Because of their heritage, my kids are very interested in Native American song and dance. This Christmas they got a big Pow Wow Drum from Santa and Joe went on what the kids called "Mission Montana" to gather recordings of songs.

While there is no standard notation for traditional Native American music, there is structure. The basic structure follows this pattern.

Lead sung solo by head singer
Second (repeat of lead sung by drum group)
Body (sung by all)
Repeat of Body (Sung by all)

This is called a push-up. Often times drum groups will sing four push-ups -- in other words, complete this pattern four times. See if you can follow along with the song below. The lyrics are as follows:

1)      Chante… Waste ste Yuha Waci Pelo…:
Lakota oyate… oya… te Waci pelo wa… ci pelo…Yuha pelo… yuha pelo…Chante waste ste…Yuha waci pelo…
2)      Lakota oyate… oya… te Waci pelo wa… ci pelo…Yuha pelo… yaha pelo…Chante waste ste…Yuha waci pelo…

In addition to singing, the kids are also back into dancing. JoJo has been reteaching himself to hoop dance. The following is a video of JoJo and Naji hoop dancing at Pine View High School

Sometimes all Naji thinks about it dancing. This is a video he made of a traditional girl dancing. He recorded himself singing for this video.

We've been working on some Dakota Hymns -- Sweet Hour of Prayer and Amazing Grace. Here is the score for Sweet Hour of Prayer. The chords follow a I IV V pattern and since we like to sing a little lower, I tabbed it out in the key of G (Instead of in the key of D like it is written. The chords for the key of D are D G and A7)

Sweet Hour of Prayer3

Here is an audio clip of us singing this.

Below are the chords and words for Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

And here is an audio clip of us singing it.

One Last Thing --

JoJo and Naji Dancing at the Senior Benefit Powwow Spring 2011