Busy, Buzzy, Fuzzy BumblebeeBusy, Buzzy, Fuzzy Bumblebee

Busy, Buzzy, Fuzzy Bumblebee

One of the most difficult scales to teach is the chromatic scale.  In theory, it is rather straight-forward, but practically speaking it’s not the easiest scale for a vocalist.  The chromatic scale ascends or descends by half steps.  The singer usually has a starting note and a target note.  The scale must be sung with precision, sounding every note (all black and white keys on the piano) between the starting tone and the targeted tone.  The result is a climbing or falling melody.

I was always faced with a frustrating look from my young students when I started this scale.  There was no sound.  No effort.  Just a blank stare.  So, one day I was tinkering with the scale in my studio and decided to put some words to it.  Immediately a bee came to mind, but how would I get a child interested in singing about a bee?

Time passed as I sat and pondered words and quite frankly, the words to “Busy, Buzzy, Fuzzy Bumblebee” just spilled out almost immediately once I focused on a bumblebee.  I’ve actually gotten most of my students to sing it at one point or another as a warmup.  I even have a three year old sibling who runs into my studio and sings it on occasion while I’m helping his brother through a warm up of scales.

There has been some pushback over the phrase that references the bee’s lips.  “Bees don’t have lips!” a student protested one day.  “Have you ever looked at a bee’s face?” I retorted.  “How would you know?”  I laughed quietly to myself as the student stood there and tried to figure it out.

I must admit that among the younger students, ease of the chromatic scale has been enhanced by engaging imaginative lyrics with a less than cooperative scale.   You’ll find it on your favorite streaming service!

The lyrics and accompaniment are included in the companion songbook to the album,  “In My Backyard”!  I’ve even included the solfege for those teachers and choir directors who want to use it as a warmup or teaching tool.  Enjoy!

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IN MY BACKYARD and Music EducationIN MY BACKYARD and Music Education

I love to teach.  Being a private music instructor can be challenging, but I’ve always looked at it as an adventure.  My young vocal students are at a fragile time in their formative years.  So, I take my role as their instructor very seriously.

When I first began, I was always struggling to find material that fit the needs of my studio.  Piano is easy.  There are countless curriculum choices and an endless supply of arrangements suited to a student’s level of learning.  Voice is a different world.  While there are many great resources, finding a reliable curriculum that gives the student a clear set of goals and expectations is often a challenge.  A teacher often has to gather the resources and align them to each student.  I align my studio with the Royal Conservatory’s Music Program and my students enjoy the clearly outlined program.

In the process of getting to a well-outlined course of study, I’ve done some writing of my own to supplement my studio needs.  Many of the songs from “IN MY BACKYARD” were the result of that work.Inside Tray CD  “Busy, Buzzy, Fuzzy Bumblebee” is a fun way to sing a chromatic scale. If you use the songbook, you’ll discover that solfege syllables are included.

In fact, “Owl in the Tree” is a great warm up on the pentascale.  The solfege can be substituted readily for the entire song to teach and reinforce Do Re Mi Fa Sol.  For those 322716a9-30aa-4541-a12a-22cf3c2d261b.pngstudents a bit more confident with solfeggio, try using it with “Give a Hoot.”  The descending scale of the chorus is a great vocal or choral warm up that your students will enjoy singing time and again.

Download it or order the songbook today.  In My Backyard is a great addition to your repertoire and supplemental library!

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IN MY BACKYARDIN MY BACKYARD

 

In My Backyard

a children’s album

 

OCTOBER, 2017

Will Suit Music is excited to announce the release of  “IN MY BACKYARD.”  The recording has been months in the making, but is finally available to purchase or stream.

In a conversation with Will about the release, he had this to say, “I finally have a compilation to put into the hands of my young vocal students to reinforce the classroom experience.  I believe it will have a reach far beyond my studio, because of its educational value.”

The recording follows the songbook by the same name.  The songs were all written and arranged by Will.  Observe the sights and sounds of creatures at play in the backyard or deep in the forest beyond while singing along with your kids. “My dad provided us with a wonderful backyard against a large forest, ” Will reflected.  “I still remember hearing the screeching “Hoo!” of an owl at night amid the chirping katydids just outside my window.”

The recording introduces the talents of a young singer from Atlanta, GA.  Elishka Baer agreed to participate in the project early on.  She provided the background vocals, including the owl calls that are heard throughout the CD.  She also is featured as a soloist on “Give a Hoot” and “Forest Creatures.”

When asked which is his favorite song, Will pondered the question before answering.  “I don’t know, really.  It’s my music and I’m so close to it.  So, I don’t hear it like everyone else does.  I will say this about ‘Forest Creatures.’  That song was cut from a children’s opera I wrote last year.  I put it on this recording initially as a filler, because it’s theme followed the recording’s format.  In fact, we almost didn’t record Elishka’s solo for that one.  It was at the end of the session and we were out of time.  I was about to wrap it up when Elishka and I decided to do a take on it.  We worked so hard on the others and did so many takes that we were both out of steam.  Yet, with only a couple of takes, Elishka pretty much nailed this song.  When I heard it played back the next day, I sat there in disbelief.  I liked it!  I still do.  While I don’t know if it’s my favorite, it certainly has my attention.”

We caught up with Elishka on a busy afternoon amid her school activities and private studies to ask her about the recording.  “My experience in making the Elisabeth Baerrecording was a great one.  Mr. Suit did an amazing job making a wonderful and fun learning process.”  Asked about “Forest Creatures,” Elishka beamed a response, “The process of recording Forest Creatures was special, and stood out.  I really loved bringing this fun duet to life.  I hope you love it as much as I do!”

You can purchase “In My Backyard” from your favorite music service .  You can also find the songbook and other writings by Will Suit at www.willsuitmusic.com.

#willsuitmusic #inmybackyard #childrensmusic #childrenscd #funsongs #owls #penguins #seashells

 

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