by John Riggio
Come to the islands, man...or at least to the mall! In this light-hearted K-4 song, your students (and their teachers) will thrill at the idea of a well-deserved summer vacation! Its island beat is sure to inspire thoughts of sand, surf, and warmer climes.
If you've purchased the P/A cassette, listen for a wide variety of latin percussion, including timbales, congas, and steel drum, as well as fretless acoustic bass. The steel drum/flute solo is quite festive, and the combination of instruments truly make this song come alive.
The melody is simple enough for your young singers (mostly quarter notes), but its sentiment is so universal, you may have older students wanting to give it a try! (Note: Teachers wanting to sing this song may substitute the word "students" for "homework" in the 1st verse for a terrific catharsis!) Also note that props can help make this tune fun to perform - sunglasses, beach towels, a large umbrella with a folding chair - use your imagination! Students may want to clap, or even play simple instruments to the rhythm, e.g., shakers, claves, woodblocks, guiro, etc.
If you have not purchased the P/A cassette, please note that the piano part is very playable, and you can add your own "island" sound by having the students play the aforementioned instruments. Perhaps you could even give the melody to a student on a xylophone during the solo section, if you have the means. Make it fun for your class. After all...it's summer vacation! - JR
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.