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What Is A Suitable Year 7 Song to Teach?

Discussion in 'Music' started by saxydanni, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Hi all,

    I have a PGCE interview coming up and have been asked to prepare a year 7 song and show how I would teach it to the students.

    I'm not sure what would be suitable for year 7s. Please could you suggest some songs?
    I was wondering whether to go with a Beatles song or something newer say from Glee?
    Also how complicated should teaching a year 7 song be? Can it be as simple as teaching the song and therefore breaking it down into sections to teach or should it be a round? Should I try and link it in with a year 7 topic and if so what would those be?
    I'm planning on reading through the curriculum for more info and through the resources pages and asking a few teacher friends but any advice would be greatly appreciated as I am starting to panic!

  2. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Everything depends on the school concerned (including the choice of song). In some schools you may have to spend time teaching the pupils to find their "singing voice", and in many you will have to concentrate on intonation, projection and diction. If they can't sing in tune, a round will be a disaster.
  3. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    Whatever you choose it has to be a song that you feel really comfortable with. You need to be able to sing with confidence.
    Think about accompaniment - yes or no? If yes - you on the guitar/piano/keyboard or a recording? Can you manage the class and still play?
    Will they need to see words - how will you display these?
    Have you got access to any songbooks? Voiceworks has songs that I have used successfully with Year 7. There are some songs that have graphic scores - such as The Drumkit - and use vocal sounds rather than words.
    Some 'pop' songs can be really tricky to sing. Check out the range. Think about what y7 boys can comfortably sing.
    Rounds can be fun. Partner songs can work well too.
  4. nattig

    nattig New commenter

    It completely depends on your level of confidence and the behaviour of the children.
    As in all classes there will be "non-singers" and those that want to sing as loudly as possible and you have to adapt your lesson for that.
    I did the first minute of a song by Arrested Development called Everyday People.
    Not many words to learn (if you use a song with lots of words make sure they are massive on the board - no sheets or they'll be singing down into them)
    Call and response parts - this is great for getting everyone involved as once you've taught both sections you can play each side of the class off each other "oh, the right hand side were MUCH louder than the left hand side" etc.
    Also, they could relate to it more as it had a strong beat and where I was teaching (my first teaching placement) there was a love of RnB.
    Good luck!
  5. nattig

    nattig New commenter

    Also, Sing Up! Has free resources you may want to check out.
  6. There is a song in Singing Sherlock book 2 called Si si si. It's got a great backing track if you aren't a competent pianist, but it is very teachable in one lesson and will sound really good. You can also get the children part singing and add instrumental accompaniment, or body percussion accompaniment too. It's also on the Singup website. It also doesn't have llots of words to learn or read, you want to get right away from that so you are catering for all the pupils, and have them up and focusing on you, rather than a load of lyrics on the whiteboard.

    I'd find out if any of your teacher friends have the book, as there are also alot of other songs in there that are also appropriate.

    I work round lots of schools, and the kids really love to sing this song, particulary as the backing is really funky.

  7. I think 'Good News!', the negro spiritual is a great one for this sort of thing. The chorus is easy to learn and you can include call and response in the verse. If the pupils are able enough, then you can add a harmony part into the chorus as well.
    I've certainly used this successfully in an interview situation where I had 25 minutes to teach a class a song, and managed to get in a bit about Negro Spirituals having elements of African and elements of European music (and were therefore part of the develoment of Blues) as well.
  8. "The Banana Boat Song" from Harry Belafonte it's a great song!
    I taught this song last term linking it to "Call and Response" topic. The voice range is good for them, the lyrics easy and if you play piano or guitar, it's easy to sing and play, keeping the children interested.
    You can also teach them a bit of dynamics, as they love to sing a bit louder the part "six foot, seven foot, eight foot, BUNCH!" and then replay with a gentle piano.
    You can give some sheets with the lyrics, and do some rhytmic clapping at the begginning, so they will memorize it quickly. Then put two groups to do call and response, the song gives you so many choices!
    Good luck!
  9. v12


    Oo - that's a good song - wasn't there a cartoon version with a rabbit? Very funny. I might use that myself in the coming weeks!
    Good interview songs:
    The Trolley Song (Judy Garland) - great because it uses percussion for non-singers and only uses three notes for the first few phrases of the melody for xylophones and glocks.
    A You're Adorable (The Muppets did a version) - brilliant song which they love singing - good cross-curricular content for slightly challenged classes!
  10. v12


    Possibly - but a bit like those beauty contestants who always say they'd "like to work with handicapped children in Africa" or that they "wish for world peace", it might appear a little too much whiter than white!

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