Thanksgiving Fun: 5 Fat Turkeys!
Chances are good that you have a week with no music class coming up. Don't be too sad! Here are some fun Turkey extras to keep you busy.
First Year Students
It's great fun to sing the 5 Fat Turkeys song, so you can enjoy singing along with this video that answers a few basic student questions: Can turkeys really go in trees? What do real, wild turkeys look like?
Of course you might be wanting to act it out, so craft up a felt or clay or paper version of Turkey finger puppets to play with (and make your table pretty afterward, too.)
If you happen to have an autoharp at home, you can play this song using the chord map below, or you can point along to the map while singing with your CD. No harp? You could download a harp app for your ipad or just tap along while listening to your CD. (The CD is in the key of F: Red=F, Blue=Bb, Yellow=C)
One main I love using this song on harp and keyboard for years 1 and 2 is the long string of red chords that give students a chance to focus on defining a steady rhythm before tossing a few chord changes.
Second Year Students
You're not too old for the turkey song! Print out the chord map above, and use it to play the song on your piano. If you haven't learned the BLUE chord in class yet, you can rest silently on that beat.
As a matter of fact, you have enough experience that you might even enjoy printing out a blank chord map, then using your ear to guess which color each triangle should be colored in. Try playing each chord and see which sounds best! Your ear will be your guide.
Chord maps aren't all you know how to read- you can also play from the real sheet music, and color in the chords if you like.
Third Year Students
Print out the blank chord map above and color it in (use your ear to figure out which chord is best)! Practice playing chords with both hands and singing using your newly colored map or the sheet music.
For some really third-year work, use your right hand to play the melody of this song.
Before you begin, carefully look at the melody- there is a note played that is lower than middle C. Can you figure out which note it is? Walk down space, line, space below middle C....take baby steps to find out it's a G! It's a FOURTH below C. You have some options as to how you will play that note: with your left hand in C position, you could just let your LH play that note when you come to it. If you are playing the chords of the song with your LH, your chord is going to strike the G anyway, so you could decide to let your RH rest instead of playing G. Finally, you could play it as written and have your RH jump down to G and then back up to C position.
Perhaps your uncle you only see twice a year will play a duet with you and play LH while you play RH. Piano is a very fun way to bond!
Have some Let's Play Music graduates in the house? Play through the assignments for the younger years, then listen to the accompaniment as played in the video above. Can you tell what the pianist has done with the chords to make it fancy? During the instrumental verse, the pianist really has fun! Now YOU improvise as you play and make yours sound fancy, too!
Hint #1: Review Yankee Doodle from Orange semester for two-handed marching ideas.
Hint #2: To have a broken chord fit in 4/4 time, add one extra note, ie: Do-Mi-Sol-Mi.
Put On A Show
Now that you have at least one song to sing (and play), why not round up a few of your other favorite songs and put on a show!? Thanksgiving is a great time for family to gather and share the love of music. If you're lucky enough to have Let's Play Music students in different levels, you can ALL enjoy this song. Perhaps you can also teach your relatives the parts to your favorite puppet show, and perform it together while waiting for the turkey to come out of the oven.
-Gina Weibel, MS
Let's Play Music Teacher