Teachers of the Schulwerk frequently used favorite poems and rhymes as a jumping off point in music instruction.  The reason is that speech promotes correct rhythmic articulation.  Children who can’t read well can still speak with a sense of rhythm.  Speaking in rhythm can help a child develop fluency and expressiveness while reading aloud.

One of my favorite poems is:

Bubble gum, bubble gum, chew and blow.

Bubble gum, bubble gum, scrape your toe.

Bubble gum, bubble gum, good to eat.

Get that bubble gum off your feet!

I use this poem in my second grade classes.  As this is their first year of music instruction from a music teacher and not their classroom teacher I find that I have to cover a lot of ground to get them up to speed.  I like this poem because it’s catchy, the rhythm is very easy to “pick-up,” and the children love it.

With this poem we can:

  • Speak expressively
  • pat the rhythm
  • clap the beat
  • practice quarter note, eighth notes, and rests
  • make up ostinati (repeated patterns) to go with the poem
  • transfer ostinati to instruments
  • drum the rhythm of the text
  • create simple melodies with the text (vocal)
  • create simple melodies with the text (instrumental)
  • create a class mixer (this could be a WILD lesson – I must try this soon)!

Point being- poetry is a great start for many objectives that you are responsible for teaching in your music curriculum. 

Please comment below with your favorite poem and HOW you use it on your class! I’m always looking for new ideas and I know many of you are seeking new material! 🙂

Share, share, share!!

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