Singing «Supercalifragilistic-expialidocious» and Other Tunes in After-School Chorus

It’s Wednesday at 4 p.m. and although school is out for the day, Lower School Music Specialist Barb Spieler’s Choir Zoom Room is wide open! Beginning last Wednesday, Spieler started hosting an optional virtual chorus session for 3rd and 4th grade MICDS students. Those who would like to attend join with the Zoom link each Wednesday to sing together for half an hour.

This week, 18 participants gathered online for the afternoon of melodies, learning, and community. With this being the second time that Spieler hosted the chorus session, she welcomed new and returning students to the Zoom Chorus Room. She explained that although in-person singing is very limited at this time, we can still sing from our respective homes. Students were instructed to mute themselves so that their voices didn’t clash over one another during the session. Still, Spieler encouraged everyone to sing aloud from their respective locations. «You can use your singing voices at home,» she instructed.

Using both PowerPoint and video, Ms. Spieler shared her screen, lyrics, and audio so that students could sing along as they read the words to the music. This week, they sang:

  • Waka Waka
  • A Spoonful of Sugar
  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
  • Rattling Bog
  • Harriett Tubman
  • Count on Me

Besides practicing their singing talents, students also learned a lot! They discovered that the Waka Waka song comes from the African country of Cameroon and that «waka waka» means «walk.» They learned about how Harriett Tubman helped slaves escape through the underground railroad. Their vocabularies grew as Spieler gave the definitions for new words like «bog.»

When talking about the Spoonful of Sugar song, Spieler explained that the song had «something to do with a vaccine.» She went on to say that when she was little, she thought she had to go get the polio shot much like people today are getting the vaccine for COIVD-19, and she was worried about getting the shot. Instead, when she got to the doctor, she simply consumed a sugar cube which had the vaccine inside. She explained that the Spoonful of Sugar song was based on this concept of kids taking medicine (or vaccines) with sugar—an idea that the Beasley students were surprised by!

Of course, there was only fun to be had in afternoon chorus! Some of the songs included dance moves and others were accompanied by Spieler playing the guitar. Songs were requested throughout the session by students. Also, at one point, everyone unmuted to try to see who could most quickly say «supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.»

What a fun opportunity for students to continue singing their hearts out in such a creative way. Thank you, Ms. Spieler, for providing this great opportunity for 3rd and 4th singers!