A Hippo In My Locker

by Teresa Jennings/arr. Paul Jennings

Now here's something you don't hear about every day. A hippo in your locker. Not to mention the various and sundry other animals here and there. But what a humorous and imaginative way to involve animals, bluesy jazz, and a big band in your music classroom. Discussion opportunities abound musically and topically.

The instrumentation on this one is quite fun. In addition to the usual big band cast of characters, we've included alto flute, vibes (vibraphone), acoustic bass, and flugelhorn. Can your students pick these out? Let them listen to the instrumental version for more clarity. Also worthy of note is the tinkly piano solo the second time at measure 5. (That's our own Paul Jennings playing!)

Imagination is the obvious highlight of this tune. Carry it as far as you like. How could a hippo possibly fit into a locker? Let students substitute their own animals and/or locations throughout the song for fun.

Also let them bring in toy animals or pictures of the various animals mentioned. Use the opportunity to talk about these animals. Some of them are unusual and may even be unknown to some students. One other thought: If you do use the toy animals as props for the song, you could let students have them "dance" to the music.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.