Whacky Birthday

by Teresa Jennings

This song is available as a single.

We think your kids will like this one a lot. Since birthdays are an ongoing reality in every classroom, we thought you would enjoy having a lively alternative to the same old song you probably usually sing. While the Boomwhackers® are not required in order to use the song, they do add to the enjoyment factor for kids who like playing Boomwhackers®. (For those of you who are not familiar with Boomwhackers®, refer to the article on page 75. Even if you are familiar, refer to it anyway. It's got some helpful hints for teaching and playing those neat and whacky instruments.)

We modeled the instrumental recording on some contemporary pop tunes so that your students would immediately identify with them. For example, we compressed the opening segment to the point of crispness and then contrasted it extremely at the chorus, led by a sliding electric guitar. Our singers definitely enjoyed the mix. We had one young man who just couldn't stand still while learning this one. A good sign. Let your students listen to our singers performing and playing the song for style, or let them sing along every time. It's kind of like singing along with the radio.

If you don't want to use the piece every time there's a birthday in your class, have a monthly performance instead. Gather that month's honorees and perform for them, with or without Boomwhackers®. Include the principal, visiting dignitaries, other teachers, students, or whoever.

At the end of the piece, you will hear what we like to call "Boomwhacker® applause." Since playing the music requires so much focus and effort, we have found that our performers just love to have this unique release after they finish a piece. Allowing them to freely "applaud" for a few seconds (with a trained fade or cut-off by you) makes the Boomwhacker® experience even more complete.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.