Issue 87: Kumala Vista – singing, samba, djembe, recorders, percussion

Since I’ve found this song all over the place, and have been taught it by ear on various occasions, by various teachers, I hope I’m okay in giving the words and melody here. It’s also in this book Kumala Vista where it appears in a nice little 2-part arrangement along with some other useful songs and rounds.

It is a “listen and copy” song; the leader sings a line, and everyone sings it back.  However I plan to develop the tune, I always start by singing it through to the children, and than teaching line by line. I refuse to even sing the last line again until they have learned all the others. Listen carefully to the pitching – the children will sing what they thought they heard, not what I actually sang, and they will sing “Rat-en-dood-en” instead of “Dat-en-dood-en” for the last line.

So – it’s just a little nonsense song – yes? If you like. Or: try varying the tempo or the dynamics. Divide the children into groups; maybe each group having a different line to lead, or a different line to answer. See if one of the children is happy to be a leader.

Samba: as for percussion. Can they hear the call when you give it in your “thinking” voice? Suppose one group of instruments gives the call and the others reply – all together or in turn?

Djembe: Decide on bass and tones for the low and high notes in the melody. What about the medium notes? how will you play those? Or  will you play one line on tones, another or bass, another as a mixture? What works best?

Recorders: I use this as another tune to practise “new note E”. The first line is the easiest, the last is really quite challenging. You really do need to get your fingers spot on over the holes going from B to E. I practise this by doing it backwards a number of times in succession: E up to B, and then pointing out that by doing this over and over again, you are also practising B to E. The other trick is to get them to incorporate three stages: 1) play B 2) put the fingers over the holes to make E WITHOUT BLOWING  3) play E!

Percussion: the leader sings each line, the children reply on instruments. Choose different timbres for different instruments. Which rhythm works best on which instrument? Swap around, listen and discuss.

Good luck!

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