It Matters

by Teresa Jennings

One of the most important things to teach our children is good character. So in a revue about learning, it seemed appropriate to include this topic as well. This is a wonderful opportunity to discuss character traits with your students, bringing it across the curriculum. If they are studying this in other classes, be sure to let their other teacher(s) know you have this song for reinforcement. Just asking some basic questions like "What is respect?" or "What is responsibility?" could send you into deeper discussions that could possibly get your students thinking about their own behavior, and hopefully about making some positive changes. Include conversations about role models – finding one or becoming one. Leading by example is an excellent way to teach, so it's very important to be aware of what we do and how we are acting. Are we truthful, kind, fair? These things matter. Hence the subject of the song.

Musically, this is actually pretty simple. It is slow and gentle and doesn't have a lot of lyrics. It should be easy enough to learn, which makes retaining the message easier as well. The one thing we would want to bring to your attention is the section at measure 9 which is marked "passionately." A bit of rise in volume, intensity, and feeling are called for at this moment. Let your singers listen to ours on the Performance/Accompaniment recording for an example of how this works.

There is an optional second part that comes in at measure 9 the first time. It is a nice complement to part 1, and has its own moment to shine when it becomes an echo to part 1 at measure 13. In case you don't use it, that line is covered instrumentally on the recording. To help you teach part 2, we have isolated it and put it online where you or your students can access it for free. (See details in the box on page 79.)

As with the previous song, this one does not specifically mention the revue or need its context to work, so it would be easy enough to pull it out and use it some other way. A program focusing on character comes to mind as a strong possibility.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.