Mixed Meter (fast)

by Teresa Jennings

Here's another song brought to you by popular request. This very basic blending of 4/4 meter with 3/4 meter is meant to introduce or reinforce the concept of switching meters in a song. In this case, it literally goes back and forth from one measure to the next, so kids have to pay attention. Before you sing it, go over the basics like meter, quarter notes, and half notes with them.

This song is a partner song, which means each of the two melodies occur separately at first, and are then combined. The separate parts each have a purpose in this case. Part 1 is meant to emphasize the meter switch by counting the beats: One two three four, one two three. Presumably, this will help singers stay on track through the changes and grasp the concept better. Part 2 names the two meters that are switching and explains that this is what mixed meter is. Simple, but effective.

You will note that there are two versions of this song on the recording at two different tempos. The slower tempo is good for both learning and performing. But once your students have it under their belts, they might enjoy the challenge of doing it faster using the "show off-ishly" version. We have kept the orchestration light and simple on the recording so as not to upstage the lesson. You could easily do your own accompanying on a piano or keyboard, too. In which case, you might even go faster than our fast tempo on the recording and really let your kids show off.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.