Cheese Is The Bee's Knees

by John Riggio

It was only a matter of time before a Wisconsin-based music publisher put out a song about cheese. We are, after all, America's Dairyland. Or so it says on our license plates. (Plus, we've had requests!)

As learning songs go, you have to admit, this is pretty cool. The very high energy tracks for this piece should at least inspire your students' involvement. The chorus at bar 16 and the coda has a fun progression, so be sure to sing it with enthusiasm. After singing this, kids might even feel compelled to go out and try some of the different kinds of cheeses!

It should be noted that while we use cow moos on our tracks, cheese can also be made from the milk of other animals like goats and sheep as well. It's just that cow moos are funny, so we like to use them in our music.

This is a list song, so it rattles off several familiar cheeses, and a few less familiar. Ever heard of Danbo or Bismark cheeses? Until John researched this song, he hadn't, either. To help your students out, we've included a cheese pronunciation guide (below) for some of the trickier names. The audio also helps with this.

In performance, you could have poster boards with the name and/or picture of the cheese on it. There are 24 different types of cheese mentioned, so 24 students could each have their own poster board to hold up when their cheese is mentioned. You could use cheese on a plate as a prop, and for the more adventurous, add cardboard cow stand-ups (yes, they make those), costumes, puppets, or pictures you could use on stage. A slideshow featuring cheeses – or cows – would also work.

Cheese Pronunciation Guide
Gouda (GOO-dah)
Edam (EE-dum)
Asiago (Ah-see-AH-go)
Feta (FEH-tah)
Muenster (MUN-ster)
Danbo (DAN-bo)
Parmesan (PAR-muh-zhaan)
Mozzarella (MAHT-zer-ella)
Toma (TOH-mah) (like Okla-HO-mah)
Camembert (CA-mem-bear)
Havarti (Ha-VAR-ti)
Roquefort (ROKE-fert)
Mascarpone (Mass-car-PONE-ay)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.