Common Ground

by Teresa Jennings

There are a lot of wonderful things going on in this world – incredible relationships, alliances, mutual efforts, and trusting bonds that inspire and uplift all of us. Alas, there are also painful conflicts, anger, hatred, and wars. The hope of this gentle song of peace is that, despite our differences, we can somehow relate, empathize, even have compassion for each other, starting with the premise that there are many things in this world we have in common, many things we share. If only we could stop to recognize our common ground, maybe we could begin a dialog that at least points us in the direction of peace. All of those wonderful things we mentioned are a good start. Music can help, too. As it so happens, it's one of the things we do indeed share. While that's not necessarily the point of this song, it bears mentioning, especially to your students. Odds are, they already know it.

Do not be daunted by the three parts you see on the piano/vocal music. Parts 2 and 3 are optional. Though if you can use one or both of them, you will certainly be rewarded by the outcome. Part 3 also gives your lower, changing, or changed voices a chance to participate uniquely in the revue at this point. If you prefer to use the song as a unison piece, it will absolutely work. We have provided a demonstration of this unison version, as well as rehearsal tracks for parts 2 and 3 on our web site. (See the box on page 78 for more information on accessing these free downloads.)

As beautiful as our accompaniment track is, if you have a talented pianist in your midst, this would be a nice piece to play live. Consider letting your player embellish freely the second time through, returning to the written part at the end. Also consider featuring a soloist or soloists. They could sing all or part of the song, employing the harmonies or not, as it works best for you.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.