by Teresa Jennings
This highly energetic, pulsing rock piece is the introduction to the revue that happens to share its name: "Healthy." Reminiscent of a tune you might hear while working out at the gym, it's designed to inspire you and your students to get up and move!
The gist of the message in the song is that it feels right to treat our bodies well. It specifically mentions eating well, moving well, and resting well as foundational elements of improved health. All this to say, when we take care of ourselves, we feel good.
The lyrics are repetitive on purpose. The more you say/sing something, the more likely it is to stick. On the D.S., an optional part 2 joins in, also reiterating and reinforcing the main words to remember. It's a pretty simple second part, but if you'd like a little help teaching it, we have isolated it and put it online for your free access. (See details about downloading this on page 80.) For both vocal parts, we recommend letting your students really belt it out. This is in keeping with the style of the music, and it works well.
While singing about good health and improving one's physical condition is timeless, you may find the first of the year to be a good possibility to use this song and/or revue. For one thing, it has that "new beginnings" feeling to it. Our past behavior (like over the recent holidays) can be forgiven and forgotten as we move forward. For another, a lot of folks include improving themselves physically in their New Year's resolutions. Perhaps if they are given a chance to focus on it through music, it might help them stay the course. You could also just perform it for the sheer enjoyment, of course.
The recording is a lot of fun, as you can hear. We have used one of our favorite types of groups, the horn band, to keep it cookin' along. The rhythm section does its part, too, notably with the ongoing eighth/sixteenth note groove. If you want to make this a bit of a listening lesson, play the instrumental tracks for your students and have them focus on the drums. The groove mentioned continues throughout the piece, no matter what the overall style is, even when it goes into a halftime feel at the chorus. But what's cool is how Dane (our drummer) changed which instruments he used to play that eighth/sixteenth note groove. Can your students hear and identify the changes?
If you have the opportunity to add movement to this piece, it would add to the overall fun factor exponentially. Truly, free-form dancing in predetermined spots might be just fine. Though more exercise-like activity would certainly be appropriate, too. Maybe mix and match, featuring certain individuals or groups.
Needless to say, we encourage you to let other teachers, parents, and administrators know you have this revue in your arsenal of goodies. Bring the subject of good health across the curriculum. Consider making the program an all-school event. Brainstorm ideas for "Health Week," for example. Have a variety of events and activities that teach and encourage kids to get healthy.
(Note: We have another musical revue that touches on many of the same types of subjects, but with different angles in some cases. It's called Feelin' Good! and can be found at MusicK8.com)
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.