by John Riggio

Some years ago I made a phone call to my wife, and was surprised to hear my young niece Kailey answer the phone. I figured since she answered, it meant my wife was driving, and I heard Kailey say, "I know how to work a phone, Aunt Janet." She couldn't have been more than seven or eight years old.

Kids already understand how to use tech gizmos better than most adults, but this is not to say computer and digital literacy shouldn't still be taught in our classrooms. The deeper we get into the information age, the more we have devices that access that information, and students can benefit from learning how to use them. Being tech-savvy is pretty much a necessity in this day and age. Hence the song "Connected," a song about learning to use the technology that keeps us, well, connected.

This song blends synth-driven electronica and straight-up rock styles. Check out how it evolves from a half-time feel in verse one to four-on-the-floor by measure 37. It builds in intensity to the last chord. The choral "ooh's" add an ethereal vibe to the intro, and while the "ooh's" in part 2 are optional, they really make an impact, especially in the final two bars where it becomes a 3-part divisi. There is also a call-andresponse at the coda in part 1 which is easy to sing.

Our rhythm guys did some great work on this song. Bass player Steve Dokken played moving double stops on the verses which are most audible on the final verse. It's pretty cool.

In performance, the most obvious props that can be used are cell phones, whether real or toys. (If your class ends up using real phones, be sure to silence them or turn them off during your performance, lest there be an incoming call, alarm, etc.) You could have a backdrop with pictures of high tech gizmos, computers, laptops, tablets, watches, flash drives, game consoles, etc. The world is at our fingertips.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.