So Cool

by Teresa Jennings

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While the idea behind this tune was to provide a cool backdrop for Boomwhackers®, turns out it was fun for everyone involved, players and singers alike. The kids get to sing some scat syllables with hip jazz band answers. Plus, there's a flute quartet in there – two flutes, two alto flutes – along with the usual saxes, trumpets, bones, and rhythm. But there are also tubas and some horns, which is unique to this style. The kids have great scoops and falls with the band, dynamic contrasts, and on top of everything, they get to snap on beats 2 and 4. Now that's cool. And we haven't even gotten to the Boomwhackers® yet!

Our choreographer, Melissa Schott, also dug the tune, so she chose it to add some movement ideas to. You will find her offerings on our web site as usual. You may copy or borrow ideas as you like. (See details on page 75 for accessing this video as well as its teaching notes.)

The Boomwhackers® only use 5 notes, so feel free to double up if you have the instruments and want more players. The hardest rhythm is a quarter note till the anticipation at the end (bar 27). This is where the roll is indicated. It's optional, but easy to do. Essentially all of the players just strike their own instrument repeatedly and quickly for the duration of the notes. The combination of strikes will create the roll. The final note of the piece is struck together, which helps end the roll, too. If you wish to add Boomwhacker® "applause" after the tune, go for it. This is just random playing (similar to the roll, but more free). It gives kids a chance to let off some steam after their careful and measured performance. But set some guidelines (nothing too wild), and definitely cut them off, or indicate a decrescendo to a final stop.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.