Wide Open Spaces

by Mike Wilson

Here's a raucous, ropin', ridin' cowboy song for all your wannabe buckaroos. "Wide Open Spaces" is a fast moving, never-let-up, show-style tune that requires equal energy from your singers to give it the right feel.

The full orchestration has almost all of the melody line being traded around amongst the various instrumental groups, providing a melody guide for your kids. And, with an A-B-A-B-A form, you only have to learn two melody sections that stick in your head pretty easily anyway. Though pitch and rhythmic accuracy are a nice bonus, a focus on enthusiasm and energy is more important for this song's presentation. Two of your kids even get to ham it up a little with their best "Yee haw!" Make 'em count!

If you're doing this one in a performance setting, you might want to employ some rootin' tootin' action as well. To help you do this, our choreographer Melissa Schott has put together a video of suggested movement ideas that you can use exactly as she demonstrates, or adapt freely to suit your own situation. Add some cowboy hats and/or costumes to really get into it! (For more details on accessing this video as well as all of our online extras, see the Downloadables reference box on page 67.)

You'll hear lyric references in this song to "Home On The Range." As you know, there is a rich heritage of cowboy music just like that if you care to take your class in that direction. And, as long as you're talking Wild Wild West, there are certainly plenty of history lessons for that cross curricular component.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.