Yoo Hoo Duet

by Teresa Jennings

Duets are a lot of fun to sing. And while this particular duet could be performed for the sheer enjoyment, it has another possible purpose: It could be used as a warm-up. The use of the long u sound (the double o's) is a great vocal tool for getting singers to round their sounds. It forces the mouth and tongue into a certain shape that contributes to the purity. As a warm-up, this helps prepare for other works that require a similar style or sound, notably using the head voice. Before singing, have kids just practice saying "oo" together. Take care that they don't use diphthongs which would make it sound like they are using more than one vowel, e.g., "ee-yoo." If their lips move at all, correct them. (We sometimes have to work a little extra with our kids who have slightly southern accents to keep the vowels pure.)

The fact that this is a duet means it could be used as a warm-up for duet singing as well. Given its simplicity, it allows singers a chance to stand their ground musically while still blending as an ensemble. Because both parts of the duet are always singing together, it may be a bit difficult to hear one part over the other to rehearse. To help this, we have isolated both parts for rehearsal purposes and put them on our web site for free access. (See details in the box on page 66.)

You could perform this piece live with no problem using just piano, or even doing it a cappella. But we do think you'll enjoy the accompaniment of the saxophone quartet on the recording, too.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.