Winter, Begone

by Teresa & Paul Jennings

Many people appreciate the better qualities of winter – the beauty, the majesty, the crisp air, fluffy snowflakes, pristine blankets of white, and nature in its quiet glory. This song is not for them.

"Winter, Begone" offers an opportunity for those who would prefer any other season to vent their point of view musically, and hopefully a little humorously. It's all unison except for a small section with optional divisi notes in the coda, allowing singers of most ages to join in the fun. If complaining can sound sophisticated, it must be because there's a tightly voiced, driving big band in the background. You don't really need to talk about swing, unless you want to. Just let your kids lean on the recording to get into it. But do be sure to point out the nuances like accents and crescendos to make the most of it musically, too.

In performance, dressing in outdoor winter garb would be an easy way to add color through costuming. It could be simply done with just hats, scarves, or gloves (mix it up) for everyone. (Coats would likely be too warm for an indoor performance.) For lighthearted contrast, let a few kids dress in more summer-friendly outfits with props. For example, Hawaiian shirts, sandals, shorts, sunglasses, straw sun hats, comical inflatable swimming tube rings, flippers, goggles, snorkels, obvious sun screen on the nose, and so forth.

"Cool" moves - You can also add a little pizzazz to the song through the use of movement. Our choreographer, Melissa Schott, has come up with some ideas you can use in your performance or just for the fun of it. Feel free to adapt them any way you like (simpler or harder), or use them exactly as she designed them. You will find a video which includes her full demonstration as well as detailed instructions on our web site, A PDF of her teaching notes is available as well.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.