My Kaleidoscope View
My Kaleidoscope View is one of 10 songs from the song collection "A Jolly Bunch Are We". Donna Rhodenizer has written 9 of the songs in a variety of styles and skill levels for singers from ages 5-12+.
Learn more about this fun collection for elementary-aged kids, choirs and solo vocal students. Enjoy!
Discuss the jazz elements of the song:
Switching between minor and major thirds is a stylistic element used in jazz. Find the spots in the melody where these notes occur.
Other notes are changed by adding accidentals. Discuss how accidentals work. Once they have changed a note in a bar, every note that is the same will also be changed, without adding another accidental. However, once you leave that bar, the accidental is no longer in effect unless it is added again. Remembering which notes are changed and which ones are not takes practice!
Look at the vocal score and find the tied notes and syncopations that give the song its swinging jazz feeling. Sometimes the syncopations are created by starting a phrase on beat two with a rest on beat one.
The metronome marking at the beginning of the piece states “swing the eighths”. This means that eighth notes will not be sung as two notes of equal value even though that is how they are written. Swinging the eighth notes means that the first eighth note will be held longer and the second eighth note will be shortened. The music will have a lilt or a “swing” because of this.
Add visual colour to the performance by adding colourful scarves as props, or if there are multiple members in your ensemble, dress in a variety of colours that are mentioned in the song.
My Kaleidoscope View
I remember one Christmas when we received a brand new colouring book (not handed down from one of my two older sisters!) and a big box of 48 crayons. I think it even had a sharpener in the back of the box. Midnight Blue was a favourite colour for my sisters and me. There were various shades of blue, including multiple turquoise options, and enough reds to make that Christmas colouring book vibrate with our colourful choices. What fun we had colouring at our big dining room table. I expect it also was lovely for our parents to have us quietly occupied during our extended colouring sessions!
In language we also have a large palette of colours that are sprinkled throughout our language we can be green with envy, feeling blue, tickled pink, etc. I started jotting down all the different idioms that involved colours and started organizing them into lyrics for a song. When I ran out of the idioms I could think of off the top of my head, I did an online search to see if there were more that I had missed (and there were!). Remembering my joyful childhood colouring sessions I thought all those colourful emotions might be like that big box of crayons with its 48 colours!
I set all the colourful idioms to music using a jazzy, swing style. Although there is a range of emotions from “black as thunder” to “as good as gold” I liked focusing on the optimistic attitude of viewing the world with “rose-coloured glasses” and the fact that “as a friend I am true blue” so I repeated those lyrics for a bit of positive reinforcement. Since there were so many words, I wanted to include a few breaks here and there. Whistling a phrase has always been a fun challenge for my students so I added that in as well. It seemed fitting to combine all those colours from my “box of crayons” into one big, colourful attitude, and voilà! I ended up with My Kaleidoscope View.
I was delighted to have retired high school band teacher and long-time friend, Richard Bennett, create the amazing big-band style arrangement of this song for me. He captured the feel of the song and helped add even more depth and colour to My Kaleidoscope View!
You are invited to send us your performance of My Kaleidoscope View.
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