Sunday, March 16, 2014

SINGING SOLO's: "No More Pie!"

“Would you like to sing a solo?”  Many adults might find the very thought of singing by themselves in front of a group terrifying.  Most children, given proper preparation and support, say “YES! Bring it on!”

    Miss Carole Stephens here of Macaroni Soup! Active Music for Active Learners!  You don’t have to be a music teacher to try solo singing with 4’s and K’s.  You do need to be able to keep a rhythm and maintain pitch. 
     Good!  You’re still with me!  The benefits of learning to sing solo at a young age are many:
  • Independence from others
  • Confidence building
  • Taking turns
  • Active listening
  • Accurate pitch reproduction
  • And in this particular song, rhyming 

Let’s get started!  First, learn the song, “No More Pie!”  There are many versions of it on the internet – just google it or go to YouTube.  For clear pitches, click here.  To see it in “performance”, with less clear pitches, click here,  The song is very repetitive - not a lot to learn!
I suggest not teaching motions, at least until the children are very clear with the pitches.  It muddies the water.

For the first go, have your whole group echo back each line:
Teacher:  Oh my!            Class:  Oh my!
Teacher:  No more pie!   Class:  No more pie!
 Continue through the rest of the song:
Pie’s too sweet
I want a piece of meat
Meat’s too red.
I want a piece of bread.
Bread’s too brown.
I think I’ll go to town.
Town’s too far.
I think I’ll take a car.
Car won’t go.
I fell and stubbed my toe.
Toe gives me pain.
I think I’ll take a train.
Train had a wreck.
I fell and hurt my neck.
Oh my!
No more pie!

I use either a toy microphone or a pointer/wand to indicate to the children when it is their turn to sing.  This step is important.  It sets the routine for the next time: solo singing!

    I usually demonstrate by having a teacher echo me the first time we do solo’s.  Then I continue around the circle, allowing each child to have a turn singing a line back to me.  Look at the body language on the child  at left – waiting his turn!  He doesn’t want to miss a thing!  And those expectant faces as they listen to their peers singing – yes!
    What could go wrong?  Occasionally a child hasn’t listened to the line they will sing back to me.  So I sing it to them again!  What about the shy child who shakes their head “no” when you point the mic to them?  Move on to the next child!  This isn’t about embarrassing or making a child uncomfortable. It seldom happens that a child does not sing something back.  Be sure to offer the opportunity to the child the next time you do this activity – they may have just needed to see how it’s done and have time to gain confidence.

     I printed out a lyric sheet (cheat sheet) from Cos Cob School of Music:  It is excellent – and the pict-o-grams give the children the opportunity to “read” the lyrics after they’ve sung them!
    My classes enjoyed singing solo’s so much last month that they asked to sing “No More Pie” when we had parents visit music class!  My students surprised me – EVERY child sang their solo line!  There were some mighty surprised parents, too!
    Other songs that make fun solo opportunities:  “My Aunt Came Back” and “Down By the Bay!”  Do you have others – please share!  
     Let's Sing Through Spring!

Yours for a Song!
Miss Carole

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