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I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed,
What kid doesn’t like spaghetti – long strings of food fun? Here’s a song that involves all the senses while teaching the kids to manipulate sound.
Firstly, I like to stir up their imaginations by conjuring up a picture of tangly white spaghetti. Then I pour on a ladle of red, juicy sauce, all ready to get on your face and fingers. Next comes the big round meatball all dripping with tomatoes from the pot and finally a sprinkling of yummy, freshly-grated yellow cheese smelling sharp and tangy.
Once they’re wriggling with delight and adding to the story I know I’ve got their attention so to each child I hand out some spaghetti – two rhythm sticks or claves. Next they receive a steaming meatball – a single castanet. Mine are red on one side, blue on the other. We usually choose to have the red side up to show the colour of a juicy meatball but hey – silliness is always an option and sometimes we might go for the blue food idea! Then I hand out their “cheese-shakers” – maraccas – and they have fun tipping cheese onto their meatballs. Bells work well to signify rolling so I give them out next and what about sneezing? That explosive sound can be made on drums if you have a small group or on guiros or finger cymbals if there are lots of kids.
I like to practise the sneeze because it only happens twice and it’s great fun if the instrumental sound “hits” on the lyric “a-choo!”
Other than that, they don’t need instruction. We know it’s not good for this age anyway, so why not simply go for it. Making sure everyone can see me, I just sing and play the whole song once or sometimes twice through making a big deal about the “Ah-choo!”
Most children will want to follow my lead in this game as I play each instrument roughly around the time it matches the lyrics. Others will “do their own thing” but at least we are all in the room together playing instruments to the same piece of music and hopefully learning a new fun song they can take home for the dinner table.
Have fun and remember, there’s nothing quite like music lessons for children.