I Got A Valentine

by Teresa Jennings

Here's a nice piece to show off several skills in your music class, from singing a partner song to playing pitched and non-pitched instruments, to using body percussion. At first glance, the score might look a bit intimidating, but once you see how it works together, it's actually quite simple.

The vocal part is really the feature and as mentioned, it's a partner song. So part 1 sings the first and third times, part 2 sings the second and third times. When they are put together, they're really quite charming. (Also easy.) The lengthy interludes between the singing sections allow for the various other fun stuff to take the spotlight for a bit.

As you can see, we have Boomwhackers®, mallets, claps, rhythm sticks, shakers, Noodle Blocks, patsching, cowbells, stomping, and drums. While we have recorded everything you see on the score, as always, use what works for you. Every line, every instrument is optional. Don't have Boomwhackers®? No big deal. Leave them out or use mallet keyboards or any other diatonic pitched instrument you have. No Noodle Blocks? Sand blocks work. Or maracas. Rather your kids didn't stomp? No problem. Use hand drums or buckets or pots and pans for that matter. Substitutions are absolutely fine for every instrument, every line.

The same goes for the rhythms. If the rhythms of the parts are too difficult, or not difficult enough, change them! Even let students create their own patterns. The song is a simple foundation on which just about anything could work.

The possibly tricky part of all this is the road map, or form. It plays 3 times from the top, then you take the D.S. back to the chorus at measure 9 before jumping to the coda. Listen along with the tracks a couple of times to get the hang of it.

Besides being a cool feature work, it's also a seasonal one. Hearts, flowers, Valentine cards, and maybe even some pink and red decorations like balloons, streamers, or lights would add nicely to your Valentine's Day or February performance.

For ease of teaching, we have a few extras at our web site online for you. These include a couple of audio versions you might find useful (a full version with no percussion, and a kid percussion-only version). You will also find all of the individual student part PDFs to download and duplicate for your students.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.