by Teresa Jennings

Education is not just reading, writing, math, etc. It is also learning about life. Gaining wisdom and maturity. Growing up and figuring things out. In this day of rapidly advancing technology and access to information, our children are being asked to grow up way too fast. There are more decisions to make about all aspects of life. More choices to consider, even before the age of 18. Children are actually confronted with the subjects of drugs, smoking, drinking, weapons, sex, and violence. It's frightening, if not horrifying. We can't protect our children from all of this, but we can help them prepare to deal with it.

The song, "Think" is a reinforcement of the lessons we have tried to teach to children. Think, learn, grow, be smart, teach what you learn, continue your education, and so on. The rap in the middle of the song is also a reminder that even young people have to make choices and that all choices have consequences. Using this song as an anti-substance abuse theme would be entirely appropriate. In fact, in the context of the revue, if you would like to take some time to focus on this topic, this would be a good place to do it. It could also be tied to an anti-violence campaign, or sex education awareness. If you do decide to do a focus on any of these types of subjects, be sure to let the classroom teachers and administrators know your plans. They may wish to tie in to the topics with their own across-the-curriculum studies. The entire school could join in.

Musically, the song is mostly in two parts, though the second part is optional, as always. The parts are usually parallel, except for the section at measure 19 when they become more complementary. The rap is spoken in unison and the parts are resumed afterwards. Neither of the two parts are very difficult, and your students will probably pick them up after just a couple of run throughs with the recording or with a keyboard.

At measure 29, listen to the performance of the "Ah's" on the recording. The accented notes have a bit of an "h" at the beginning of them, which is indicated on the music. This helps singers connect the sound for long phrases.

The claps which enter just prior to the rap may continue back into the verse at the D.S. On the recording, at this point, we switched the rhythm to clapping on every measure instead of every other measure. Leave the claps out during the flowing sections, and bring them back in for the more rhythmic sections.

The ending of the song may appear difficult, as it breaks into four parts. Please remember that it is not necessary to use all four parts to perform the song. This section can be performed with one, two, three or all four parts. Consider using only a select group for some of the parts, such as a few singers from an older class or choir. To perform the section in unison, select any of the four parts as the melody. Any combination will also work. For example, part one and part four will work together, or just part two and part three.

If you do not use the parts, all of the four melodies are covered in the orchestration on the recording, so they will exist in any event. Be sure to note the dynamic contrast from the first entrance at measure 61 to the last.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.