by Teresa Jennings

Personal growth, the power of positive thinking, affirmations, meditations – these and other words and expressions like them have become a common part of our shared lexicon in recent times. Most of us have heard "As you think, so shall you be." And therein entire industries have been born and developed!

The subject of this year's revue aims to help our young charges learn early in life that what we think and how we speak can affect the quality of our lives. And isn't that kind of the bottom line of all we do with and for our children? We want them to be happy. The best tools we can provide for them, other than a solid academic education, are more abstract. They include things like character – honesty, manners, decency, etc. These are all things that come from within. They come from our own thoughts. They are things that can be taught, mostly by example, but also by discussion and reinforcement. That's where music can help. (As usual!)

Always willing to jump in and do our part, we have decided that this year's revue, which is titled Positive, will focus on these lovely intangibles: our own thoughts. Toward that end, we will be providing a full revue within the pages of Music K-8 this year. Two of the songs are in this issue ("Positive" and "I Like Me"), and the rest of the songs, including a script and teacher's guide, will be published in the third issue (January/February 2012).

As you might expect, the lyrics for the opening song, "Positive," pretty much outline the theme of the revue. The melody is quite singable and consists mostly of quarter notes. And while the second part that enters toward the end has a syncopated rhythm, it's very natural to sing. Plus, it's optional. But we're betting you'll want to use it. To help you teach it, we have isolated it and included it as a free rehearsal extra for this song. Details for accessing it can be found in the chart on page 64.

The background on the Performance/Accompaniment CD is quite pleasant. It features a full orchestra, but it's not ponderous or overpowering. Thanks to the piano, guitars, and mandolin early on, it has a lovely, light feeling. Kinda makes you want to sigh in a positive way. Even so, if you would prefer to play the piano for this tune, you sure could. It's an easy part and covers most of the important lines and harmonies.

Are those bells I hear? - You may have noticed that this song also has bells in it. We used inexpensive children's handbells, which are reinforced on the recording. You could use this with your own handbells (the bells line is on the piano/vocal), or you could add or substitute tone chimes, xylos, marimba, Boomwhackers®, or any other keyboard or mallet instrument. The part is simple, but complements the vocal melody nicely. (And yes, we do carry a variety of these types of instruments in our Music K-8 Marketplace catalog. Visit us at MusicK8.com to see what's there.)

A Positive movement video for you! - Especially if you use this opening song in a performance, you may wish to add movement to it. To help you with this, we have asked our choreographer, Melissa Schott, to design something for you to copy or just borrow from for your own needs. You can find her wonderful ideas on a video that includes a group of youngsters demonstrating the dance as Melissa teaches it. See page 64 for details on how to access the video as well as a PDF of her teaching notes.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.