Bad Wolf Plays for Music Teachers
You Don't Have to Be Musically Timid!
Here's part of a letter we received from a music teacher: "I'm not musically timid! I passed over your catalogs for years, thinking your stuff would be of low quality (like new lyrics to 'Row Your Boat.') But when I actually saw and heard the shows I was amazed. Don't sell yourselves short: Your work is great. Music teachers will find it great too."
We apologize about the "musically timid" slogan. It's just that 90% of our plays are purchased by non-music teachers and we're trying not to scare them.
We package and present our plays differently from the big publishers. For a start, our basic book/cd set does not include any musical notation! (Don't worry, the complete piano/vocal scores for mostl of our shows are available; our most recent shows have lead sheet notation)
Here are some other issues that you might want to know about:
The vocal range of almost all our songs is one octave. This is usually pitched from B to B, or B flat to B flat. But there are some exceptions, so please phone or email if you want to know about specific shows.
The CD included with the plays has the songs both with and without singing. The composer sings all of the songs on some of the shows; on other plays there are a number of other performers.
We know that many of you would prefer the recordings to have children, but we much prefer to hear adults. Why? Because in every recording of children demonstrating songs that we've ever heard the kids sound like singing robots. We want our song demonstrations to be full of emotions and this can better be demonstrated by an adult who completely understands the character, the humor (and occasionally the tragedy). This gives the kids something to mimic instead of robot children.
The CDs for the first several shows we published have piano accompiaments. Gradually we have added more instruments. Please contact us if you want more details.
How about musical style? We are quite eclectic. Folk, rock, jazz, salsa, bluegrass, country, reggae, western swing, and Dixieland are just a few of the styles that we've done. We find that most students really enjoy the variety and hope you will too.
Standardized testing has become a huge part of education. Many music teachers have discovered that they can support the rest of the staff by programming musical plays that are connected to the school's curriculum. Our shows are built around curriculum such as history, science and math, literature and folk-tales, social studies and holidays. Try showing our list of topics to classroom teachers and see where they would like reinforcement from the music department.
A final quote (from a music teacher who asked not to have her name used): "Your joy of learning and singing came across so clearly in your work. The kids are drawn in immediately. The parents loved the humor. The classroom teachers loved the social studies. I laughed, I cried. It was better than Cats!"
"I have taught elementary music forever! (33 years). I began using your plays about 6 or 7 years ago. There are so many things I like; singability, cleverness both in lyrics, plot and music, challenging vocabulary, humor for the adults (one of my favorites, 'cause I get bored with sappy "children's" material), adaptability, easy to order and quick shipping to name a few.
"My students love these musicals. Months after the performances, they ask to sing the songs again and/or I hear them singing on the bus or playground."
---Vivian McAfee, Elementary Music Teacher, Tahoka Elementary, Tahoka, TX