by Teresa Jennings
We decided that since Motown is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, we should help them celebrate by doing our own tribute. The problem is that most Motown songs are based on love and mature relationships. This is not the best type of music for school children to sing. So we came up with a different approach: a "romantic" ode to something we can all appreciate - pizza.
Using the P/A recording will offer the absolute best way to listen and perform the song, as we have included many elements reminiscent of Motown. If your students are familiar with Motown, they will recognize styles and lyrics, though none are exactly the same as their respective inspirations.
On the recording, there are three versions of the song: full performance with melody and vocal background, instrumental tracks and vocal background, and instrumental tracks with no vocal background. This will give you flexibility when performing the song. For example, if you have your own background singers (our group of females in the recording session was affectionately dubbed "The Pizza Supremes"), you can use the third version. The background vocal part is included on the piano/vocal or available with the reproducible student parts (available separately from Plank Road Publishing).
As a unison piece, the song will be easy to learn and sing. The lyrics are silly and should be sung in an exaggerated manner. At measure 33, select a soloist for the poetry who can be dramatically "sincere" about his/her passion for pizza. The recording provides an excellent example.
As with any Motown song, movement is everything. Whether you plan to perform the song or just use it in the classroom, let your students come up with their own appropriate steps, hand movements and gestures to demonstrate and emphasize the lyrics. Watch videos of Motown songs for inspiration. Groups with a soloist in front and background singers and a band behind are great references.
At the end of the song, the optional solo is deliberately written to a low C, which should be almost impossible for most students to sing. You can have your soloist attempt it, assuming it will come out comically (as ours on the recording did), or you can have him sing the cued alternate notes.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.