Shiny Happy People

30 Sep

I love the chant, “Everyday,” in the BONGOS collection, because it has both a two-beat section and a three-beat section — it’s like marching for the first half and waltzing for the second. Playing with this chant lets children really hear the contrast between the two meters (duple and triple), and they learn so much about rhythm from that contrast.

This week in class we danced to R.E.M.’s “Shiny Happy People,” which starts with a three-beat/triple intro before going into the two-beat/duple main section, and then switches back to triple in the middle of the song. There we all were in class, bopping around, and — boom — time to waltz! Watching the grown-ups and children in class shift from jumping and stopping to a big-arm-back-and-forth waltz was awesome.


Pull up this song on YouTube or Pandora or iTunes or CD (if you have it) and dance around. Watch what your child does when that slower, waltz section comes on — and keep on dancing. It’ll be fun to watch her/him try to figure it out!

Here’s a YouTube link to the video:


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