We're Gonna Be All Right

by Teresa Jennings

The first song of the first issue of the year 2000, it seemed to us, should be something positive, encouraging and motivating. "We're Gonna Be All Right" presents an optimistic point of view for young singers for the new era and beyond. In fact, the original score for this piece was subtitled, For all new beginnings!

Deliberately modeled after some contemporary young pop groups, the song should have no difficulty capturing the attention of your students. It is entirely orchestrated with guitars, percussion and bass. No doubt your students will appreciate the familiar sound on the Performance/Accompaniment CD and cassette. We actually mixed the sound a little differently than we usually do to capture that authentic garage band flavor.

Vocally, the piece offers natural lines and rhythms that may look a little tricky, but are actually quite easy and fun to sing. The divisi at measure 5, for example, lays well vocally, and is optional. If you prefer, you can let your students sing the whole line in unison. It will work.

The quickest way for your students to learn the rhythms is to listen to the performance of our singers on the recording. If you are studying sixteenth notes, this song will be a terrific reinforcement of them.

The claps which enter at the chorus each time are also optional. We think they add a lot to the rock attitude we're trying to portray here, so we encourage you to use them.

Movement is a natural result of this type of music. We imagine your students will be ready, willing and able to display their enthusiasm for the beat - especially if you crank up the volume! Interestingly (you don't have to tell your performers this...), we discovered that the tempo lends itself well to a kind of line dance. Select a group of students to do the featured movement, or just use everyone. Map out some basic steps during the chorus each time, or ask them to come up with their own suggestions at these points. (Only doing it at the choruses will offer contrast.) Coordinate the movement with the claps for a little added coolness.

Since there is no piano in the performance, the piano/vocal score in this issue is more of a road map with the guitar and bass parts written out. If you have your own budding young rock band, this might be an easy enough piece for them to perform live, though you will note that the bass part has some more difficult passages (such as at measure 17). These could, of course, be adapted as needed.

Another option would be to let live musicians play along with the recording. Our drummer, Dane Clark, is so awesome that even if you had your own drummer, she might enjoy playing along with this top calibre professional. Certainly, you could add more guitars to the ones on the recording without too much difficulty. The chords are basic and should be a lot of fun for young electric guitarists to play along with. Guitars will add a lot of energy to the performance visually. If you don't have real players, you could also let a select few of your students play air guitar or air bass. Add a cowbell, tambourine, or other percussion for the final touch, but bring it in discriminately for musicality.

If you would like to perform this piece with younger students, too, we suggest you combine different grade levels for reinforcement and confidence. If you like to use the reproducible lyric pages we provide for many songs, you will appreciate that we have used a larger type size on the lyric page for this song in case you do decide to include younger singers. (Your singers might also enjoy the animals on the tightrope putting one foot in front of another.)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.