She's Our Planet
by Teresa Jennings
This great song marries hip hop and big band jazz to create a very enjoyable blend of textures - at least to our ears. This has to be one of our favorite (of many) Earth Day tunes yet. And we've published a lot! We do hope that you let your students listen to the instrumental tracks on the CD so they can appreciate the performance and the style. You might also consider using it as a listening exercise. For example, have them identify each time the linear wind lines break into chords.
This song is very singable and the groove will likely inspire your students to move a bit, which we encourage. It will probably also make them want to sing in their chest voices, belting out a bit. In this case, we think that's just fine. It will help them sing from the heart, remember what they're singing, and want to sing it again, thereby reinforcing the message.
Speaking of the message, you will find an article regarding Earth Day in this issue on page 82 (which is part of Quodlibet). If ever a topic cried out to cross the curriculum, this is it.
If you want to add some easy action to the song, consider adding snaps on the upbeats of the verses and/or choruses. (That translates to beat two in cut-time, beat three in 4/4 time.) At measure 36, when it breaks into the tom tom hip hop feel, change the snaps to claps. Go back to snaps at 52, or continue the claps to the end.
During that same section at 36, point out the crescendos to your students. You can hear that our singers dropped the volume a little on the sustained words to allow for the dynamic increase. It's a nice nuance if they can do it.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.