Phases Of The Moon

by Teresa Jennings

Once you and your students learn this song, we're betting that every time you look up at the moon from now on, you will consider its phase. But then, you'll also need to pay attention to know whether it's waxing or waning. Is it coming from a full moon or going toward one? Either way, kids in the know will be better informed thanks to this cross curricular song that teaches the phases of the moon. Starting with the new moon phase, where the moon is practically invisible, it goes through the phases to the full moon, where it appears fully round and bright, then back down to the new moon. And all within about a month!

Lyrically, the song teaches the phases – from our earthly perspective, of course. Musically, it's pretty darn cool. It has an atmospheric vibe to it, combined with a halftime rock groove and some jazzy winds which help with the dynamic variations. Be sure to review these with your singers and have them listen to the Performance/Accompaniment recording for an example of how it works. The verses are mezzo forte, crescendoing into forte at the chorus (measure 20). However, each time the word "phases" is sung, there is a crescendo on just that word as well, giving it a mini power lift for effect. At the coda, it drops to mezzo piano and the words are spoken till the last two bars. The dynamics build dramatically (along with the moon) from new to full, then back down again. The last two bars are mezzo piano, quietly ending our lunar story.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.