Winter Fun

by Mike Wilson

"Winter Fun" is an energetic, jazz swing tune your kids are gonna love as much as getting out in the snow. Brass/wind arrangements are built around a multilayered percussion groove. Can your kids identify some of the percussion instruments? They include cowbell, agogo bells, hand claps, a cuica, a box, a guiro, a cabasa sound made by making a "ch" sound with the mouth, and a conga drum. If you'd like to invite some student participation, grab a couple of things from around the room and join in with our percussion section. A big cardboard box would be great for beat 1 of each measure. We actually used an empty drum case. Anything large with a deep sound will do. Just have one or several kids slap it on the top and/or side on beat 1. Use higher sounding rhythm sticks, claves, cowbells, or anything you can find with a high timbre and hit those on the "ands" of each beat (assuming you count in two) to reinforce the backbeat. If you want to challenge them, it would be interesting to add some of your kids clapping on beat 2.

A quick learn, this unison tune begins with a lively rap followed by verses of fun things to do with that first real winter snowfall. Notice some of the vocal inflections. We exaggerated the scoops on "snow"-man, "big" hill, "snow"- balls, and "choc'"-late. It makes the song more hooky and gives the kids something to look forward to while singing. The raps and the shouts must have a high level of energy for the song to come off the way it should, so try to get them wound up a bit.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.