(I wrote this a month ago and forgot to post it!)
We do lots of improvisation in our house, mainly based on the same songs. We change lots of words to make songs more family-centered. For instance, today we sang "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly" inserting John Paul, Mom, Baby Cee-yah, and Dad. John Paul, of course, was the instigator. "Waaaass o-wady swawwow Joh PAW! Oh NO!" To get the real effect, you have to squeak in a very high voice whenever there are capital letters. Today she swallowed the numbers 0-10 as well. We have also added rather a lot of new verses to "The Wheels On the Bus" - Baby Cee-yah says, "Hi, John Paul!" and Dad blows lots of kisses, for instance.
One of my favorites is the variety of verses we have to the tune of "Frere Jacques." It all started when he wanted to read another book before bedtime instead of having a song. How did I remedy this? The request was for "The Fuzzy Duckling," so I made it into a song. The words? "Fuzzy duckling, fuzzy duckling, fuzzy duck. Fuzzy duck. Fuzzy fuzzy duckling, fuzzy fuzzy duckling, fuzzy duck, fuzzy duck." To the tune of "Frere Jacques." Other variations? "Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Pot. Harry Pot. Harry Harry Potter, etc..." Also the word elevator. And really anything with four syllables. John Paul has started specifically requesting these non-songs during the day. I get a kick out of it because as soon as I start singing he starts up with his latest dance move - very slowly spinning around in circles while lightly stomping and waving his hands.
At mass one Saturday morning he decided to start making up his own variations. Unfortunately, shouting one's new song in the middle of the consecration is not the best mass behavior. "Baby CEE-yah, baby CEE-yah baby CEE! Baby CEE! Baby baby CEE-yah, baby baby CEE-yah, baby cee. Baby cee."
His favorite song to sing with me for a while was "I Wonder" (at least I think that's what it's called) from Sleeping Beauty. It's the most adorable thing ever when he does it - he actually manages a fair amount of tunefulness, his range having reached approximately 5 notes. "Sing I WONder, Mom! One, two, fwee, weddy, sing I WONnnnder... I WONnnnder..." and on and on. He's also pretty successful singing "I've Got the Joy" and "Jesus I Adore You" with me, particularly at bedtime. And when he starts singing these songs on his own... This is what makes me want to install a hidden camera - he won't perform for the camera, but he loves singing to himself. I love watching these new skills emerge!