Rules For Christmas

by Teresa & Paul Jennings

This upbeat swing tune is not only a great choice for a holiday program, it's also just plain fun to sing whether you're having a program or not. It's a partner song in which the two vocal parts are introduced separately the first two times through, then combined the third time. Each part is fairly simple, but still musically interesting and engaging for the singers. When you combine them, the outcome is jazzy and sophisticated. If you need any help getting your kids to feel the swing rhythms (eighth notes are triplet based), just let them listen and sing along with our studio vocalists on the recording. It's actually pretty natural. It might also help to hear the tightly voiced jazz ensemble cookin' along behind them.

As an extension, ask your students what it means when it says "a la Basie" at the top. Who was Count Basie? What did he play?, etc. If you do any Basie listening lessons, perhaps you'll hear his signature "plink" ending, which we have borrowed for our tune here. Only this time, we let the singers join in the fun by singing along.

While the title of this piece has the word "Christmas" in it, you'll note that the lyrics do not. So you could alter the title to "Rules For The Holidays" or "Rules For The Season," or something like that if you needed to.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.