Activity #4: "Don't Worry, Be Happy"


The primary central focus is to introduce students to musical elements: melody (do pentatonic).

  • Students will be able to notate notes, C, D, E, G, and A on the staff and identify stanza and ABA form. (Bobby McFerrin: Don't Worry, Be Happy) (Pr: 4.2)
  • Students will be able to demonstrate and explain how the selection of music to perform is influenced by personal interest, knowledge, and context, their personal and others’ technical skill. (Pr4.1)
  • Students will explain how responses to music are informed by the structure, the use of the elements of music, and social and cultural context. (Re7.2)


The focuses of this unit are to guide students to explore self-awareness, self-management. 

  • Students will be able to explore how children make music and how the different styles of music affect our emotional feelings.








 MELODY Do Pentatonic (Notes, C, D, E, G & A)
  • Don't Worry, Be Happy

Please watch the below video:



  • What do you think about the children who sang the song and made music from the different parts of the world?
  • What are the children doing while they sing that captures your attention. How are they making you feel like you want to join in and sing along with them?
  • What is the message they were trying to send to the audience?
  • How do you feel after watching this video? Explain why this video makes you feel happy, excited, joyful, or hopeful. If it doesn’t make you feel that way, tell us why.
  • Have the changes in our world during the last two years affected you positively or negatively? What have you enjoyed during this time? What has been difficult for you?


  • There is a blue note in this original version of Don’t Worry, be Happy (Eb). You may hear it from the original version on the left. Blue means sad. After two years of dealing with the pandemic, do you think we will be okay? Should we sing with or without the blue note? Are we hopeful?

Music - Melody:

In the previous lesson, we learned about Do-Tetratonic scale. This week, we will learn about Do-Pentatonic.


Penta means five, there are five notes: C (do), D (re), E (mi), G (so), A (la). High C (high do) is the "cousin" of middle C (do), so this is not a different note.

  • Note that the introduction of this piece is made of C pentatonic, with a blue note (Eb). 
  • Can you sing the introduction in solfege and hand signs in C pentatonic?
  • This song is sung with the same melody but with different lyrics. This is called a strophic form.


Post your comments here:

Comments: 7
  • #7

    Janice (Friday, 08 April 2022 19:30)

    I'm not sure if we had this video before but I know it really intrigued my students:

  • #6

    Kevin Morita (Tuesday, 05 April 2022 00:57)

    For the video - would you like me to sing in words or using the solfege or both?

  • #5

    Katherine (Friday, 18 March 2022 21:57)

    1. The last bullet point under SEL: "Students will be able to discover the relationship among individuals; roles playing can contribute to making harmony, beautiful performance." I might change it to: "Students will be able to discover the importance of relationships among individuals. Having different roles can contribute to making harmony and a beautiful performance."

    2. In the section where the class plays a C pentatonic scale with the rhythm patterns they created, since all teachers might not have melodic instruments they can use, Google Chrome Music Lab might be an option we could link?
    There's a few different things in there, but the shared piano one could work well, especially if the students have iPads in their classrooms, which would make it easy to "play" the piano notes. There's also a way to have the letters shown on the piano keys, in the settings area.

  • #4

    Janice (Friday, 18 March 2022 19:03)

    I think a video doing the Lumio and playing it on pitched instruments would be helpful. I can picture it in my head but I don't think other educators will be able to. I'll add it to my to-do list.

  • #3

    Janice (Friday, 18 March 2022 18:56)

    Maybe we can make a video of doing the round for "Oh How Lovely."

  • #2

    Janice (Friday, 18 March 2022 18:44)

    How do we access the Lumio?

  • #1

    Lauren F (Friday, 18 March 2022 18:41)

    There is a blue note in this original version of Don’t Worry, be Happy (Eb). You may hear it from the original version on the left. Blue means sad. After two years of dealing with the pandemic, do you think we will be okay? Should we sing with or without the blue note? Are we hopeful?

    *It's actually somewhat hard to hear (especially for students) the difference with the blue note (if you don't present them with a score and ask them to listen to the whole song). May need to isolate the phrase and play both versions on piano for kids to hear the difference.

    At 1'18", the audience sang the pentatonic scale and Mr. McFerrin improvised with a different melody. Was it pleasant? Why? Is it because of the power of the pentatonic scale, the sounds harmonize with each other?

    *The last question is the answer so instead of just giving it to them, maybe make a comment like lead students to conclude that: he is improvising using notes of the pentatonic scale which harmonize with each other.

    The word Shabbat means “peace, or “the absence of war” (Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries, FIRM, ???) Shabbat happens on Friday at sundown when people start to wind down from busyness and *wish each other* by saying Shabbat Shalom. Shalom is a word that is closet, meaning to “hello.” On a Friday evening, the Jews will enjoy peacefulness and love with their families.
    *I think you're missing something... wish each other what?

    Do you feel good when you sing in harmony and dance with your peers? How can you work with your group to sing this round *add: (Oh, How Lovely is the Evening)* beautifully? When you sing and dance this song, do you feel the connection between you and your peers?