Epo I Tai Tai is one of my favorite "syn-co-pa" songs to use with 4th grade. I introduce it with a hand clapping game that goes like this:
I introduce it with a hand clapping game that goes like this:
- Have the students listen for the longest sound as you sing the song. ("e")
- Have them count how many times "e" occurs.
- Every time they hear "e" have them perform this following pattern: right hand (in the air, mocking patting a partner's hand), clap both hands, left hand (same as with right: up, tapping phantom partner), clap
- Have them listen for how many times "Epo i tai tai" happens while they perform the patter for "e". This is tricky, a lot of times they will say five (they'll count epo i tuki tuki)
- Add pat-pat-clap-clap on "Epo i Tai Tai"
- Have them count how many times "epo i tuki tuki" happens
- Add pat-pat-both (patting both of phantom partner's hands)-both
- We will sing it a few times more practicing the pattern but that's all I do with it the first day.
- The next lesson we will review the pattern and add having a partner
- Eventually, they will be in concentric circles, facing their partners performing the pattern. After they are successful with the pattern I will start calling "left" or "right" at the end of the 1st, 2nd or 4th phrase. This is A LOT of fun!
Pedagogically, I use this to prepare and practice "syn-co-pa" or single eighth note-quarter note-single eighth note.
Once we have presented syn-co-pa, we will read this slide on rhythm syllables:
In 5th grade, once we have presented low ti and are practicing this element we will sing this mystery song and then play the game:
Here are some other activity ideas:
Sitting circle on the floor
pat pat clap clap snap snap snap snap (repeat)
pat pat clap clap pat pat head head
pat pat clap clap snap snap snap snap
When students are proficient with the body percussion, have them perform the pattern using rhythm sticks. The pattern is:
Floor, floor, cross, cross, out, out , out, out (repeat)
Floor, floor, cross, cross, floor, floor, up, up
Floor, floor, cross, cross, out, out, out, out
Cross = tap sticks together
Out = tap your sticks with your neighbors sticks to your right and left at the same time.
Up = pulse sticks holding them straight up for 4 beats.
When your students are proficient at doing this, have them practice flipping their sticks in 2 beats. Say, “flip, catch”. This movement replaces the “up” done on the first tuki-tuki.
Have students sit in 2 concentric circles so they face a partner. Instead of “flip, catch”, change it to “toss, catch” and they toss their sticks and catch their partners sticks.