O Kwanzaa

by Teresa Jennings

To help you bring Kwanzaa to your students, consider using the song in this issue, "O Kwanzaa." It is a unique blend of hip hop, gospel, and African styles which students will enjoy. A pronunciation guide is included on the music for the Swahili words. The divisi of part 2 is optional (as is part 2 itself), but it adds distinctly to the flavor of the piece. Be sure students emphasize the crescendo/descresendo for the best results in all parts. Have them listen to the recording for reference. Also let them play along on their own Orff/percussion instruments using our suggested rhythms (see page 64) or creating their own. See if they can identify the African percussion used on the recording.

See the online Magazine Index for more Kwanzaa songs.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.