Use the 1-verse option of My Treehouse for younger singers. The song itself will be accessible, but lightening the lyric load may be helpful for younger, less experienced singers.
Add a few props to enhance the performance.
Use this song for expressive singing. Discuss which words will be emphasized to create an expressive performance. What dynamics can be added for dramatic effect?
See more detailed teaching tips and strategies in the PDF download.
Some songs are written purely from my imagination, but My Treehouse was inspired by an actual event when my three boys were ages 8, 10 and 12. We had a small pile of lumber left over from a renovation project and a small grove of trees. I went to the hardware store and bought three hammers and a five-pound bag of nails (which were in a paper bag). I presented the boys with these tools and they headed out to the lumber pile. They had a great time pounding nails into wood and created the foundations of a fort. Upon inspection the next day, they decided the fort was crooked, so they tore it all apart and started over. They needed more nails, so I returned to the hardware store to purchase another three pounds of nails. That is a LOT of nails in two days!!! The fort was declared a success and it included a small sapling which would bend enough to gently lower them down to the ground from their tree house fort. They had fun learning about building stuff and the fort was used for many fun activities when it was completed. I regret not taking a photo of that fort!
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My Treehouse supports young singers with developing voices.
- Descending, step-wise patterns create the opening section of the song.
- The opening phrase is repeated with a slight variation to create the second phrase. The melodic repetition helps the students quickly learn the music for the song.
- The swinging eighths add to the cheery character and “musical theatre” feel.
- Vocal range of an octave plus one (C4-D5) has only short reaches into the upper range.
- My Treehouse is a 1-verse option for this song to accommodate younger singers and a 2-verse option for singers who are able to manage more lyrics and a longer song.
- Encourage singers to read the lyrics out loud before learning the melody. Ask if students have ever had a treehouse or a special fort. Discuss things the student would like to include in a special treehouse.
- Find words the singer will emphasize to create an expressive performance. What consonants need to be crisp and clean to clearly tell the story for the listening audience?
- What dynamics or other musical contrasts can be added for the repeated rhyming words in the second half of the song?
- Give the singer the option to sing expressively or speak the final lyric, “You’ll see!”
Understanding the meaning of the lyrics helps the students when they are presenting the “story” of the song.
- Have students read the lyrics and find any words that they do not understand.
- Add actions to enhance the theatrical presentation of My Treehouse.
- Make sure the musical presentation of the song is still the focal point of the performance. The actions need to support the song, not “take over” or detract from the singing.
- When presenting My Treehouse for a recital or school performance, add a few props or costumes to support the performance.
Musical Elements to Highlight
- There is an accidental F# in bars 18 and 22. Isolate and review the pitches in these two bars to become familiar with the melody before singing the whole song.
Two verses / Two options
My Treehouse was created with 1-verse and 2-verse options to cater to students of varied age and skill levels.
- Younger students may find two verses of lyrics too difficult. To accommodate younger singers, choose the 1-verse option.
- Use My Treehouse as a song for a younger singer and then revisit the song when the student is older and able to add the second verse. Bonus – the student will already know the melody from the previous year!
- The “B” section functions like a chorus, remaining the same for both verses.
Other Performance Options
- Younger students may pair up and sing the 2-verse option of My Treehouse as a duet. Assign each student one of the verses to learn and both students can sing the “B” section together.
- Singing the entire song with a small group in unison may be enough support for younger students to manage all the lyrics for both verses.