Love Bugs – A New Valentine’s Day Song and Program!
I had an upcoming Valentine’s Day concert with my Kindergarten kiddos and needed a perfect song to tie everything together. I did a little brainstorming, sat down at the piano, and came up with a silly little Valentine’s Day Song called “Love Bugs!” I knew I just had to share about this song with all of you and thought that while I’m at it I could fill you in on the details of my concert as well in case you wanted some new inspiration to create your own Valentine’s Day themed concert.
I didn’t originally plan to do a concert about Love Bugs, I’ll admit. I scheduled the program in August (before I decided on the content) and thought for a while about what I could do with it. The concert was on February 13th and since it’s the day before Valentine’s Day it seemed impossible not to throw out some love songs. I didn’t want it to be ALL love songs and so my wonderful art teacher suggested “Love Bugs” which allows me to add in any songs about love AND bugs and anything else that’s related. Bam! Program inspiration!
Elementary Music Performance Planning
In my district the performance expectation is that every student performs in some public capacity every year. That’s a lot of pressure when you consider the full curriculum and all the standards we teach each year. Factor in open-house nights, after school choir, parent teacher conferences, and every other extra obligation we’re required to participate in and “every kid performs every year” feels like a pretty big task.
I try and plan out my year so that concerts are spaced out to relieve some of the mental/physical stress that a concert brings with it. I also try and set things up so that at least one of those concerts is a “canned” musical (where you purchase a script, recorded songs, everything all in one place – think John Jacobson) and the other concerts are new so that I can create/alter/format the content for my school. I want each kid to get a “musical” experience at some point where they can wear costumes and read lines and perform with fun background tracks, but don’t want that to be the be-all end-all musical experience at our school.
I have friends at other schools who have amazingly lavish and grand musical productions with hundreds of costumes, hired in performers, crazy sets, and more. One friend even has spotlights mounted on the gym wall for their productions. I’ll admit, that’s not my cup of tea. I’d much prefer a concert where students perform on instruments, sing, or demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency in some other way. The former is nice, but they’ve got years and years to perform with sets and costumes and lighting. Also, I’m not sure I could coordinate everything needed for an elaborate musical concert. That’s a lot of work!
Kindergarten & First Grade Specific Plans
For my Kindergarten and 1st grade program every year I try and create an experience that’s entertaining, that uses some standard songs, and something that lets kids have a little fun. I generally do not do a “canned” musical with younger kiddos because I feel like those pre-prepared musicals don’t always use songs that are well-suited for the vocal range of my youngest kiddos. When I create my own programs I get to choose the range and style of the song. This means kids sing something more appropriate to their vocal range and usually means that they’ll be more successful doing so.
I make a point to try and add in a Spanish song to about every program that I can. So many families in my school are from Mexico and many of the parents/grandparents that come to our programs only speak Spanish. I want the audience to find something familiar and exciting. Adding the Spanish language song stretches the kids, delights parents, and adds a lot to the experience!
I’ve also learned with a school full of English Language Learners that you don’t push for too much in the K-1 program each year. Parents and family are content with cute kids up singing fun and easy songs. That’s fine with me! Of course I want the best for my students and I push them into harder music and harder music all the time, but I’d choose process over product any day. In this program I stick with fun and cute instead of pushing them super hard, cutting out classroom time that could be used for other content, so that we could have a big production. I choose the music for my K-1 programs to be fun, relatable for parents, teachable for me, and offers content that aligns with the thinking skills and teaching topics that are grade appropriate.
Love Bugs – The Concert
Here’s a list of the songs that I included for this concert. I’ve got the main list and below that I’ve add links to the place where I got the content so that you can borrow any of these songs that you want. Again, the theme is Love Bugs, so I dabbled in both Love and Bug themes.
Both Grades: Skinamarinkadinkadink
First Grade: Flying Bees
Kindergarten: Baby Bumblebee
First Grade: The Bugs on the Go
Kindergarten: Itsy Bitsy Spider
First Grade: Hug Bug
Both Grades: Love Bugs!
Here are some more details
Skinamarink… traditional. There are many versions. My kids love to sing along to and practice with this one. The video is not exactly what we’ll do at the program, but close.
Flying Bees… a cute piggyback song. On the website it’s just listed as Bee Song.
Baby Bumblebee… Traditional. In our version we’re not “wiping off” the baby bumblebee but instead “licking off/throwing up” the baby bumblebee. Gross, but to have 80 Kindergarteners do it it’ll be cute. Plus when many parents won’t understand exactly what we’re talking about because of the language barrier the slapstick will make this more entertaining for them.
Bugs on the Go… It’s another from the site above. Another piggyback song and involves a lot of bugs.
Itsy Bitsy Spider… Traditional. No surprises here. Going to do an ABA form and during the B section we’ll only do actions with no singing. It looks pretty cute.
Hug Bug… A totally cute Valentine’s Day Song with a Spanish version. We’ll do one verse/chorus in English and another in Spanish. The Spanish doesn’t translate exactly and loses some of the meaning but it’s cute anyway. Worth taking the time to learn it and it was surprising easy for them to understand and learn. Skip down to page 10 of this PDF to find the full sheet music.
Love Bugs… Our new song! See below for more!
Love Bugs – Valentine’s Day Song
While I was planning, I knew that I needed something to tie the whole show together. I wanted a song that Kindergarten and First grade could learn easily and something that would be cute and fun to listen to. Mostly I needed something with the words “Love Bug” in the title. So I wrote this little ditty, threw in some actions, and added it as the finale. It’s a really simple song and if I worked at a school where we didn’t have such a high ELL population I would probably add another verse and do some more repeating. As it is we’ll sing Chorus, Vs. 1, Chorus, Vs. 2/Bridge and then end.
Extensions and Extras
I had a friend mention that at her program they dimmed the lights and the kids did a choreographed dance to “Fireflies” by Owl City. That would be totally cool and I would have stolen that idea but I dimmed the lights at my last concert and thought it was probably too soon to do something similar again. Maybe next time around.
Check out this post about Bulletin Board ideas to go with the program.
Here is the Pinterest Board I created to gather up ideas to go along with the program. Feel free to send me any pins that I missed so that I can keep the ideas for next time I use this program!