School-Wide Anthem

Contributed by Rachel Malara, Somers Middle School

Click here to scroll to the “extended” version. The extended version will work well in a school with a strong music program with music teachers who have the time and resources to dedicate to a larger undertaking.

By involving students in different roles and emphasizing the theme of inclusivity and the importance of every voice, this project will not only create a memorable anthem but also foster a deeper sense of community and appreciation for diversity within the school. See lesson plan for accommodations and additions that will ensure every voice is represented.

Main Version

Objective

Create and present a school-wide anthem celebrating the theme of “Every Voice Matters”.

Main Components

  • Record each group speaking a short phrase about why their voice matters.
  • Place it over a song that celebrates inclusivity and “Ever Voice Matters.”

Song Suggestions

  • “This is Me” from the Greatest Showman
  • “Imagine’ by John Lennon
  • “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas
  • An original song by a student or group of students

Materials

  • Paper and pens
  • Whiteboard and markers
  • Recording device

Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Begin with a discussion on the theme “Every Voice Matters.”
  • Ask students what it means to them and why it might be important.

Brainstorming Session (10 minutes)

  • On the whiteboard, write “Why All Voices Matter.”
  • Have students brainstorm ideas and phrases that relate to this theme.
  • Encourage them to think about diversity, inclusion, respect, and unity.

Writing the Phrase (20 minutes)

  • Ask each student to write a short phrase (one sentence) about why all voices matter.
  • Provide examples to get them started, such as:
    • “Every voice adds a unique note to our harmony.”
    • “We are stronger when every voice is heard.”
  • Walk around the classroom to provide support and feedback.

Sharing and Selecting (20 minutes)

  • Have students share their phrases with the class.
  • Discuss each phrase and its significance.
  • Combine ideas into one. The idea is that each class/advisory/homeroom/group is represented by one phrase.
  • Decide on key moments in the anthem to include the spoken phrases.’

Recording

  • Record each group speaking their phrase.
  • Upload into a shared folder on the cloud.

Additions and Accommodations

  • Use speech generating devices or ASL for students who are non-verbal, deaf, or hard of hearing. There are many tutorials online that can be used to learn the sign language for your song.
  • Add simple choreography. There are many tutorials online. You can also find chair choreography for students who use a wheelchair.
  • Younger grades, or older students who are willing can sing parts of the song.
  • Allow students to clap, use percussion instruments, or hold up pictures instead of singing.

 Final Project

  • Main Facilitator: Layer all contributions into one project using Soundtrap, Logic, GarageBand, or iMovie over the song that was chosen.
    • Begin with a brief introduction about the project and its significance. (preferably a student voice)
  • Share the recording of the performance with the school community via the school’s website, social media, or a digital newsletter.

Reflection

Have a follow-up session in classrooms to discuss the experience, what students learned, and the impact of hearing everyone’s voice together.


School-Wide Anthem: Extended Version

This version is a heavier lift. It will work well in a school with a strong music program with music teachers who have the time and resources to dedicate to a larger undertaking. It’s recommended that student musicians begin learning the vocals and instrument parts in advance of this project.

Objective

Create and present a school-wide anthem that includes singing, instrumental performance, spoken phrases, and/or ASL, choreography, and visuals about “Every Voice Matters”. See lesson plan for accommodations and additions that will ensure every voice is represented.

Main Components

  • Chorus/Music Teachers: Teach music students the vocal melody
  • Orchestra/Band Teachers: Teach instrumental to band and orchestra students
  • Non-music teachers/music students: Record each participant speaking a short phrase about why their voice matters. Add ASL, percussion, visuals and/or choreography if applicable.

Materials

  • Paper and pens
  • Whiteboard and markers
  • Recording device
  • Instruments (for music students)
  • Lyrics and instrumental parts for (music students)

Song Suggestions

  • “This is Me” from the Greatest Showman
  • “Imagine’ by John Lennon
  • “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas
  • An original song by a student or group of students

Chorus/Music Teachers and Students

  • Divide the song into sections and assign them to different classes or grades.
  • Provide lyrics. Teach in advance of this project.

Band/Orchestra Teachers and Students

  • Arrange the instrumental parts for the school band or individual musicians.
  • Teach in advance of this project.

Non-Music Teachers and Students

  • Introduction (10 minutes)
    •  Begin with a discussion on the theme “Every Voice Matters.”
    • Ask students what it means to them and why it might be important.
  • Brainstorming Session (10 minutes)
    •  On the whiteboard, write “Why All Voices Matter.”
    • Have students brainstorm ideas and phrases that relate to this theme.
    • Encourage them to think about diversity, inclusion, respect, and unity.
  • Writing the Phrase (20 minutes)
    • Ask each student to write a short phrase (one sentence) about why all voices matter.
    • Provide examples to get them started, such as:
      • “Every voice adds a unique note to our harmony.”
      •  “We are stronger when every voice is heard.”
    •  Walk around the classroom to provide support and feedback.
  • Sharing and Selecting (20 minutes)
    • Have students share their phrases with the class.
    • Discuss each phrase and its significance.
    • Decide on key moments in the anthem to include the spoken phrases. Plan for smooth transitions between singing, playing instruments, and speaking.
  • Recording
    • Record each student speaking their phrase.
    • Upload into a shared folder on the cloud.

Additions and Accommodations

  • Use speech-generating devices or ASL for students who are non-verbal, deaf, or hard of hearing. There are many tutorials online that can be used to learn the sign language for your song.
  • Add simple choreography. There are many tutorials online. You can also find chair choreography for students who use a wheelchair.
  • Allow students to clap, use percussion instruments, or hold up pictures instead of singing.

Final Project

  • Main Facilitator: Layer all vocal, instrumental, spoken phrases and other components into one project using Soundtrap, Logic, GarageBand, or iMovie.
    • Begin with a brief introduction about the project and its significance. (preferably a student voice)
  • Share the recording of the performance with the school community via the school’s website, social media, or a digital newsletter.

Reflection

Have a follow-up session in classrooms to discuss the experience, what students learned, and the impact of hearing everyone’s voice together. By involving students in different roles and emphasizing the theme of inclusivity and the importance of every voice, this project will not only create a memorable anthem but also foster a deeper sense of community and appreciation for diversity within the school.

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