Because Swamp Friends is a simple song to sing, it can be used in conjunction with other music skills.
- Add a rhythmic ostinato
- Use a phrase from the song (e.g. sticky frog tongues) or create your own! I like the rhythm that is created by saying “Moose and frogs” (half note + quarter note + dotted half note).
- Add an instrument that plays on certain words in the song
- Play an instrumental sound every time you sing the names of creatures or animals.
- Have students follow the vocal score and play their instrument on all the half notes in the song (or play in all the rests, or choose another rhythmic element to highlight).
- Keep the beat
- Have the students step on beat one of every bar. Swamp Friends is written in 3/4 meter so this will assist students in feeling the swaying feel of the song.
- An instrument may also be used to play on beat one of each bar.
Additional detailed Teaching Tips and Strategies available in the download.
I grew up on a farm where I often pulled on my rubber boots and headed outdoors to explore. There was a swamp with cattails and lots of frogs that would sing their frog songs in the spring. A small brook ran through the cattle pasture. It was always a great place to poke about, pulling out sticks or breaking up ice to assist the bubbling water to get on its merry way. Although it wasn’t very deep, we were not supposed to be playing in the brook (sorry Mom!), but it was great fun! I didn’t see a moose until I was an adult, but I can imagine one standing in the swamp and dealing with those frogs.
I was playing with the words “butterflies, dragonflies and fireflies” trying to figure out a song about these flying creatures. As I thought about this combination of “neighbours” living in the swamp, I got to thinking about what happens when the flying creatures get caught by the frogs who also live in the swamp. As sometimes happens as I mull over an idea, the idea of adding a moose popped into my head. Who knows why these inspirations arrive in the brain? In any case, I decided to add a moose to the neighbourhood. Then I couldn’t resist adding a bit of humour as the moose dealt with those sticky frog tongues. The idea made me laugh and I expect that young singers will also be amused by the imagery of this song. It was fun trying to fit the whole story, the set up of the humour, and the final “punch line” all within a short 32-bar song.
You are invited to send us your performance of Swamp Friends.
Maybe your video will be featured here on this page.
When you have enjoyed practicing and performing this song with your students - please drop by again and leave a review on this page. Thanks!