Step By Step

by Teresa Jennings

Getting healthy and staying there takes time, patience, and perseverance. Fortunately, every small step we take makes a difference and helps us get closer to our goals. This finale celebrates our strength and determination and reminds us that it's okay to take it "Step By Step."

There's a lot going on in this song, though it's actually not difficult. There's really only an A section and a B section. It starts simply with a solo, then becomes unison, then 2-part, then 3-part. All of this building is optional, and you can do the piece completely in unison if that's what works best for you.

The thing that might make it sound more complex is the use of the body percussion. Again, this is optional, but it's oh-so-fun to do! There is a line on the piano/vocal that indicates what to do, and a legend that defines the abbreviations for body percussion at the bottom of page 20. (Remember that patsch means thigh slap.) Prior to the start of the song, there are four clicks so your students know when to come in.

On the recording, there is a cool click/tap rhythm that constantly complements the body percussion. It's the same rhythm throughout, but the percussionist mixes up which instruments he clicks and taps. The effect is effervescent. Around the key change, a group of snare drums join in corps-style, as does a full drum kit playing a halftime groove. When the singers reach the chorus this time, all instruments drop out except drums and percussion for a very neat a cappella moment. Then everyone comes back in and brings it on home. Perfect for a finale!

To help you teach the parts and the body percussion, you will find some extras online. You will also find a full performance of the song done in unison, as well as an extracted part for the body percussion. (For details, see page 80.)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.