School is Out! (Summer Anthem)
I wanted to write a song that captured the excitement of students as they near the end of the school year. I specifically wrote a song that incorporates simple lyrics, an easy melody, and imagery from a normal day of school and a desired summer day. I hope you enjoy the song notes. Both my son and daughter helped me write this song and can be heard on this recording.
The synth and piano start the song and represent the change of atmosphere that summer brings - a gentle breeze, warmer temperatures, and the excitement of a new season.
Just before the drums enter, I placed a sound effect that sounds like a tape recorder rewinding or fast-forwarding. This is to represent the desire of some students to rewind the school year and start over, but most kids wanting to fast-forward to the end of the school year.
Also, I wanted to write a song that was built using “loops” to create beats and interesting patterns of rhythm and melody. My classes, grades 3-5, have been creating songs using loops this year through the use of Quavermusic.com.
This verse represents the anticipation of summer, but also the end of the school day.
I included the normal end-of-day school tasks in this verse. Packing your bags, helping each other, and getting ready to move to dismissal at the end of the school day.
The lyrics of the chorus represent the anticipation of the end of the school year and good times with friends. The students understand that they will be next school year, but until then… “no more homework!”
Everyday, it is important to encourage and build the self-confidence of each student as they discover their talents and face new challenges.
Music, school, and summer is all about relationships. This verse was written to be an inclusive invitation to friendships, singing and dancing. The phrase, “let’s get ready to move” now has a double meaning: it represents moving to dismissal at the end of the school day, but also getting ready to dance.
Each chorus melody is based upon the solfege pitches of “mi-sol-la” and was written to be similar to the simple songs we sing in class. The final solfege pitch jumps to the root note “do” to signal the end of homework, at least temporarily.
Movement is important to learning music in elementary school and in future grades. The students are invited to dance and then sing the lyrics, “school is out…” - the repetition of this line is an obvious reference to the building excitement kids have towards the last day of school and summer break.
The chorus repeats and fades as the main idea of the song is restated.