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I love starting lessons with movement. Students internalize new melodies and rhythms without realizing that it’s happening. It’s learning in disguise, which is the best kind!

The following is the suggested dance from the Kodály Center.

Formation: Partners face each other in a double line.
1st line of song: Head couple sashays to end of line.
2nd line of song: All swing partners with right arms and back to place.
3rd line of song: Same with left arms.
Repeat with new head couple.

Set students in their formation. Then, model the dance for the students as you sing the song. The lyrics of this song lends itself to the movements. For example, “turn me in a hurry now” helps to remind students to swing during that section. Because of that, your students will pick up on the moves rather quickly. Once students are confidently dancing to the song, encourage them to sing along. Transfer the singing to them slowly, by dropping words or phrases of the song as you go. Continue dropping phrases until students are singing it entirely on their own.


This video was the inspiration for my lesson ideas about body percussion. You can check out the sheet music for this arrangement here.
This song works well for focusing on syncopation. And body percussion is a great way to get students engaged in new rhythms. Tell students that you’re going to “add a new move” to their dance. Then, have them clap the syncopated rhythms and pat all other rhythms.
Leila that’s (clap)
shoo my love (pat)
This is the only body percussion they’ll perform while dancing, since they’ll be swinging partners the rest of the time.
The following is color-coded notation for the entire song.


Students will be ready to dig into the syncopated rhythm after they’ve danced, sang, and clapped the rhythms of the song. All that’s left is showing them what the syncopated rhythm looks like. You can use the video below as a short activity in class or as a personal reference.


Here are the following time stamps that you may find useful. They are also shown in the description box of the video on Youtube:
0:13— listening section
0:40— clapping section
1:07— patting section
That’s it for today’s lesson ideas, but I do have a reminder. If you’ve subscribed to my newsletter, don’t forget to enter the giveaway! It’s exclusive to subscribers, and there’s only seven days left to enter. If you haven’t subscribed to my newsletter yet, you can sign up here.