In honor of May the 4th and Star Wars Day, we've got a super fun music lesson teaching the Star Wars Theme & Imperial March by John Williams.
In this music lesson, Mr. Rob walks you through main melody in C Major.
We all know the theme, so even if you or your students aren't sure about the rhythms (triplet-city), it's an easy song to jump in on.
A small heads up... at the end of the second page the music breaks the C Major scale by adding a Bb, an Ab, and an Eb.
If you have a set of bells or Boomwhackers, chances are you've got a C Major set and don't have those notes! Sorry!!! I normally arrange all the music on PsP to fit those notes, but there wasn't anyway around this one. You can just play the natural (not flat) versions of the notes or take it to a piano instead!
Boomwhacker Tube Fights
But back to the lightsaber fighting with my students...
'Tube fighting,' as a lot of the kids call it, is a fun way to constructively do what EVERYONE already wants to do with Boomwhackers...
... pretend that they are swords and use them in a make-believe battle to the make-believe-bitter-end!
And if you think that's a ridiculous idea, here's a music teacher and student who pull it off beautifully!
The Tube Fight
Tube Fighting is a great way to turn every little boys' favorite outdoor activity into a constructive musical (and even dance) performance.
Simply by hitting the tubes together (and trying to sing-a-long as well) you're giving your child meaningful and memorable play with pitch.
You can almost think of it like "Patty Cake" styled hand slapping songs... but with tubes.
If you're doing this in a music class I know this can get a little crazy, but I personally love organized chaos in my classes. It's gotta come and go quick, but music is supposed to be fun!
And you can literally smack yourself in the head with a tube and it doesn't hurt.
Once they've got their initial ya-yas out with a little tube fighting,
You Can Make it More Constructive by
1. Getting them to sing with their tubes (hum the lightsaber sound in tune with your tube or sing the notes you
2. Answer questions about the colors, note names, and chords
3. Challenge them to repeat after you with Kodaly call and response (Ta Ta Ti Ti Ta) or whatever system you like best (Du Du Du De Du, 1 2 3 + 4)
4. Coreograph a dance like the video above
Tube Fighting Protocol
To make sure no one gets hurt, you need set up some basic parameters:
1. We only hit each other's tubes and only when the other person is ready (holding their tubes out and away from their face)
2. It's more of a choreographed dance than an all out battle (though the later can be fun when your music ed friends come over for beers and Boomwhackers)
3. Decide ahead of time what chord or harmonies you'll be working with (so it's not a free-for-all when the tubes come out)
4. Try to sing the sound of your tube/lightsaber (like the hum of the lightsaber in Star Wars, but singing in tune with your tube)
Which Tubes to Choose
I usually tie our tube selection it in with whatever concepts we were playing on piano. We'll fight with notes in a chord, fight with simple harmonies, or fight super rhythmically using Tas and Ti-Tis.
If you only have the 8 tubes in C Major, here are some good 2 and 4 tube combos you can try (2 for 1v1 with one sword, 4 for 1v1 with dual wielding):
Two notes (1v1 with one sword each)
I suggest pairing in thirds:
C & E D & F E & G F & A G & B A & c
C & G D & A E & B F & c
Four notes (1v1 with two swords each)
C - E - G - c (C chord)
D - F - A - c (D minor 7 chord)
C - F - A - c (F chord)
G - B - D - F (G7 chord)
Whichever tubes you choose, it's a great gross motor activity for ending music lessons!
End Your Lessons BEFORE Kids Get Bored
When it comes to kids, you want to end activities BEFORE they get bored.
That's probably true of adults too, and the idea is that by ending on a high note, children walk away with a good memory of the activity. End on a high note, and they'll want to come back to that activity again.
This is what makes tube-fighting such a great way to end a piano lesson. Ending the formal instruction a few minutes early and then moving to something fun like tube-fighting will encourage kids to come back for more because they know that their attention limits are understood.
Grab Some Boomwhackers
If you don't have any Boomwhackers at home or in your classroom, you can always grab some from our shop!
They're great for group activities, gross motor musical play and of course, tube-fighting!
Stay tuned as we will be releasing another Boomwhacker specific blog post soon!