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Words Are Ours (getting started exercise)

    • Read through the lyrics and highlight the most important words; remember there is no definitive answer!

    • Discuss ‘diction’ – the clear and meaningful enunciation of words so that they may be heard and understood. Say a word from the lyrics (eg. ‘places’) and ask the children to copy your diction. Experiment with effective and ineffective pronunciation.

    • Whisper a series of unvoiced ‘p’ sounds: ‘p … p … p … p …’ etc. Encourage children to join in, perhaps as a rhythmic call and response. Can they feel how the flow of air is propelled through the lips? Discuss how the function of the consonant is to drive the airflow forward. Repeat this idea with the other consonant phonemes from ‘places’ (‘l’, ‘s’ and ‘z’).

    • Set a steady pulse and teach Part 2 to the whole group:

      Places, flowers, names are ours.

    • Try to keep the rhythms accurate, with the words pronounced as clearly as possible and with crisp consonants. Focus on how the airflow is stopped, started and regulated by use of lips, teeth, palate, throat, etc.

    • Then teach Part 1:

      The names of, the names of, the names of, words.

    • Split into two groups and chant bars 1-4 in two parts, each group trying to be as clear as possible. Make it a competition – which group has the best diction? (Make sure it’s not a volume competition!) Challenge them to make it sound as if it’s just one part.

    • Remember – phrases from later in the song can be given the same treatment, and you could try adding the pitches as well. Have a listen to the audio track for more ideas.

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