That's Easy For You To Say

by Teresa Jennings

Here's a nifty vehicle for your students to try their hands, er... mouths, at tongue twisting! The best way to learn and understand how this piece fits together is to listen to the Performance/Accompaniment recording. Follow along on the piano/vocal score and it will all make perfect sense.

A leader starts everyone out on each verse with directions for singing the classic tongue twister, "Peter Piper" using various consonants or consonant blends. The response to the leader prior to measure 9 is an ad libbed response. The indicated words on the music are merely examples of what students can say. They should mix it up, but keep it brief so they are ready to sing at measure 9.

Though we have recommended substituting a "b" the second time and the blend "schm" the third time at 9, you can choose any consonant or consonant blend you like. Be careful, however! Check out the entire phrase yourself before letting students do it to be sure there aren't any questionable words created by the new beginning sound. This could be quite embarrassing otherwise. Also be sure to have students exaggerate the beginning of each word.

We chose different soloists to say the solo spoken lines each time. This includes the line "That's easy for you to say," as well as the twisters themselves. That way everyone had a chance to do both the easy stuff and the challenging stuff. Alternate your own performers as well, being sensitive to shy versus outgoing students. (Some kids may not wish to try a twister, as they will be uncomfortable if they don't do it well. Don't push it. Even though the idea is to laugh at ourselves, let them take it at their own pace.)

As you will hear on the recording, we left in the natural responses of the kids, so there is lots of giggling after some of the attempted twisters. Tell everyone that it's okay if there are mistakes! Allow them to laugh and have fun with it. They will notice that our kids didn't always do very well either. That's the whole point and that's what makes it fun and funny!

Technically, the correct way to say a tongue twister is as fast as possible. Suggest this, but don't force it.

To add a little spice to the song, consider letting students come up with their own tongue twisters. There are volumes of resources available, or they can just dream them up on their own.

Right after the end of the tune, there is an optional final twister. Use it or don't. Or substitute your own instead.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.