Grade 1 – If I Have A Hammer

In preparation for Honor’s Day in June, I have composed an original song for the Grade 1 students. I couldn’t find a suitable work song that the kids could use. How the organizers chose to relate to the creativity theme is creations or inventions. I think it would be a mouthful for the Grade 1s to sing about creations. So I thought, why don’t I compose a song about inventions tools.

I’m  a huge fan of  oldies from the 50s to the 90s. I drew inspiration from Simon and Garfunkel’s “El Condor Pasa” and came up with the title “If I Was A Hammer”. Initially it was “If I  Had A Hammer” but I thought then the song would sound like wishful thinking. Gotta be real, that’s the key to this song.

Within a night I came up with the lyrics and the melody. The melody is quite interesting to note. I thought to myself, “What notes should I use to create the melody?”. I once compose a melody out of thin area but that’s because I had some idea about how it would sound like. Over this semester, I had to teach a lot of do, mi, so and la. It just came to me that these 4 notes are enough to create a really simple and memorable melody.

With ideas there must be tools that I can use to realize my finish product. I’m grateful that my casio keyboard now is fully utilized. There were many different styles of rhythm to choose from and the one I picked made the song sound rather 90s.

After I was done recording, I decided that the quickest way for the students to learn to have a vocal track. Until today, I have to say that I really do not like my recorded voice! The next day in class which was yesterday, some of the kids were really quite familiar with the lyrics already and I recorded some of their voices and this is the end result.

This video is just for practise use and I hope to re-record their voices properly for the use of the performance.

I’m really excited to see how we will choreograph the whole performance.


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