May Days

by Mike Wilson

If you have a slot open for a happy, mid-tempo seasonal folk/rock tune, "May Days" might be just what you're looking for. This song takes a 1960s approach to the beat and general instrumentation. On top of the rhythm section you will hear strings and percussion filling it out.

The kids have two parts to learn, but the song could stand just as easily as a unison piece in case you don't have a large enough choir. To help you learn the parts, we have uploaded part specific mixes onto our web site. (See details in the box on page 74.) But it might interest you to know that we kept our youngest kids in the recording session for this song. They learned both parts quickly.

The key to keeping this song happy is the energy that is brought to the vocals, especially in the chorus. They must sound excited, peppy, energetic, upbeat... You get the idea.

During the chorus, they will also provide a little "hook," that is, the handclaps on the "and" of beat three and ON beat four. We played a tambourine in those parts for the kids to follow. And actually, they aren't limited to handclaps. Grab some sticks, a tambourine, cowbell, pie plate, clave, even a bunch of Boomwhackers® – anything percussive for the part.

If you use the piece in performance, you might find it more enjoyable if you add some movement to it. Our choreographer, Melissa Schott, has created a video of ideas that you can use or adapt however you like. You'll find her video on our web site, free to download! (See details on page 74.)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.