Hello Song by Lynn Kleiner – Much more than just a greeting!

  • Question: How can you keep the children engaged and focused, maintaining classroom control as you put the hand drums away and prepare for a circle dance?

    Answer: Use your Hello Song! Substitute the first measure or two and fill in the directions, encouraging the students to sing along with the familiar song which now has a new “verse.” For example, this year, my Hello Song lyrics (see song in Music Box Downloads) are

    Sing hello, here we go, hope you’re feeling dandy

    Give a smile, right in style, sweet as cotton candy.

    This becomes: Drums away, here we go, hope you’re feeling dandy, Drums away, here we go, sweet as cotton candy. Make a circle here we go, hope you’re feeling dandy, Make a circle here we go, sweet as cotton candy.

    Question: How can we learn all those names?

    Answer: Use the Hello Song! Just change the first measures to use the child’s name: Hello Sally here we go, hope you’re feeling dandy…..

    To make this more fun for everyone, have the person who’s name is in the song choose how to play the beat on the drum as everyone imitates on their own hand drum. Next lesson, play only on the last 2 beats of the phrase (dandy and candy)

    Question: What’s a quick easy way to add movement to the music lesson before we head into a sitting activity?

    Answer: Use the Hello Song! Get the children’s ideas how they would like to move. Like a frog? Like a snake? Maybe a cat or dolphin? Change the words and off you go! “Time for frogs, here we go, hope you’re feeling dandy…..

    Question: What if you are suddenly informed that that you need to do a few songs at the school event next week. And include some instruments that the PTA just purchased! Performance Surprise!

    Answer: Good news! Everyone knows the Hello Song! For unpitched, feature the names of the instrument as a verse. After singing and playing that instrument only on dan-dy and can-dy, have the children with that instrument improvise or play a rhythm pattern as the teacher (or hot shot student) plays the melody of the song on a sopranino, flute, sax, etc.

    Sample verses: Time for drums now here we go, hope you’re feeling dandy….

    Time for tone blocks here we go, hope you’re feeling dandy…..

    Add the steady beat to the lowest instruments (our Hello Songs are in C pentatonic so its easy to add Orff and ukulele!) and have the higher instruments play on the specific beats (in my example, this would be playing any pentatonic notes when singing Can-dy and Dan-dy.). Have the beat continue during a B section where a few students improvise, thinking the words, as everyone else thinks the words and plays on the specific beats “Dan-dy and Can-dy.” If using Orff instruments, its nice to include a verse “Time for woods” for the xylophones and “Time for metals” for the glockenspiels and metallophones.

    Just an FYI, I use one of the goodbye songs from the MUST HAVE book Kids Can Listen, Kids Can Move, all year long. This is always a song that’s ready to go at the end of any performance.

    There are many awesome “Hello Songs” to choose from in Music Box Downloads. I suggest using the same one all year long, like an old friend coming back lesson after lesson but always having something new to say!