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Heart Valves

by Greg Crowther


This jingle 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. Note that the melody ascends during the line about the upward flow (through the semilunar valves), and the melody goes down during the line about the downward flow (through the atrioventricular [AV] valves). Finally, "try to be right" is a mnemonic for remembering that the tricuspid valve is on the right side of the heart.


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"....


Other Files

MP3 (demo)

sheet music (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) What are the names of the two semilunar valves?

(2) By what name or names is the left AV valve known?

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

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

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)