5 Tongue Twisters


This collection of 5 tongue twisters can be spoken or sung and they can be used as a challenge, a game, a warm-up, and for fun. They are a great tool for working on pronunciation and expressive delivery of text.

Listen to the Vocal Local Yodel includes an interval jump of a fifth and the “traditional” yodeling words “Yodel ay hee-hoo” giving the song a yodeling feel.

My Swiss Wrist Watch is a seriously difficult combination of words, not to mention the fact that a wet wrist watch is probably NOT a good idea!

We Will Surely See the Sun gives singers practice producing clear and precise “s” consonants.

Shawn Swan will assure that consonant blends sl, sw and sh get a workout. The vowel combinations also make this a short, but tricky, tongue twister.

The Bold Bluebird Blinks focuses on words beginning with b, but also requires strong word endings to keep the story clear and understandable. An octave jump and descending so-do scale patterns keep the melody moving along.

Enjoy the confusion and mistakes with these 5 Tongue Twisters and have some fun!


Download Includes:

  • Vocal scores – 5 Tongue Twisters

For the Teacher

  • Teaching Strategies – blog post (pdf)
  • Two Dozen Tricky Tongue Twisters to Try
  • More – Challenging Tongue Twisters (spoken)
  • “Tongue Twister” (translation) in other languages

See "Additional Information" for - context, level, topic, vocal range, voicing, duration

5 Tongue Twisters

Tongue Twisters - Blog Post

Read more about Tongue Twisters in this blog post created by Donna to support teachers with teaching tips and strategies plus additional tongue twister activities.

Tongue Twisters by composer and Elementary Music Specialist Donna Rhodenizer

Teaching Tips

Use a metronome to set a slow and steady speed.

Say each tongue twister slowly and clearly.

Increase the speed of the metronome and continue to strive for accuracy as you speak the tongue twister.

For an added challenge, select an element of the tongue twister for which you will add an action (like a clap, snap or tap). The element you choose may be a specific word, words that rhyme, or words that begin/end with the same letter.

Continue adding the action you have added, but leave out the word where you have added the action.

Speak your tongue twister in canon with another person. Can you stay on track?

Use spoken or sung tongue twisters as a warm-up activity before singing other repertoire.

Composer's Notes

5 Tongue Twisters

When I was in grade 7, our math teacher held multiplication table competitions. Two of us would stand in front of the class and be given a specific times table to recite. I remember doing the 12 times table. Because of my ability to speak quickly (and maybe because I was used to singing and had developed some breath control) it was possible to get all the way to “12 x 12 is 144” without needing to take a breath. My opponent would stop somewhere along the way to take a quick breath and, voilà, I would be at the finish line – the winner! I can still rattle off all those times tables which astounds my grown up children who whip out their phone to do some of those higher combinations that are still firmly established in my memory.

How does math times tables have anything to do with tongue twisters? Like reciting times tables, tongue twisters also incorporate the ability to speak or sing words in rapid-fire succession. I enjoy playing with words and seeing how they sound in various combinations, so tongue twisters are a great fit for how I work with language. I know there is much research on how music and math are connected. Note values correlate with mathematical equations and the harmonic overtone series can be explained using principles of physics. I don’t know if anyone has ever researched the tongue twister – multiplication table connection, but maybe someone should look into that!

My collection of Five Tongue Twisters evolved when Nikki Loney of FULL VOICE Music asked me to create some melodies for a few simple tongue twisters. In addition to creating the tunes, I added lyrics to produce a song with a bit more substance. I chose five tongue twisters and put them together to create a set. The beginning of each tongue twister might sound familiar, and if I did my composer’s job well, the extra parts I have added should sound like they belong with the rest of the words. One-verse and two-verse tongue twisters mean the singer (or speaker) has many more words to accurately manage, increasing the challenge of the tongue twister. I also created a three-verse version of We Will Surely See the Sun that is included as a study in the FULL VOICE Music publication, Songs and Studies for Kids, Introductory A. That should prove to be a good challenge.

Tongue twisters are a fun writing exercise and I know I will return to this form of writing for future compositions.

Donna Rhodenizer

You Are invited

This Tongue Twister Song Set is so new there are no videos to post as samples.

You are invited to send us your performance of any of the 5 Tongue Twisters.

Maybe your video will be featured here on this page.

More Tongue Twisters 

Pass the Pasta - song composed by Donna Rhodenizer

Pass the Pasta is a two-verse tongue twister that can be spoken or sung. Use it as a challenge, a game, a warm-up or just for fun.  It is a great tool for working on pronunciation and expressive delivery of text.

Seven Sassy Sailors enjoy sailing the seven salty seas until they run into trouble and sink their schooner. Their sorry state is reflected by a switch to the minor key. Do not worry, they send an S.O.S, they are rescued, and the song finishes on a happy note.

Seven Sassy Sailors - Tongue Twister - by Donna Rhodenizer
Witch Watches - Tongue Twister song composed by Donna Rhodenizer

Witch Watches is a twisty witch tale that fits with a Halloween theme, however, singers will enjoy singing this song at any time of the year.

Try this notoriously difficult, but hilariously fun tongue twister warm-up:

Pretty, Itty, Bitty, Kitty Unicorn (by Donna Rhodenizer & Nikki Loney)

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