I introduced a new song to my classes this week, “You-Nique.” It is part of a music curriculum entitled “Quaver.” Music teachers in our district are participating in a pilot of this material for the remainder of the school year.
My impression so far? It is a game-changer. The material is innovative, relevant, and engaging. It grabs the attention of students and does not let go.
The song I mentioned is only a tiny part of the material I utilized this week. But what a powerful piece. On the chorus, the main character sings:
“I’m brave, I’m strong, I’m loved, I’m smart, and I’m unique.”
Each time I pressed play, the room fell silent. All eyes watched the video and listened to the music. There were smiles and lots of head bobs. Many students were soon singing along.
Each time the song ended, without fail, someone would blurt out, “Can we hear it again?!” “Of course! But let’s talk about it first.”
Not only was the song catchy, but it also allowed for a great discussion. I asked students what they thought the word “unique” meant. Their answers ranged from beautiful and special to different.
I asked students if they ever had days where they did not feel strong or brave or loved. Some nodded their heads; others raised their hands. So honest.
I wanted them to know they were not alone. I told them there were times in my life when I didn’t feel strong or smart or loved. My intent was to acknowledge their feelings while also encouraging them.
Wouldn’t you know they ended up encouraging me? One sweet little boy spoke up, “Well, Mrs. Morris, we all love you!” “Oh sweetie, I love you guys, too.”
The song ends with the line, “And there’s no one else in the whole wide world, exactly like me.” I think we have a new favorite song. I have a feeling it will be requested often. And I look forward to singing right along with them.
2 thoughts on “Singing Along”
Very encouraging read, Keyboard Lady. Thanks.
After a couple decades as a Special Educator and a couple more in “Human Services” (same thing but differently) I wound up my working days doing a couple years as a para-educator, providing 1:1 support in a variety of (Middle School) settings, one of which was perhaps the most unimaginative chorus class one could imagine.
Given the nature of the lessons, I didn’t have to intervene very much, so I had plenty of opportunity to just sit & jot in my journal. The teacher was horrible and rarely, if ever, did much beyond saying, “Today, class, we’re going to get ready for the New Year by learning a new song.
I was — just this morning– revising some oldies stuck in the Works-in-Progress file, and I came across this:
Visiting 7th-Grade Chorus
Long before New Year
they’re rehearsing Auld Lang Syne
like it’s a new song
If he has to hear it
one more time
or even if
he hears her say
“One more time”
one more time
he’s going to make her
eat that f@&#i!g piano.
It does my retired heart good to know there’s still Piano Girls like you out there, caring.
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