Wouldja Be My Valentine?

by Teresa Jennings

This cute little ditty will give students young and old a chance to have a little valentine fun! Set in the style of the music of the 1920s, even the vocals are reminiscent of the era, thanks to the special effects option. It is suggested that your singers perform the tune through megaphones, real or imagined.

Using real megaphones should be easy enough, if you can get your hands on them. Many toy stores carry inexpensive versions, but you still have to buy them, which might be prohibitive. You could also make your own megaphones out of stiff paper. The idea is to roll a sheet of paper into the shape of a cone - approximately - so that one end is much larger than the other. The smaller of the ends is held up to the mouth when singing or speaking. A third option for your megaphone fun is to do what we did in the recording studio: use your hands!

We had all of our singers cup theirs hands in such a way that they resembled diamond shapes. Then, they touched their index fingers to the bridges of their noses. The heels of their hands (the bottom of the diamond) rested gently on their chins, which allowed a tunnel for the sound to pass through. Experiment with your singers to determine the best technique for creating the desired sound. You may have to remind your singers not to close up their hands too much or cover their mouths, as this will dampen the sound instead of enhance it.

On the recording of this song, we used some authentic 1920s instrumentation, including soprano sax, bari sax and muted brass. During the bridge at measure 13, you will hear the strains of the lovely Boop Sisters (a.k.a. Anne and Teresa). These vocals are also on the accompaniment tracks.

During the repeat of measure 5, singers are given the option of performing a bit of hand movement. We have suggested some rhythms and specific movements, which we also demonstrate on the recording. However, you may use any rhythmic ideas with any type of movement you prefer. For example, you might want to have featured tap dancers at this point. This would be especially cute if you used this piece in concert and you had costumed dancers. They could be dressed like the flappers of the era with shin-length skirts, long beads and spit curls.

Note: the illustration on the lyric page is a real, no-kidding flapper from the 1920s - Teresa's Great Aunt Josephine!

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.