by Mike Wilson
Are you frustrated with six more weeks of winter every time Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow? This energetic song addresses the issue of his "shadowphobia." Obviously tongue in cheek, your kids can really ham this one up, especially the dialog sections. Together, you can help coax Phil into dealing with the fear of his shadow. After all, if he could overcome his phobia, we could have an early spring every year.
The rock style features full rhythm section and brass to back it up. The predominately "stairstep" melody is easier to learn than it looks. It will get into your kids' heads quickly and, once it does, they can focus on personality. It certainly offers a good lesson for reading intervals with a catchy melody.
You'll want to take advantage of the cross curricular opportunities this song offers. The lore of Groundhog Day is the perfect starting point. How old is this legend? (Centuries!) Where did it come from? (Associated with "Candlemas Day"... England, Scotland, Germany.) Why a groundhog? (Because he most resembled a hedgehog used in Europe.) How did the tradition come to America and why is Pennsylvania the epicenter? (Brought by Germans who settled in Pennsylvania.) There is lots of information available on this entertaining subject. Find it in your local library or search the Internet. (Try www.about.com) You could take this a step further with a study of animal behavior and habits. Their appearance after hibernation is what got the whole legend started.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.