• Jenny Ferris

Songs for teaching Tika Tika


Teaching Tika-tika is perhaps one of my favourite units of Primary Music! The students are becoming more familiar with the process of discovering new rhythms and they now have enough in their vocabulary to make their compositions and improv more varied and rewarding and you can really see a maturity start to come into the way they treat the music. Now that they have these cool sounds to play with, they're starting to feel like real musicians!

Some of my favourite songs, games and activities for tika-tika are listed below:

Tideo - This is a great progressive dance that has some really fun actions - kids love "jiggling at the window"! The melody spans a reasonable tessitura and so the kids feel like they are at last dealing with more sophisticated repertoire than the few years of so-mi songs they've had up until now.

Chicken songs - there's something about the word chicken that seems to lend itself to tika-tika repertoire. A few favourites of mine include Shanghai Chicken (a very fun egg-shaker passing game) and Chicken on a Fencepost, which introduces my kids to Squawks the Squeaky Rubber Chicken. You can read about these in more detail here

As a presentation song, I love using "On The Farmer's Apple Tree" because it's such a fun game that the kids can't get enough of singing it, plus the tika-tika is perfectly located at the start of the B pattern in the last line, after three repetitions of the A pattern. It makes it really easy to identify something different and by the time we get around to officially making it conscious, most of the kids are already ten steps ahead and have found the new sound and worked out for themselves that it contains four even sounds on a beat. After all, isn't that what we're aiming for as teachers, to make ourselves redundant?

If you're presenting tika-tika around Halloween, a great little song is "Pumpkin, Pumpkin" which has some fun facial actions and acting (drama component: tick!) as well as another opportunity to use this great pumpkin plushie! I'll be posting in more detail about that closer to Halloween, so keep your eyes peeled!

To add an instrumental element, I love this set on the song "Love Somebody" by Beth's Music Classroom which adds first an untuned percussion accompaniment and then a melodic accompaniment on barred instruments such as xylophones. It makes for a great Orff-flavoured lesson and extends the kids' abilities in yet another direction.

Practice Activities

Once you have made tika-tika conscious, there are so many great ways to practise! You can check out my post on rhythmic practice activities in more detail here, but a few highlights include:

  • listening to Art Music examples that feature the new rhythm such as Copland's "Hoedown" or Mozart's "Rondo Alla Turca"

  • Mrs. Miracle's Fuzzy Rhythm reading activity. You can purchase the tika-tika activity as part of this bundle

  • Rhythm games such as Bingo or Celebrity Heads

  • Human hula hoop dictation (it's hilarious seeing them try to squish four people into the one beat hoop!)

You can check out all of these great songs along with worksheets and games in this neat bundle on my Teachers Pay Teachers store

#Rhythm #Rhythmreading

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