<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

    Materials and preparation

  • Choose a song or two with Calypso-type rhythms to teach to the class. You may want to use one of the songs you have found a recording of. Some songs that are traditionally associated with a calypso-style performance and are often found in songbooks and recordings for children include: "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)", "Matilda", "Jamaica Farewell", "Sloop John B", "Tingalayo", and "Brown Girl in the Ring". Or you may use the songs provided here, Caroline and Marianina . Please note that these are not traditional Caribbean tunes; instead, so that you may feel free to copy them, they are tunes that are in the public domain (in the U.S.) that have been altered slightly in order to give a strong Calypso feeling to the rhythms. If you can't open the PDFs, the songs are also available as figures below . (Readers who have access to a version of a genuine Caribbean tune that is clearly in the public domain are invited to contact the author.)
  • Become familiar enough with the song(s) that you will be able to teach and lead them with confidence. If you need to hear the tunes in order to learn them, you can listen to Marianina and Caroline .
  • Arrange for accompaniment, by yourself, a friend, or the students themselves. Accompaniment is important to get a "calypso" sound. Piano is not ideal; but a keyboard that has a marimba or other percussion setting might do. Guitar, string bass, and/or winds (even recorders) in whatever combination is better. In either case, try to include at least some percussion; or you may consider a percussion-only accompaniment.
  • Have enough copies available, as needed, of the words, music, and accompaniment parts.


  1. If they are going to make their own percussion instruments , do that activity first.
  2. If students are providing the accompaniment, assign parts and rehearse the instrumentalists. The calypso rhythms above should work as accompaniment to just about any appropriate song you choose. Several short rehearsals usually work better than one long one.
  3. Meanwhile, start teaching everyone the song. This may also take several sessions. You can listen here to the melodies of Caroline and Marianina if you need to.
  4. Add the accompaniment to the singing for the final rehearsals. Even if the song is not a part of a concert, try to find an audience for a final "performance".

Writing calypso lyrics

    Materials and preparation

  • If you'd like to emphasize the creative, improvisatory nature of real calypso, and your students are up for the challenge, consider having them write a bit of calypso themselves.
  • Choose a simple tune that the students are familiar with, either a song that they have learned in class (see above ), or one of the tunes that you have a recording of. Tunes associated with calypso are preferable, but not necessary.
  • If the students do not already know the tune very well, play the recording for them often, or work with them on singing it.


  1. Remind the students that traditional calypso singers improvise the words of their songs. That means they make them up right on the spot, as they are singing, only a few minutes after they find out what their song is supposed to be about. At the big calypso contest in Trinidad every year, they often use a standard melody and make up funny, clever songs about something that has been in the news recently or something that they have noticed about life. The songs are often complaint or protest songs about things that they think should be changed.
  2. Tell the students they do not have to make up the words as they are singing. They can have some time to think about it and make up the words and write them down. Tell them which tune you are going to use and remind them of it by playing it for them or letting them sing it together.
  3. Ask the students to make up new words to go with the tune. Their song could be a humorous complaint about something they would like changed (longer recesses, or being allowed to have a dog, for example), or it can be a funny commentary on something that has happened recently, at school (a game they've learned in P.E.), at home ("what happened to my missing homework assignment"), or in the news (an escape at the zoo, or a heavy snowfall, for example). If necessary, remind them that being mean or personal is not funny.
  4. You may let them work in groups or alone.
  5. If necessary, check the words of each song before you allow it to be performed.
  6. Allow groups to perform their song together. Brave individuals can sing their songs by themselves, or you may make copies so that the class can sing each other's songs together.
  7. If there are any particularly clever or humorous songs, you may want to consider sharing them in a performance for parents or for the school.

Listening to calypso

Genuine calypso is not that popular outside the islands; you will probably not find it at your local library or CD store. But steelband music, or even just a calypso-style sound is easier to find.

    Listening suggestions

  • Many children will already be familiar with the tunes "Under the Sea" and "Kiss the Girl" from Disney's The Little Mermaid .
  • Some collections of songs for children (particularly multicultural collections) include calypso-sounding versions of songs like "Tingalayo", "Matilda", "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)", and "Brown Girl in the Ring".
  • Harry Belafonte's performances, while not genuine improvised calypso, contributed greatly to the first big craze for the calypso sound in the U.S. They are still relatively easy to find.
  • Steelband albums marketed to tourists (for example Steel Drum Classics "Best of the Best" , produced by Barefoot Records and C and B Studio) are also not genuine calypso, but most of them do have the right sound.
  • If you want some examples of the real thing, check with your favorite music recording distributors.

Songs to use

These tunes are not from Trinidad. So that it is easy to copy and use them in the classroom and concerts, tunes that are in the public domain (in the U.S.) have been altered slightly in order to give a strong Calypso feeling to the rhythms. (Readers who have access to a version of a genuine Caribbean tune that is clearly in the public domain are invited to contact the author.)

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Musical travels for children. OpenStax CNX. Jan 06, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10221/1.11
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Musical travels for children' conversation and receive update notifications?