and Sol Mi: Engine Engine, Goodnight Sleep Tight, Starlight, Star Bright, See Saw, and Rain Rain.  There is a free preview download for you as well! Check it out!
What are your favorite double duty songs?



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