Oops! Some awkward moments and top tips from Mary Cohen!
I once handed over a group of pupils to their parents after a session spent learning ‘Feeling Awkward’ from Superstart*. As we walked from the school hall to the waiting area, rather naughtily I started singing, “Hurry up and get a move on!” to which the children (quite rightly) sang back, “Can’t!” The parents looked startled. A second “Hurry up and get a move on!” provoked the response “Shan’t!”, and the look on the parents’ faces turned to alarm. A third “Hurry up and get a move on!” elicited “Won’t!”, and I could sense the parents wishing for the earth to open up and swallow them. Only when the fourth, “Hurry up and get a move on!” was greeted with “Please don’t!” did the parents relax. (Amazing what the word ‘please’ can achieve). And then of course my little flock fell about laughing, and over the top of the noise I attempted to explain that we had been ‘performing’ our latest piece.
After that magic moment, it was easy to get this group to play ‘Feeling Awkward’ (and its companion piece ‘Oops’) every week, and they quickly got it from memory. We went on to transpose it into different keys, and eventually into other positions, and it became an absolute favourite item for concerts. So my ‘Top Tip’ is: don’t tell pupils they are learning ‘scales’ until after they have learned this song!