Muddy Cincinnati

Here in Cincinnati we have had a “little” bit of rain.  An by a little I mean a TON of rain.  There is really bad flooding all along the Ohio river, flooding that we haven’t seen for 10 years.  At my house we have had standing water in our backyard for an entire week.  That isn’t good for 2 labs who love to play outside.  This weekend when I would let the dogs in we would have to take them straight into the tub to rinse them off.  It was bad…

But with rain comes mud, which is perfect for my new Mud song!  I was looking for a 1-2 day lesson for my 2nd graders who have been starting to work with the entire pentatonic scale.  You could even stretch this lesson for 3 or more days depending on how you split up the process.  You can find my plans & powerpoint if desired FOR FREE at my TPT store: Mud Lesson

The lyrics and process for this song are written by me, but the music itself can be found in Music For Children Vol. 1 pg 88 Rondo #1.  This is the A section to the Rondo.  For this song I repeat the first 2 measures of the A part, changing the 2nd ending to MRD instead of LLS.  Then we do the 2nd 2 measures as just rhythmic speaking (repeat the rhythmic part)


I begin with hula hoops scattered around my room.  We begin by echo singing different solfa patterns using the entire pentatonic.  This is about the time of year I begin to teach my students the word pentatonic, so we review that.  Then I move to teaching them the lyrics by rote.

Students sing the melody while I play the melody on the barred instrument and walk to the steady beat around the room.  Then I play the rhythmic 2nd 2 measures on the temple blocks and they have to get into a hula hoop.  We repeat this process, with them coming up with different ways to move through puddles/mud.  After a few times getting into the hula hoops, the students then learn the words to the “B” section.  We work on patting the rhythm on our laps, alternating hands.  Then we continue singing and moving, then getting in the hoops to do the mud part.

On the 2nd day we begin by reviewing the song and hula hoop movement.  We also remember the form of the song and the word pentatonic.  After a good amount of review, we move to the barred instruments.  We set up in whatever Pentatonic you desire, we did C as written.  Students find Do and So and play a steady beat bordun while singing the A section.

For the B section we went through a process to get to improvising a melody on the Mud rhythms.  First we said the words and click the mallets to the rhythm.  Second, we put the entire rhythm on Do, making sure to alternate our hands.  We talked about how in Pentatonic Do is the most important person.  We then repeated this playing exclusively on So, that is the 2nd most important note.  From here students could choose to play all on Do or all on So, then they could go back and forth between the 2, but they had to keep their mallets together.  We then performed this in the ABA form from before.

You could stop there or continue with the improvising further.  I continued within the same class, but this could easily be stretched to another class for 3 days of instruction.

For the 3rd round, students could choose from Do Re or Mi for the “Mud” section, remembering that Do is the most important.  Then we tried using So and La for the improvising.  Finally, students could choose any of the notes in the pentatonic remembering Do is the most important and So comes next.  Make sure to end on Do at the end.

Perform the whole thing as ABA.  You can even have some students do the improvising as a solo if desired.  Add it to the hula hoop moving and got have an fun “muddy” movement, singing, and instrument playing performance.

I hope you and you students can enjoy this silly spring song.  It’s at my TPT store for FREE: MUD!

Here are my students singing and playing the song, as well as some solo improvisers: