Sunday, July 28, 2013

7 Happy Habits

I'm in the process of finding/creating 7 Habits songs for the students at my school to use.  My goal is to use poetry, songs, and movements (with a dash of instrumentation and drama) to help the students internalize the language of the 7 Habits.  I also know that this one of, if not them most, effective way to ensure that parents are getting exposure to the Habits as well.  We all know our students, no matter what grade, bring the songs that they learn with us at school to their family at home.

As I began looking for 7 Habits songs, I wasn't finding a lot of material that I deemed appropriate or useful in my classroom.  Rewriting the words of pop songs has its place, I guess, but I wanted songs that I could use to teach the 7 Habits as well as incorporate other skills (such as rhythm reading and finding solfa pitches).  I also wanted songs that were in an appropriate range for my students. (If you know of any - please share).

I'm currently planning on using American and Mexican (I have a high Latino populations so I'll need to provide some songs in Spanish also) Folk Song tunes as my basis for creating the songs.

Here's an example.  I altered the lyrics of "Polly Wolly Doodle":


I used Noteflight to create this and I'm still learning - apologies for the extra beats at the beginning - wasn't sure how to create a pick-up.

With younger grades, we can discuss the melodic direction of the song, add instruments to keep the beat with the song, and discuss where we hear long ("day") and short (Pol-ly) sounds.

With older grades, we can read the rhythm and solfa of the song (includes Fa and Ti which my older students will be working on) and incorporate xylophone chord borduns with the simple I and V7 chord accompaniment (great time to discuss harmony there).

I'm spinning a lot of plates as school nears, but hopefully I'll be able to post more songs soon.  If you have any to share, please comment below! (I'm needy!!!)

2 comments:

  1. We are also becoming a seven habits school this year. The teachers were trained in June and we are starting the process of implementation in the fall. I have also been thinking about how to incorporate the 7 habits and leadership into my classes. I really think that there are already so many songs that we teach that relate to the seven habits. For instance, "Down by the Riverside" would be great to teach about habit 6 (Synergy) (and to a lesser extent seek first to understand and think win-win). Also, the folk song "When I first came to this Land" is about a immigrant who seems to have everything going against him but perseveres and it proactive (habit 1). The Peace Round is a great discussion starter to talk about "thinking win win". I have not gone through all the songs I teach looking for the habits but I'm sure many of them are there already, I just have to take the time to think about my curriculum from the 7 habits lens. I'm sure the kids will get so used to the habits that they will start to see them in my song choices even if I don't see the connection at first.
    I'm hoping to create some kind of rap/song that identifies all the seven habits in order. I'm thinking some kind of four or eight beat ostinato that can easily provide polyrhythms when drummed all at one. I also have a lot of things going before school starts so we will see if I get around to that one or not! Please post if you find/think of quality ideas in that area.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad to hear you're working on the 7 Habits too (I'd love to see your rap/song when you finish).

    Yep, "think about my curriculum from the 7 habits lens" - that is exactly what we'll have to do.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    ReplyDelete