A Beat In My Feet

by Teresa Jennings

Also part of the revue, We're Making Music!, this tune helps young musicians feel the beat by putting it in their feet! Set in a march style with a not-too-fast tempo, the tune allows students to listen and coordinate their steps to the music. On the CD, there is a roll-off prior to the tune to help them prepare to do this.

At first, they march in place while singing the very simple melody (which also helps with their spelling!). For the best results, have them all begin marching on the same foot. We suggest the left. You may find that they rush the tempo a little, so gently remind them to listen carefully and stay with the beat on the recording.

The second time through, the verse may be played on kazoos instead of sung, as indicated on the music. We like to use the syllable "doot" for each note, as it makes the sound clearer. It also makes students pay more attention to each note and its rhythm. During this part of the song, let students march around in single file. Choose a path ahead of time for a performance, or let it be random, if you prefer. Pick a leader and practice having everyone "fall in line" to go. The end of the movement section is the bridge (measure 14). They can sing and march in place again here, or you can continue either kazoos or movement. Your call.

Consider adding costumes if you do this in performance. Borrowed marching band costumes would be best, even if they're not quite the right size. Pick a "drum major" to lead the group and you're ready for the big parade!

Note: You can purchase high quality kazoos at MusicK8.com Just search for "kazoo." If you prefer to make your own kazoos, there is a free downloadable PDF called "How To Make Your Own Kazoo." Touch on the downloads button at MusicK8.com and go to the PDF library.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.