Teach Me to Swing-5th Grade Performance

I’m a crazy person.  I scheduled two performances in two weeks.  Seriously, I don’t know what I was thinking.

Anyway, this program is one I’ve done three other times at three other campuses.  It’s always a big hit.  The superintendent really enjoyed it and asked me to put a last minute article about it in the weekly district newsletter.  It was front page!


The front decorations were made using the Everyday Pop-Up Cards cartridge (skirt and heels), Old West (font: me to), Gyspy Wanderings: (swing), and Cindy Loo (font: teach).  I made the male pants and shoes by hand.  They were pretty easy because I just made them straight.

The music notes were made using the Quarter Note cartridge….which if you’re a musician cricut user, is a must.

The students did a revue of popular swing and jazz songs that are all a part of the Silver Burdett Making Music Series: “Sing, Sing, Sing” “It Don’t Mean a Thing, if it Ain’t Got that Swing,” “I Got Rhythm,” “Ja-Da,” and the title song, “Teach Me to Swing.”

It was short….running about 15 minutes.  I had a parent complaint about that……though it was unintentional.  Lol! In not so many words, the parent said, “we were about ten minutes late and it was almost over. We were thinking it was going to at least an hour or so.”  Whatevs dude.  Next time, come on time.

Well, that’s two programs down.  The next one is after Thanksgiving so that’s two weeks off….not including the actual week of Thanksgiving.  Yay!

Thanks for reading!


9 thoughts on “Teach Me to Swing-5th Grade Performance

  1. I’ve had programs that were on the short side too. Parents need to be on time and I’ve started opening programs with a few words about what we are doing in the music room etc to give late arrivals a couple of extra minutes.

  2. Do you have a student come down and talk about each piece? That can fill time and talk about the history of the music and dance. You could also do some sort of slideshow of pictures of the students doing things in your classroom, and explain that what they do in class is a lot more than what parents will see on stage.

  3. I have been teaching for many, many years and trust me, parents and principals love short concerts–I would tell the kids to remind their families that the concert will be short and will start on time! ♪

  4. Do you have speaking parts in your programs? I’m thinking about using the songs you mentioned here. If you have speaking parts, would you mind sharing? Thanks!

    • I didn’t in this specific one. Usually in programs like these (that are just collections of songs), I do factual speakings about the music or the composer.

  5. I love the idea for this theme! I have the making music curriculum but I could only find sing sing sing and don’t mean a thing. You said all the songs were part of that series? Do you mind helping me know in which book I could find the rest? Thank you!!

    • Hi Rachel!

      Yes, the songs are in the Silver Burdett Making Music Series from 2006(ish). That was my first year teaching so I’m not exactly sure which year this series came out. I know they were part of the Texas textbook adoption.

      “I’ve Got Rhythm” is (if I remember correctly) in the 6th Grade book. “Ja-Da” is in the 2nd grade book. “Teach Me to Swing” is the opening song in the unit that has “It Don’t Mean a Thing” and “Sing Sing Sing” in the fifth grade textbook. I also used a blues song from the sixth grade textbook but I can’t quite remember the title. It started with “I hate to see the evenin’ sun go down.”

      Hope this helps! Thanks for reading!


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