YELLOW BRICK ROAD MUSIC

I live in Indiana, where we can count on nothing when it comes to the weather. Today there’s snow on the ground and the skies are grey. But tomorrow we could be wearing our sunglasses and searching for last summer’s shorts. Either way, I’m looking forward to the real spring; not the “just kidding” spring that Indiana often provides.

In looking ahead to warmer weather, Lemonade seems a good fit. You can use this song as part of an assessment, to practice so and mi, or to practice quarter and barred eighth notes.

GAME

  1. Divide your students into two groups.
  2. Each group must secretly choose a trade (barber, teacher, doctor, etc.)
  3. Decide which team will go first. This team will sing the part of “solo”.
  4. The “solo group” will replace “Lemonade” with “Here we come” as they sing the song.
  5. The solo group will then act out the trade they chose, while the chorus group tries to guess what it is.
  6. Continue playing the game until both groups have had several turns.

*To save time, consider brainstorming trade ideas with the class before you play the game. Then, you can write their ideas on the board, and they can reference this list during the game.

PITCH & RHYTHM

Lemonade is a great song for practicing both pitch and rhythm. Manipulatives were my favorite tool for practicing known concepts and writing them out.

Below is an example of how I could use manipulatives to practice both pitch and rhythm. The popsicle sticks represent the beat. You can download these printable Solf├ęge buttons for free HERE.

You can use mini popsicle sticks to practice only the rhythm, as shown below. I think it’s important that students also practice showing the beat, in order to solidify the connect between beat and rhythm.

Perhaps it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway; sound before sight. Always. It’s vital that students can speak the language fluently, before they ever attempt to write it. The following video explains why:

ASSESSMENT

This song would also work well for assessing pitch-matching skills or assessing singing voice versus speaking voice. You could break the class into even smaller groups to assess each student, depending on your class size.

If I were using this song to assess, I would make sure to do play the game as part of my lessons two consecutive class periods. That way, the students have ample time to be comfortable with the song and actions, and I could focus on assessment on the second day. Shy students in particular need plenty of preparation time before feeling comfortable singing alone or in small groups. Plus, the longer you wait to assess, the more accurate your results will be, as students will be more familiar with the pitches and the form of the song.