“Tideo” and away you go!

Use one song and game for a variety of discovery and exploration.

“Tideo” Play Party Game

Traditional, Indiana Play-Party Songs of 1916 for one of the earliest notated versions

“Tideo” is a song that I use for a variety of reasons! And while the whys behind my teaching it year to year may change, the number of different experiences I can create using one song is a reason why “Tideo” has a regular place in my curriculum. Do more with less!

Option 1, Movement First- Teaching Process:

  • Teach students how to shake hands like respectful adults! This is an important skill and one that we cannot assume children know. Discuss
    • Comfortable grasp, thumb meets thumb
    • No floppy fish
    • 1-2 count
    • Aim for eye contact and a smile for a bonus
  • Put on an upbeat piece of music– and play a game “Hand Shake Chat Time”
    • Whenever you pause the music, students must stop walking/moving around the space and find someone’s hand to shake
    • Shake their hand with a 1-2 count and then chat about something
      • If your students have issues chatting to people outside their friend group, post prompts on the board! Silly things, things that they are interested in, favorite food, color, etc. Or, it’s a chance for people to introduce themselves
    • When the music restarts, students again move through the space, but now cannot shake hands with anyone they’ve shaken with before
  • Make two concentric circles. Partners facing each other, one in each circle.
    • Inside circle is stationary!
    • Outside circle moves!
  • 2 count shake, then move to the right, shake new hand, move to the right, and shake a new hand, move to the right-3 times total
  • Now, extend right hands, left hands, shake both hands
  • Practice these motions several times with the option of switching who is in the inside and outside circles, if you class is a class where it’s best if everyone gets to try all things

That’s enough for one day and you can do something else!

Suggested “upbeat piece of music” “It’s a String Thing” by The Grascals on Spotify

Option 2, Singing First- Teaching Process:

  • Sing the song for students, asking them to listen for which word they hear the most
  • Discuss. Are they sure it was “Tideo?” Could it have been another word? Maybe “window?”
  • Sing and ask students to keep track of the word they are listening for by counting on their fingers. Discuss their findings before giving a new task.
  • Now, as you sing the song again for students, they need to listen to the melodic direct of every “Tideo.” Some go up and some go down. Point your finger up or down, based on what you hear for each “Tideo.”

Pass one window, Tideo

Pass two windows, Tideo

Pass three windows, Tideo

Jingle at the window, Tideo
↑ ↑ ↓
Tideo, tideo, jingle at the window Tideo
↑ ↑ ↓
Tideo, tideo, jingle at the window Tideo

  • A simple visual like the one above may be used as a reinforcement tool for students
  • There may be an interesting discussion to be had about the two lines that start with “Tideo.” They go up much higher than the other tideos that go up… see what intrigues your students and decide where the lesson needs to go next!
  • They’re probably dying to sing with you by this point, so maybe, let them!
  • When the students are capable of singing the song, I like to start reinforcing the melodic directions of the “Tideos” through body percussion, adding it myself as they sing and seeing if any students figure out what/why I’m doing that. If they don’t know, keep demonstrating it and eventually someone will catch on.

( go- ing up )

Pat clap snap


( go- ing down )

Snap clap pat

Option 3, Singing and Moving- Teaching Process:

  • See if students can associate melodic and rhythmic patterns from “Tideo” included in your warm up. (“I Have an Echo” or similar as a framework)
  • Go back to the concentric circles and the “shake one hand, move to the right” idea.
  • Try it while singing “Tideo!”
  • Review just the movements that go with the first half of the song:

(shake one hand and move to the right)

Pass one window, Tideo

(shake another hand and move to the right)

Pass two windows, Tideo

(shake another hand and move to the right)

Pass three windows, Tideo

(now right hand, left hand, shake both and stay!)

