Bring Me Little Water, Sylvie is a great song to learn with its beautiful melody and its interactive body percussion rhythm. Colburn teaching artist Leeav and assistant Emily take you through the song step by step in these two-part lessons.
About the Song
Bring Me Little Water, Sylvie
The earliest known performance of Bring Me Little Water, Sylvie dates back to 1936, and was popularized by American folk musician Huddie Ledbetter, known as Lead Belly. Lead Belly was a great musician of the 20th century for the songs that he wrote, discovered, and shared, and for his skills on the guitar (which gave him the nickname “King of the 12-String Guitar”). His music influenced many famous musicians such as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, The Beatles, Bob Dylan.
It’s possible that Lead Belly may have based Bring Me Little Water, Sylvieon a traditional American song, or it’s possible that he may have written the song himself. When performing this song, Lead Belly would often tell his audiences that the song was about his uncle Bob Ledbetter, who worked out on the fields plowing the soil. When he got thirsty, he would call for his wife, Sylvie, to bring him some water.
Music performed just by singers and without any other instruments
Percussion: Percussion instruments are a type of musical instrument that make sounds by tapping, slapping, scraping or shaking.
Rhythm is the particular pattern of notes in a song. To find the rhythm of a song, hum the song silently in your head while you clap your hands for every note. In the song Bring Me Little Water Sylvie, there are two different rhythms to follow: there is the rhythm of the words that you sing, and the rhythm that you create using body percussion. Can you clap out both rhythms?
Body Percussion describes music that is created by using your hands, feet and body to tap, slap, and scrape.
1.0 Artistic Perception
Listen to, Analyze, and Describe Music
1.4 Describe music according to its elements, using terminology of music.
2.0 Creative Expression
Apply Vocal and Instrumental Skills
2.1 Sing a varied repertoire of music from diverse cultures, including rounds, descants, and songs with ostinatos, alone and with others.
3.0 Historical and Cultural Context
Diversity of Music
3.3 Sing and play music from diverse cultures and time periods.
4.0 Aesthetic Valuing
Analyze and Critically Assess
4.1 Use specific criteria when judging the relative quality of musical performances.
4.2 Describe the characteristics that make a performance a work of art.
5.0 Connections, Relationships, and Applications
Connections and Applications
5.1 Identify and interpret expressive characteristics in works of art and music.
5.2 Integrate several art disciplines (dance, music, theatre, or the visual arts) into a well-organized presentation or performance.
5.3 Relate dance movements to express musical elements or represent musical intent in specific music.
Careers and Career-Related Skills
5.4 Evaluate improvement in personal musical performances after practice or rehearsal.
Creativity and Innovation
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Communication and Collaboration
Flexibility and Adaptability
Initiative and Self Direction
Leadership and Responsibility
Social and Cross-Cultural Skills
Productivity and Accountability