Music

This Christmas: Donny Hathaway

Classes: Duquette/Keefe/Roberts

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcMWUArO8ak

Lyrics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13VE4e2KjKRH1r1B3w_G2YO27iotdq1s32nw6Py3TmUs/edit?usp=sharing

What we’re working on:

  1. Tuneful - Students should sing with beautiful voices and match pitches correctly. The melody is mostly Diatonic but the harmony can be tricky so it’s important that students hold their pitches even when they hear accompaniment that is unexpected or different to sounds they normally listen to.
  2. Beatful - This song contains multiple time signatures! 7/4 and 4/4 - during the sections in 4/4 the students will sing or improvise. During the sections in 7/4 students have a rhythmic pattern which goes: Stomp, Stomp, Tap, Tap, Clap, Clap, Clap
  3. Artful - During the piano solo students are encouraged to improvise their own solo by pretending to play instruments with both their bodies and improvised mouth sounds.


Mele Kalikimaka: Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters

Classes: Babcock/Gagnon/Ruscito

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuF_hRNs7rw

Lyrics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PCN0ZQrIppjrO5YHVpwY4Ekipsnjy4lZT19TDliHGDI/edit?usp=sharing

What we’re working on:

  1. Tuneful - Students should sing with beautiful voices and match pitches correctly. This is a highly chromatic piece with large interval leaps so this can be tricky for even experienced musicians! Listen, Listen, Listen!
  2. Beatful - Students should know where they come in and when they need to be quiet and listen! The kids have been assigned the part of the Andrews Sisters so anywhere you hear them singing, the kids should be singing too! We have a very special guest coming in to do the part of Bing Crosby so we’re very excited for the final performance on December 19th!
  3. Artful - During the instrumental section, students are encouraged to mimic the horns by pretending to play instruments with both their bodies and improvised mouth sounds.


Little Saint Nick: Beach Boys

Classes: Moran/Provencher

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSynDh_K0EE

Lyrics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pID72Ov5ChE1E0y3splGos7wR_UGucco7IJj_Iu_LBU/edit?usp=sharing

What we’re working on:

  1. Call & Response: Students will be assigned either the “Call” or the “Response” section of the lyrics. This is a tricky tune because often the response section starts while the call is still holding on to a note.
  2. Groove: Students are expected to pulse Macro-Beats with jingle bells during the verse. This can be practiced at home by clapping, tapping or waving hands to the beat of the song. In addition to Jingle Bells, students have been learning handbells and xylophones in class with the goal of having a few students play these in the concert. For this song, the xylophone and handbell part comes in at the exact same time the jingle bell part comes in so understanding where to play and where to be tacet is essential.
  3. Song Form: Students are learning the difference between verse, chorus and bridge. For this song, the verse is sung by everyone while the chorus and bridge are done as “call and response” sections.


Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree: Brenda Lee

Classes: Waligura/Delay

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6xNuUEnh2g

Lyrics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ezEPMwedAUXZLcPcspENptux15YOh82SfXBC46wdvUQ/edit?usp=sharing

What we’re working on:

  1. Song Form: This is an AABA form. Each “A” section has slightly different words and each “B” section is the same.
  2. Matching Pitch and Inner Hearing: In addition to singing the song, the kids are expected to sing the saxophone solo. This is out of their vocal range so they must “jump” octaves in order to make their voice sing the same notes as his horn!
  3. Improvisation and Phrasing: One of the best ways to learn to improvise is to learn great solos. The kids are expected to memorize and mimic the phrasing of the saxophone during his solo over the two “A” sections in the song.


Carol of the Bells - Composed by Mykola Lentovych Lyrics by Peter J Wilhousky

Classes: Dow/Golden

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elAtcHU0iCU

Lyrics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oyfujDQRMj2MIY07Uo2EvwzD_3b4GgTXuB7plYEReQM/edit?usp=sharing

What we’re working on:

  1. Handbells! - These are incredibly difficult. Imagine trying to read a book with someone else but you’re only allowed to say every other syllable. That’s what playing handbells is like! Kids need to have an excellent sense of time and use their inner hearing to know when to play.
  2. Solfege & Inner Hearing - Minor Tonality - Most music we listen to is in a Major tonality. This song combines elements from Harmonic, Melodic and Natural minor scales so the kids are getting a chance to explore new tonalities.
  3. Singing! - Many of the versions we listen to in class are acapella - although we’ve created a version with instrumental accompaniment - it has made us think about how we want to remix our own version of the song and the possibilities of the human voice.



Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Darlene Love

Classes:Gardner/Audet/Guerette

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EvZOXEoJ84

Lyrics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NPQE3M-G4pPM3pEQTicufHKthOPNzXIbq1c05OBSI5M/edit?usp=sharing

What we’re working on:

  1. Vocals! - There are both lead vocal (solo) and background vocal (ensemble) parts available! What do you prefer to sing? Why are both important?
  2. Instruments - Handbells, xylophones, ukes, jingle bells!
  3. Solfege & Inner Hearing - The kids have to hear and sing the solfege for a traditional doo-wop chord progression throughout the chorus. This involves inner hearing and a good working knowledge of traditional solfege syllables.


Silver Bells - Stevie Wonder

Classes: Balboni/Candela

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0MaEsqJRcQ

Lyrics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XcfsEfa22Ia2FHVHBjj13Qls1lcm9PvUGicmY3lV8lc/edit?usp=sharing

What we’re working on:

  1. Call & Response - Students will be assigned either the “Call” or the “Response” section of the lyrics. In the recording above, Stevie Wonder is singing the call and the ensemble is singing the response.
  2. Handbells - These are incredibly difficult. Imagine trying to read a book with someone else but you’re only allowed to say every other syllable. That’s what playing handbells is like! Kids need to have an excellent sense of time and use their inner hearing to know when to play.
  3. Arranging & Orchestration - Although the Stevie Wonder version is excellent - we lack the resources to bring this to Parker-Varney so we’ve created our own arrangement of the song to perform for you all at our annual winter concert.


Last Christmas: Wham!

Classes: Schuff/DeFriesse

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZVY-pGDsN4

Lyrics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jkA_GWiXse5El7iEQFlgTnM1pE9rzgHCyCQ7gvUVw9s/edit?usp=sharing

What we’re learning:

  1. Singing - This song has both background and lead vocal parts available. Auditions will be held at the end of November for solos!
  2. Instrumental - Xylophones, piano, guitar, uke, boomwhackers - have made appearances in music class over the past few weeks.
  3. Arranging and Orchestration - Kids are designing their own cover of this so that we can perform it for everyone in December. Figuring out how to best arrange and orchestrate the instruments we have available at Parker-Varney is a big part of the learning process.


What Christmas Means to Me: Stevie Wonder

Classes: DeChirico/Callanan

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtgGBgpNcIo

Lyrics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_sQ6L01Q8RoEOoKSC6Zw2l5GeK6x2Rpv5DbaozKeM8/edit?usp=sharing

What we’re learning:

  1. Singing - this song has both background and lead vocal parts available. Auditions will be held at the end of November for solos!
  2. Instrumental - Xylophones, piano and drums have made appearances in music class over the past few weeks.
  3. Arranging and Orchestration - Kids are designing their own cover of this so that we can perform it for everyone in December. Figuring out how to best arrange and orchestrate the instruments we have available at Parker-Varney is a big part of the learning process.