Playing to Beat the Band

An elementary school music teacher was trying to teach her students the various kinds of music, from classical to rock to opera to folk to the blues
to gospel. The school administrators discouraged loud noise in the classrooms and had forbidden the music teacher to use the tambourines and triangles
and bells she had formerly used in class. Nonetheless, she wanted the kids to have some kind of “instruments” with which they could express themselves
and feel the rhythm.

Accordingly, she had devised a homemade bow made of a tree branch and a thick rubber band, which, when struck, produced only a soft sound, one she
hoped would not bring the wrath of the school authorities on her.

At the beginning of the class, she passed out a bow to each kid. “Now, this beat is called a tango,” she explained, playing a bit of tango music on
the boom-box she had brought into the classroom. “Do you like the tango? Let your fingers dance on your desktops if you can imagine yourself dancing
to this tune.”

“This is a march,” she continued, cuing up another song. “If you feel the beat, march in place to the music.”

“And this,” she said before the third selection, “is something I’m sure you’re all familiar with…rap. If you’re rappy and you know it, snap your

“Playing to Beat the Band” by Cynthia MacGregor from “The Ants Are My Friends” by Richard Lederer & Stan Kegel ((C)2007 Marion Street Press)
“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands” from “If You’re Happy and You Know It” (traditional)

Received from Stan Kegel.
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