Friday, 24 August 2012

Music and Laughter

My kids love it when I play songs for them on the guitar. They are, possibly, the only two people on this planet who do.  When I ask other people to make a request, I usually get asked if I can play "On a Hill Far Away."


Kids love music.  They also love being right.  The most fun I have had with music and the kids is deliberately singing songs wrong.  A really good example of this is Old MacDonald.  Get the kids to choose each animal and when it comes time to make the animal noises, DO IT WRONG. Quack instead of moo.  Roar instead of squeak.  Oink instead of neigh.

They will be in hysterics, especially if there is more than one kid present.

Encourage them to dance.  Dance yourself!  And if you are worried about people finding out that you do silly dances, well, you may be a slightly paranoid, and maybe not paranoid enough.  When picking the Little Dude up from kindergarten one day, a little friend of his came up to me and said "my Daddy dances like this."  She proceeded to do the Robot, and do it quite finely too I might add.

I thought it was great, and not the least bit embarrassing to him.

I'm now going to let you in on a little secret.  You can use one simple chord progression to sing approximately twenty-eleven squillion kids' songs.  I have transcribed Baa Baa Black Sheep below, and put the chords above the lyrics, standard fare.

photo credit: Laurie Pink
Baa Baa Black Sheep
A                   D            A
Baa baa black sheep have you any wool?

D        A        E          A
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.

A          D       A          E
One for my master, one for my dame,

A           D              A     E        A
one for the little boy who lives down the lane.

You can use the same progression, modifying the rhythm, for:

  • The Alphabet song;
  • Away in a Manger;
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star;
  • Alouette;
  • Zip-a-dee-doo-dah;
  • I'm a Little Teapot;
  • Jack and Jill Went Up a Hill;
  • Hickory Dickory Dock; and
  • many more, I'm sure!
Another entertaining game with music is to play a song but continually playing faster and faster until the kids can't keep up.

Go on, be silly.  Your kids will love it.  They won't know that you can't hold a tune or can strum only three chords.  Pull faces and do a crazy dance with them.  And for heaven's sake, teach them the Robot!

(Check out the video from the 1 minute mark, I defy you not to try doing the Robot!)

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