Jingle at the window, Tideo Tideo, tideo, jingle at the window Tideo

Tideo, tideo, jingle at the window Tideo

  • On the refrain, the body percussion pattern begins- pat, clap own hands, clap partner’s hands, clap own hands, twice (Tideo, Tideo)
  • Next measure, switch places with partner crossing R shoulder (Jingle at the window, Tideo)
  • Repeat above four measures so that each person returns to their original place
  • Game is played again with joyous singing (Thanks to Joyce Stephansky for the play party instructions! Other versions of play party dance instructions can be found in Purposeful Pathways or other resources.)

Extension Experience Rhythmic- Teaching Process:

  • See if students can associate melodic and rhythmic patterns from “Tideo” included in your warm up.
  • Focus on rhythmic elements
  • Create a drum arrangement!
  • When will you play low tones and high tones (tubanos) OR when will you play up strokes or down strokes (frame drums)?
  • Experiment, find your solution, and share
  • What other layers could work well? (Hint– use ostinati patterns from a barred instrument arrangement!!)
  • Once your class has created their “arrangement” for drumming “Tideo,” open up an opportunity for question/answer style improvisation. For example, the teacher plays for 4 beats, then students answer with 4 beats. Once students are comfortable improvising after the teacher, you can have half the class improvise with half the class. Then, move to 8 beat improvisations, 8 beat questions and 8 beat answers.

Extension Experience Melodic- Teaching Process:

  • Review the song and sing with solfege, if that’s in your practice.
  • Utilizing solfege in teaching on the barred instruments is a great practice. Relate the solfa pitches to the bars of the xylophones!

Create a call/response framework for improvisation using a section of “Tideo” as your response. The “response” can be spoken or sung, or played on drums if you are focusing on rhythm, or if the melody has been played on barred instruments, players can play the response together on those instruments, after someone or a small group gives the call:

  • To give students an opportunity to understand the feeling of call/response, begin with the teacher playing the call and students playing the response. (Utilize two levels of body percussion– clap and pat). Switch roles
  • Move to partner pairs and have students taking turns
  • Practice on unpitched percussion can also give more opportunities for understanding, before moving to pitched instruments, where students are improvising both rhythm and pitch.

There are many resources with arrangements for “Tideo,” and I’m including mine here. REMEMBER, all the parts in an arrangement are simply suggestions! You do not need to include them all. Pick what works for your students and leave the rest.

Do as many or as few ideas for using “Tideo” as suits you! But I’m always looking for ways to do more with less– how many different experiences can we have with just one song?

Click here to download pdf of Christine’s lesson plan

Click here to download pdf of Christine’s arrangement for Tideo

Christine Ballenger

Christine Ballenger currently teaches general music (PK-4) north of Houston, TX. She has a masters degree in music education and clarinet performance from the University of New Mexico and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree from the University of Puget Sound. She received her Orff Schulwerk certification from George Mason University and is on the American Orff-Schulwerk Association list of approved instructors for Basic Pedagogy Level I, Movement (Levels I and II), and Recorder (Level I). Christine is a member of the editorial board of The Orff Echo and has additionally taught courses in music for elementary education majors at Bismarck State College and Dickinson State University. Christine has also received training in Kodaly and World Music Drumming, and completed the “International Summer Course” in 2018 at the Orff Institute, in Salzburg, Austria.

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  1. Beth A on March 24, 2023 at 7:41 am

    Thank you for this! Love folk songs!

  2. Kathleen on March 24, 2023 at 9:14 am

    One of my favorite earworms! Especially love the introductory lesson of teaching children how to shake hands!

  3. Russell N. on March 24, 2023 at 10:03 am

    Really clean and fun process. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  4. Erin C on March 28, 2023 at 8:53 am

    This is a perfect way to return to school from spring break! I love the hand shaking and having a discussion with someone from your class. It’s a great “ice breaker” that will also relate to the lesson and set students up for success. I actually started teaching Tideo yesterday on the first day back from spring break and I’m switching my process now to start with “option 1” with my kiddos today!

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