Supremely Whacky

by Mike Wilson

The unique sounds of Motown and Boomwhackers® - it's a natural combination. Well, at least we thought so. "Supremely Whacky" imitates some smash Motown hits from the '60s by a certain "supreme" group. You'll get it. And you can use that connection to give your students a bit of history about this truly American music style.

"Supremely Whacky" features Boomwhackers® and a real, authentic Motown sound, which includes guitar, piano, bass, drums, tenor saxes, and vibes. (It also includes a constant quarter pattern of claps, stomps, and patsches. These are part of the background, but if you wish, you can have some or all students join in.) The Boomwhackers® play the melody along with a few chords here and there. There is even a section where all the Boomwhackers® get to play at once. You'll notice that the final chord has an optional "roll" marked on it. To do rolls, simply have players tap their Boomwhackers® quickly over and over for the duration of the note. It's a neat effect.

You may find that the biggest challenge with this piece is the tempo. It really moves! It may be necessary to practice it without the CD so you can take it at a slower tempo. But once your players are up to speed, the CD will provide the right atmosphere and motivation to make for a really energetic performance.

There are many ways you could stage this piece. For example, you could have a "supreme" back-up group alongside your Boomwhacker® players. They could do fun, Motown-style movements during the song. They could even do the spoken part at measures 19-22, thus allowing the Boomwhacker® players to concentrate (which they may need to do at this tempo). You might even consider having an air band jamming along as well. If you do, make sure you have a real ham to "play" the tenor sax solo during the D.S. and coda.

(Note: For those of you who don't recognize his name, Mike Wilson is one of the engineers at the recording studio where Music K-8 and all of Plank Road's music has been produced since the very beginning. He is also a wonderful musician and a dear friend. This is his first contribution for publication, and we think he did a great job. Welcome, Mike!)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.