Show Me Some Respect

by Teresa Jennings

Adolescents relate to music unlike most other subjects in the curriculum. They are especially in tune with contemporary music, such as rock and rap. By utilizing what they know and are familiar with, we can not only reinforce the learning of other subjects or concepts, but we can also reinforce our respect for their preference in music. That translates to respect for them - albeit subliminally.

The song, "Show Me Some Respect" is geared to reach the older students in more than one way. First of all, it is a rock tune with a familiar feel and sound which they will be able to relate to immediately. Secondly, it deals with a subject that is heavily on their minds-whether they realize it or not.

If you choose to perform this song in your classroom, you may wish to take the opportunity to discuss self-esteem, ego and respect. Or bring in the regular classroom teacher for a more expanded discussion. At least let her/him know that you will be bringing up the subject.

Performing the song

We make the songs in this magazine easy to perform without the use of the Performance/Accompaniment Cassette, and this song is certainly no exception. However, we firmly believe that this song will be most effective when you use the cassette. It is carefully recorded to touch the students on their own level, and that is hard to achieve on a piano alone. If you are hesitant to use tapes, or if you are afraid you won't like it, please remember that we offer a money-back guarantee. (Sorry, we don't want to sound like a commercial...) We will even go so far as to play the tune for you over the phone if you want to call us and hear it first.

If you do decide to use the piano-only accompaniment, you will notice that there are some "clashing" notes (for rock-type tension) between the piano and vocal parts. If these bother you, you can reduce the piano part to just the top vocal line and the bass, or left hand line of the piano part. This could also act as a reinforcement of the vocal melody in case you have some uncertain singers. Either way will work.

Changing voices

You will also notice that the range in the vocal part goes down to an A below middle C. This is a little lower than we usually publish, but since this is geared for older kids, we felt it would be appropriate. The second part works well for unchanged, changing, or recently changed voices. (The males in our recording session appreciated the distinction!)

And remember: Take a cue from the song yourself. If you show your students that you respect them, sooner or later it will pay off in kind.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.