In this Tune Teaching Tutorial, I break down one of my students' favorite tune, the "should be Grammy-nominated" hit, "Watermelon."
This is a very simple tune from my book, Fifty Tunes for Teaching. In fact, there is only one word in the whole tune - WATERMELON!
You can listen to the song (and therefore use any of the associated activities) on my YouTube channel. Here it is for your reference:
As explained in the tutorial, after students have heard the song a few times, explain that there are three parts of the tune, and each part moves to a different layer of the beat. The first part moves to the macrobeat; the second part moves to the microbeat; and the final part moves to divisions. I remind students of the syllables for each of the different parts of the beat using this slide from The Literate Musician Teacher Slideshows.
Then, I assign each part of the beat a specific movement. For macrobeats, I tell students to move about the room in forward curvy pathways. I demonstrate, and then invite them to try it. For microbeats, I have students move backwards (safely!) in curvy pathways. Finally, for the divisions, I have them move forward in curvy pathways on their tiptoes. After a few practices with the varying movements, I play the track and we try it together. Incidentally, there are a couple of times where I throw in some new layers of the beat (super macrobeat and double divisions). I tell them that they need to make their own movement decisions.
Aside from working nicely as a round, this song, because of its predictable harmonic progression, is great for introducing subdominant, the IV chord. Some of the "on the nose" ideas from the MLT play book could include:
Let me know in the comments if you try out any of these ideas and tell me how they went!