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Heart Valves

by Greg Crowther


Context

This song provides a quick reminder of the various names for the heart valves. Ideally, the word "semilunar" in the chorus should be delivered in a semi-howl; since "lunar" means moon, the idea is to howl at the moon. The semilunar valves were named for the shape of the cusps that comprise them; however, this song tries to connect the valves to the moon in an additional way: the flow of blood through the semilunar valves is, in an upright person, flowing "toward the moon," whereas the flow through the atrioventricular valves is downward.


Lyrics

Let me hear you say, "Lub-Dub!" (Lub-Dub!)
Let me hear you say, "Lub-Dub!" (Lub-Dub!)
Let me hear you say, "Lub-Dub!" (Lub-Dub!)
One more time: "Lub-Dub!" (Lub-Dub!)

CHORUS:
Semilunar: blood flows up toward the moon!
Atrioventricular: blood flowing down.
Semilunar: blood flows up toward the moon!
Atrioventricular: blood flowing down.

Semilunar names reflect the tubes they border:
The pulmonary trunk and the aorta.
For the AV valves, a mnemonic can be trusted.
"Try to be right" is the phrase; "try" means "tricuspid"....

CHORUS


Other Files

karaoke (short intro)

karaoke (long intro)

MP3 (live)

sheet music short intro) (with melody play-back)

sheet music (long intro) (with melody play-back)


Lesson Plan

Songs like this one can be used during class meetings and/or in homework assignments. Either way, the song will be most impactful if students DO something with it, as opposed to just listening.

An initial, simple follow-up activity could be to answer the study questions below. A more extensive interaction with the song might entail (A) learning to sing it, using an audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, and/or (B) designing kinesthetic movements ("dance moves") to embody it. The latter activity could begin with students identifying the most important or most challenging content of the song, and deciding how to illustrate that particular content.


Study Questions

(1) How does the sound "lub-dub" (emphasized in the intro) relate to heart valves (the main topic of this song)?

(2) How many heart valves are there?

(3) What are the names of the semilunar valves?

(4) How does the mnemonic phrase "Try to be right" help us remember the names of specific valves?

(5) Does flow through the semilunar valves go "toward the moon" in all birds and mammals?

(6) How does the chorus's melody reinforce its meaning?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)