Music Is Essential

by John Riggio

This song was inspired by John's friend, Ben Kraft. Ben owns a music store called Kraft Music in Franklin, WI (, and in early October 2020, they started giving away "Music Is Essential" T-shirts with some orders, and Ben wrote this in an email:

Now more than ever... Music is essential. Music has been proven to be an important dynamic of education, with music students excelling in all areas of study. Music helps to calm those in distress. Music helps us connect in a special way, and in these times of social distancing, connections are more important than ever.

We couldn't have said it better ourselves. While there is no shortage of people who do essential work during a pandemic, we shouldn't forget music in the midst of it. Music connects us during a time when we really need it.

This song is an anthem rock piece, and should be sung with passion. While technically a unison song, there are divisis on some syllables in the chorus to fill out the sound and make it a bit grander. These divisis are optional, of course, and you can just stick with the melody, which is the top vocal line, instead. There is a goodly amount of syncopation in the song, but we've made sure to cover the melody in the piano part as well as on electric piano to reinforce any sections that might be more challenging.

In performance – for Music In Our Schools Month or any time you want to celebrate music – ideally students would be on a stage, with an audience. But depending on when you read this, that might not be possible. If it can be done virtually, that would work as well. (Check out the article by Julie Gaulke on virtual performances from the first issue of this year, Vol. 31, No. 1. She provides some good information and practical advice.) Kudos to our session players for doing such an amazing job on this song. Music is essential, and you guys play like it!

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.