by M.C. Handel/arr. Paul Jennings

We had several objectives when we wrote this new recorder feature. First and foremost, we wanted to create a tune that would work well mid-semester, using the five notes G, A, B, C, D, and use them in a bit different way. Consequently, this selection is in a medium laid-back latin jazz style, with some syncopation, but where the recorder is required to play nothing faster than quarter notes.

While there is enough repetition to keep this in the appropriate difficulty level, there are a few special twists and turns that will make it a special feature for performances. For instance, the section at bar 29 is a "stop time" section where most of the texture lightens to let the recorders shine in each of their entrances. Then there is the ending. While you can end with everyone on the B or D and the song will work just fine, try splitting the group into three parts, letting each of them play one of the divisi notes. Wow! Chords for your beginners!

Then there is the matter of the shakers. These are not mentioned on the score for simplicity, but we suggest that you let a few of your players play some form of shaker or maraca during much of the tune. While shakers should not play during the first two measures, have them enter on bar 3 and play throughout. At bar 37 you may wish to have a "percussion build-up" not unlike the percussion on the recording. Shaker players can play straight quarters, straight eighths, or any combination of your devising.

If you are in need of shakers, they can be easily fashioned using empty soda cans and beans, corn or other small objects. There are also many simple, inexpensive sets available, including small ones made to look like eggs, and one interesting set we recently spotted that looked like assorted fruit. For the most fun, let your students design, make and decorate their own.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.