Help. Please.

spicegirls460Right now, the bane of my existence is choosing a song.  What’s that, you say?  What on earth is she talking about?  Choosing a musical clip is the bane of her existence?  She needs to get out more.  But wait, let me explain.

Part of my job as music teacher is that for graduation, at the end of the year, the school has to sing a song together.  I have to organize it, and get them singing at Monday assemblies, and if they don’t come up with any suggestions, I have to choose one.  And it is a lot harder than you’d think.

  1. These are teenagers.  Which means they’re super, mega, ultra conscious about something like singing.  Even if there are two hundred of them.
  2. It has to be at the right tempo – too fast and they can’t keep up, too slow and they get bored.
  3. It has to be at the right pitch, for both genders – too high or too low and we run into problems.
  4. The lyrics have to be appropriate, in sing-a-bility as well as sense.  And I could not believe how many seemingly innocuous songs have really inappropriate words. (See Jane’s post about Good Music, Terrible Messages.)
  5. No instrumental breaks.  No pauses.  Just keep the train runnin’.
  6. And of course, they have to like it.  My age isn’t galaxies apart from my students’, but geez, do I feel old.

Last year we sang Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”, and the year before that Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”.  But this year is hard going, man.  We tried a NZ classic, which went over well with a certain sector but not the rest, and “My Girl”, which they know but they’re sick of, and a Jack Johnson that was just wrong all round.  I’m about to break out “Mamma Mia”, but time’s running out.  They don’t have to be the Spice Girls, but just something that gets them kicking.

Any suggestions?  Anything?  Please?

– Jean AAR

8 thoughts on “Help. Please.

  1. Lynn M

    My son’s school singing group took on “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from the musical Hairspray. It’s fast-tempoed, but if 5th graders can handle it, I can imagine high schoolers would find it no trouble. It’s fairly long but can easily be altered by including as many versus as you want. Plus, it’s a crowd pleaser!

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  2. Jane AAR

    Has Glee hit NZ yet? Maybe you can check out some of the songs they’ve covered. The students might like to sing Glee songs and then you can also compare the original with how they did it in a show-choir-y way.

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