Soap And Water

by Teresa Jennings

Sometimes simplicity is a powerful thing. Take this sparse tune for example. Despite its lack of complexity, it is very catchy and has a lot to say. If you are up on your current popular music, or even if you just read or hear about music headlines, you're probably familiar with the tune and video from performer Beyoncé that received so much attention last year. If you listen to this song, "Soap And Water," and you know Beyoncé's song, well, let's just say, you'll understand our inspiration. The melody is different, the words are different, the form is different, the key is different, pretty much everything is different. And yet, there's enough alike for you and your students to say, "Aha!" when you hear it. And that's the point. Since Beyoncé's song was very popular when it came out, we're hoping this parody will also strike a chord with your kids. After all, popular songs are memorable. And in this case, it's the message we want to remember most.

This past year has been a particularly frightening one in the world of illness and health crises. Preventing the spread of disease has become a critical issue around the globe. Over and over, we hear the message to wash our hands and take precautions to keep from spreading germs. While we are proponents of using portable antibacterial sanitizers when necessary, for a thorough washing, soap and water is the way to go.

You can use this song for reinforcement of good healthy habits, as part of a health/hygiene study, or even a discussion about disease and the transmission of it. For example, do your students know that we didn't always know that hygiene mattered to good health?

Just singing the song and sharing the message is a good thing, but if you're daring, you might consider adding movement as well. The Beyoncé tune/video is well-known for the dance steps that go with it, and indeed, many dancers and other enthusiasts know them by heart already. We're not suggesting you get that carried away, but if you have any young dancers or choreographers in your midst, why not spice things up a little? At the very least, you could add the claps and hand gestures which we have indicated on the music. They are basic and simple enough for just about anyone to do.

Because we think this message is an important one, we decided we wanted to share it with as many people as we can. So we are releasing it as a free, downloadable Single as well as in this issue of Music K-8. Feel free to tell your students, other teachers, neighbors - whoever you want - to go get it for themselves. The information is in the box below here. As with our previous free offering ("Have A Happy, Happy Holiday"), you will get a piano/vocal part, a student part, a lyric page, and MP3s of the full and track versions of the song.

Online extras - The free, downloadable extras mentioned can be found under the Graphics and Extras for Volume 20, No. 4 at

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.