With my fairly experienced year 5 and 6 class, I’ve been working on rhythms where the words start on the “up-beat” all term, based on a “desktop” samba taken from “The Singing Schools books by Maurice Walsh. It had word-rhythms such as “See you in Rio, will I” which I allocated to agogo bells, and “Go to Brazil, I want to” which tamborims played. It took several lessons before this group could reliably get the right part of their word rhythm on beat 1, but once they could do that, they were away!
As a result of all that practice, this little samba took no time at all to put together. It is based on the old Christmas rhyme;
Christmas is coming
the Geese are getting fat
Please put a penny
in the Old Man’s hat
Notice how beat 1 falls on the high-lighted words. Teach it to the whole class, keeping a steady beat and explaining how the words fit to a 1 2 3 4 count.
Now allocate lines to instrumental sections. I did it like this;
line 1 tamborim
line 2 ganza
line 3 agogo – let them choose which words are high or low but don’t let it get too complicated
line 4 shared between repinique “in the” and surdo “Old man’s hat”
Now play it round the different sections in turn, until it is running smoothly.
Now to layer it up – I just told each section to repeat their line continuously once their turn arrived. Done. Christmas Samba!