Lighter Than Air

by John Riggio

One of the fun things we get to experience on our drive from the hotel to the recording studio in Zionsville, Indiana, is a large field, where, if the weather is right, we get to see hot air balloons taking off. Such an inspiring thing to see! John has actually had the experience of flying in one of these majestic lighter-than-air crafts back in his college days. And since it's not a topic we've covered in Music K-8 before, we figured it's time! Also, it turns out that June 5th is Hot Air Balloon Day, in case you're looking for an excuse to sing it.

"Lighter Than Air" is an "uplifting" tune (see what we did there?), waxing poetic about the joys of flying in a hot air balloon. It has a Latin styling with a light and easygoing vibe. Rhythms might be a bit challenging in this song, so repetition will definitely help your students learn it. But as we are wont to do, our tracks include a couple of instruments playing the melody line for reinforcement, in this case piano and jazz electric guitar. You may also want to explain certain words or phrases to your students – "ebb and flow" and "buoyant in air" come to mind.

In performance, it might be nice to have a hot air balloon backdrop of some type, preferably brightly colored as many of these balloons really stand out! Videos of balloons in flight would also be appropriate. Performers could even wear flight goggles, aviator hats, and scarves for effect.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.