Salsa Pie!

by Teresa Jennings

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.


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This spicy, latin song is one of those "just for the fun of it" songs you just have to do every now and then. Short, very simple, and very repetitious, it gives your students the chance to sing out and move around. The silly, nasal vocal quality that is called for is optional, but it might help your students loosen up and have a good time with it. The movement section at measure 18 is also optional, but again, if you're going to do a song for fun, why not really have fun? As always, your kids are the best resource for movement ideas, especially on an easy, upbeat song like this, so let them help.

Of course, we somehow manage to slip a little learning opportunity into this fun song, which you can use or not, as you wish. This time, we introduce the use of quarter note triplets. The latin style is an easy background for learning them, but you can help by discussing them separately. Gently clap your hands together, beating the 4/4 time. Say "trip - pull - let" in an even triplet pattern over the beat to help your students remember the pattern. (Two sets of three quarter note triplets each should fit over four beats. Make sure they are even in length.) Ask them to join you in saying it before they sing it. The singers on the Performance/Accompaniment cassette are a good reference for the triplets (as well as the vocal slides and silly sound). Let your students sing along with them once or twice for comfort.

Another chance to work with rhythms presents itself in the rhythm instrument break. We have provided some suggested rhythm instrument build-ups for the section at measure 18 on page 18 of this issue. You can start with cowbell, and add another instrument every four bars. Guiro, claves, and maracas are just a few suggestions, but whatever you use, remember to start simply and add to it. The percussion can continue once it is in until the end of the song, unless you want your percussionists to avoid the timbale breaks. We have also included optional patterns for other common instruments to use as you see fit. As with all of the music in this magazine, we expect you to adapt it to best suit your needs.

We have included two versions of the song on side two of the P/A cassette. The first version includes the four percussion instruments mentioned so that you can have your students listen to them, identifying the sounds and rhythms of each as they enter. You can also use this version to play along with for reinforcement. The second version of the instrumental tracks on side 2 of the P/A cassette do not include the cowbell, guiro, claves and maracas so that you can add your own with the tracks. (You will note that this version starts with four clicks in case you want to start with a cowbell on the downbeat.) Other percussion instruments you can have your students listen for on the tape include congas, bongos, and timbales. The timbales have several exposed measures for easy identification.

Since this issue features the guitar, we have endeavored to present the instrument in various forms and styles in several songs on the P/A cassette. This is meant to complement your study of the guitar and provide listening examples for your students. (Refer to the guitar article on pages 50-52, as well as the listening lesson at the end of side 2 of the P/A cassette.) The guitars used in "Salsa Pie" are acoustic nylon string guitars. One plays chords, such as in the first few measures, and the other plays the solo lines at 18. Be sure to have your students listen carefully to the entrance of each of the three solo lines during this section. They are indicated on the piano/vocal for reference.

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