Make It Up

by David & Anne Ellsworth

"Make It Up" lets your youngest musicians sing about why they should, and how they could, use their imaginations. It's a self-affirming song, giving children the idea that it is very okay to pretend things. Not only is it fun, but kids of all ages have the ability to do it. In fact, using one's imagination can have positive effects on learning. When imaginations are nurtured, kids do better in learning environments. Since we're all for that, why not try to engage our students' imaginations on a regular basis?

In the song, students sing simple quarter and half note rhythms throughout. That way, they can focus on the words. On the recording, the synthesizer riffs and brass chorus help them keep track of where they are, so there's no guess work as to when to come in.

The tune lends itself well to actions that mimic words. The verses are pretty obvious, but let your students use their imaginations to determine what actions work with what words. You should get some interesting results for the chorus, which is not as obvious!

Here's one suggestion that might be fun: Every time kids hear the isolated power guitar chords (measures 17, 18, 19), let them do a "windmill" a la Pete Townsend. (Do a Google™ image search for "pete townsend windmill" to see a visual still. They'll get the idea. And if they don't, tell them to use their imaginations!)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.