Lesson 1: Learning “Hard to Stop”

Aim: How can we explore tempo with the song “Hard to Stop?”
Summary: Students learn to sing and move along to “Hard to Stop” while building vocabulary to describe musical opposites.
Materials: Musical Explorers CD or online audio, markers or crayons
Time Required: 40 minutes (four 10 minute activities)
Standards: GA:MK-2GM.1, MK-2GM.6, MK-2GM.7, MK-2GM.8, MK-2GM.9, MK-2GM.10
SC: MGK-2.1, MGK-2.4, MGK-2.5, MGK-2.6
Vocabulary: zydeco, tempo, accordion, frottoir

Meet Jefferey

  • Meet Jeffery on SG15.
  • Jeffery sings zydeco. Zydeco is music of southern Louisiana that combines French dance melodies with rhythm and blues, as well as music that came from the Native people of Louisiana.
  • Find Louisiana on the map, SG16. What states are near Louisiana? How close is Louisiana to Georgia?


Learn the Chorus to “Hard to Stop”


Hard to Stop (Chorus)

Hard to stop when you’re having fun
Hard to stop when you’re on the run
Hard to stop when you’re feeling low
Hard to stop when it’s zydeco


Explore Tempo Through Movement in “Hard to Stop”

  • Listen to a portion of the song once more.
  • While students listen to the song, ask students to tap and dance along with the steady beat to explore the tempo of the song. Tempo is how fast or slow a song is.
  • What kind of tempo does “Hard to Stop” have? Fast? Slow?
    • In music, a fast tempo is called “allegro.” 


Explore Instruments in Zydeco Music

  • Zydeco music features many different instruments, including accordions, fiddles, triangles, and especially washboards or rub-boards called frottoirs (fro-TWAHS).
  • Using SG17, examine pictures of the accordion, fiddle, triangle, and other zydeco instruments.
    • Which instruments do you hear in “Hard to Stop?”


Cultural Connection: Learn about Zydeco Musicmagglass

In the 1960s, zydeco was born by combining traditional Cajun music with two new American styles of music: blues and rhythm and blues. Zydeco music was originally created at house dances, where families and friends gathered for socializing. The music integrated several dance styles including waltz, shuffles, and two-steps.
For more information about Cajun music, and for musical examples of the waltz and the two-step, see the “Cajun Music” unit in the Musical Explorers 2015-16 curriculum (available at savannahmusicfestival.org/musicalexplorers).


Musical Word Wall

Add the words zydeco, tempo, accordion, and frottoir to the Musical Word Wall.


PDF Downloads

SG15 ↓ Download File
SG16 ↓ Download File
SG17 ↓ Download File


Musical Explorers Audio Tracks