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Wobbly Tooth (vocal version)

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This song has a strong beat and humorous words with lots of repetition which makes it easy to learn and very appealing to all age groups. Give the children untuned percussion instruments and have them play along to the beat. Divide the instruments into categories-wood, shakers, metal and skin and get each group to play four bars each, Some of the children may like a turn at conducting bringing in the groups at different times.

Discuss the features of the song - it’s a good example of verse / chorus form and texture is created through the use of a female adult singer and a children’s chorus accompanying.

Encourage students to listen out for the instruments used to accompany the singers-keyboard, drums, bass with saxophone adding the colour. The female singer changes the pitch of her voice in two of the verses-discuss the varying tone colours of voices from men, women and children - that, although they are all singing the same note from the page, their voices are at a different pitch.

This is a blues song with a 16-bar cycle. If you leave out the four bars at the beginning, you'll have a classic blues chord progression. This would be a great assembly song with a band to play along with.

Wobbly Tooth is written by John Phillips, a composer who lives in the South Island of NZ. The children could find out what other songs John has written and write to him to find out how he goes about writing songs and what inspires him.

Other songs by John Phillips in this collection are:
- Lost Property Box
- Ma Te Mahi Ka Ora
- Bad Hair Day

For more teaching suggestions go to
- Into Music

For further resources and support go to

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