by Teresa Jennings
What a happy song! And what a positive message for your students and your audience members alike. As the script says, "Life is not just a journey, life is an adventure!" This is one of those golden teaching moments that helps to bring music across the curriculum. If you are studying issues of character, self-esteem, or any similar topics of personal growth, this song could be very helpful. It can inspire discussions of positive thinking; of choosing thoughts that nurture rather than thoughts that hurt, sabotage, or depress. We can't change the world around us, but we can change our own actions. And our actions come from our state of mind. Attitude really is everything. Students who can look at the glass as being half full instead of half empty are going to have happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives. At this point in their youth, while they are sitting in your classroom, you have the opportunity to help them learn this. Don't be discouraged if it isn't met with 100% enthusiasm by every student every time. Just know that you are connecting with some of them, and that matters a lot. It might even impact them in positive ways you can't imagine. As the old saying goes, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." You just might be that teacher.
Of course, the song "An Adventure!" is meant to be the finale of the musical Discovery. However, its universal message would make it a good addition to any upbeat or motivational program. It is quite memorable. The recording is also memorable, thanks to our superb musicians. Worthy of note is our trumpet/piccolo trumpet player John Rommel who introduces the piece to us with style. As with the last piece, if you wanted to perform this song with just piano, you could. But you would need to have someone play the trumpet/piccolo trumpet lines live. The cues are provided on the piano/vocal score (in concert pitch).
The song is very singable for part 1 throughout. To help singers learn this part, have them listen to the recording. The entire first time through the song is part 1 only. They should pick it up fairly quickly. Be sure to emphasize the energy and exuberance called for in this song. Our singers offer a good demonstration of this. You will note also that they have added a few scoops here and there as it felt natural. Add these or not, as you wish.
Part 2 comes in the second time at measure 9, and as usual, it is optional. The song will absolutely work in unison (part 1) all the way through, even when it goes into the section at measure 56. If you do perform it as a unison piece, consider adding some of the optional other notes at the end as a divisi of part 1. It's not necessary, but it will spice up the ending. This is, after all, the finale!
If you had employed older singers to help with the previous song (or songs), ask them to stick around and help with part 2 on this one as well. It's a little more challenging than part 1. Singing along with the recording is certainly one way to learn the part. If you have access to a keyboard, playing the part separately over and over for students to sing along with will also help them learn it more solidly. Some teachers also use the full performance versions of songs (with our kids singing on them) to reinforce the vocal lines. If this would be helpful in your situation, go right ahead and do it. You're not alone!
On a personal note, you will see that this song is dedicated to Benjamin. That's Benjamin Ellsworth, Teresa and Paul's five-year-old nephew. He is a joyful young man, full of life, and wildly imaginative! He loves to tap his Aunt T on the shoulder and whisper to her, "Let's go on an adventure!" The excitement in his voice belies a world of fantasy and mystery that surely swirls constantly in his creative young mind. These "adventures" turn out to be filled with dialogs worthy of a movie script and "action scenes" that would benefit more from stunt actors than good old Aunt T. Leaping from balconies, climbing straight up brick walls, talking to trees who have secrets to tell, seeking pirate ghosts in the halls of the recording studio - if that's not adventure, what is? Benjamin is too young to know how he influenced his aunt to write this song (indeed, this revue). But someday he'll know. And it would be perfectly okay with Aunt T if he still wanted to go on adventures with her when he's 35.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.