Pass The Test

by John Riggio

We've had some pretty great tunes in Music K-8 magazine on the subject of testing (go listen to "Test Me" and "When Testing" at, and "Pass The Test" is no exception. This song gives some practical advice and encouragement on taking tests, which is always a great cross curricular topic for schools. Passing the test certainly applies to school, but more than that, it applies to life in general. John's inspiration for the line "Eliminate the woulda shoulda couldas" is something he heard ice skating commentator Scott Hamilton say about a performance by Evan Lysacek in the 2010 Winter Olympics, who won the Gold medal for men's figure skating that year. It basically means do everything you know to do to accomplish your goal, and you'll have no regrets, knowing you did your absolute best. It's a great life lesson.

We encourage you to sing the scoops as indicated on the chorus, as the song lends itself well to them. As with most Music K-8 songs, part 2 is optional, and you can certainly sing it with part 1 alone. If you choose to attempt part 2, there are web excerpts online to help your students learn the parts. (See details in the box on page 74.) Measure 15 of part 2 is challenging (going from the high line down to a low one), but sounds good if your kids can swing it.

Of course, what will make your students want to sing this tune over and over is how cool it sounds. John has a knack for writing epic rock tunes, but even he didn't know how great this tune would be until he asked our pianist Zach Lapidus to play a comp pass on top of what was already written. Zach turned the opening eighth note riff into sixteenth notes, expanding on what was already there, and did some fantastic ad libbing throughout the tune. (We weren't about to try to transcribe what he played.) Add rockin' guitars, cool loops, and slammin' drums, and we think this tune is a winner!

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.