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Busy, 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 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!