Mentoring Program

Let Our Colors Shine

Composer Name: Jennifer Martel
A choral piece about changing the world.
Grade Level: 8
Intended For: Not Sure
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Choral
Key: Unsure
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: 140
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title
Located in: Opus 33 Grades 6-8


#7 Matt LaRocca 2018-02-21 08:08
Hi Jennifer,

Agreed! It’s really shaping up nicely now. Can you hear how it flows better at this point? For my ears, and for the performer’s ability to sing it, the music is much much tighter.

With the bridge, I wonder if it needs to be a little more distinct from the rest of the piece? Bridges typically are a much different feel and character, as a way to “bridge” two parts of the song together. The rhythm and pacing feel are pretty similar to the verse and chorus. What do you think about changing it so that there are longer notes? A very lyrical line, half notes, quarter notes, etc. This way it become more distinct from the rest of the piece, and gives a good counterpart. I love the words, and want to separate them and make them more effective. (You can slightly change words too if it helps with this)

If you do decide to rewrite some of the melody in the bridge, also think about the bridge as a whole. To me, it could be a spot where everything slowly rises - this way “spread hope instead of hiding” would be in the upper range (G-C above middle C), making it very powerful! Then the drop back to middle C as the chorus comes in lets us know we’re coming back to the chorus.

I’m curious what you think about this. Let me know!

#6 Jennifer Martel 2018-02-21 06:26
Hi Mr. LaRocca!

Thanks for all the help! I made those changes, and it sounds a lot better.

I took your suggestion and changed ‘then’ to a half note, which fixed the problem of to long of a rest.

Yes, that last paragraph made a lot of sense. I fixed this in the measures you mentioned and anywhere else I noticed it.

I also moved the chorus into the right place at measure 63.

So, sorry this is short, but everything’s sounding good to me! Any other suggestions you have, I’m excited to hear, especially about the bridge.

- Jennifer
#5 Matt LaRocca 2018-02-19 14:12
Hi Jennifer!

The video is so helpful. Thank you! It's getting to where you want it, so awesome job with all your hard work!

To get the half note in m. 8, change the G in the first beat to a full quarter, and then you can basically back up everything by a beat - this way you "sky" actually stretches over beat 4 in measure 8 and into beat 1 of measure 9 (ending on the D). This will line up with how you sang it in the video.

With the similar spot, you can just do pretty much the same thing. change beat 1 to a quarter note, and then shift the rest back a beat so that it ends in m. 11.

In m. 11 then, I would back up where "And no-body..." so that it starts on the "and" of beat 4. This way "No-body" lands on beat 1 of m. 12, and "do next" is on beat 1 and 2 of m. 13. "When it's all about to end" would still start on beat 4 of bar 13.

I think will make it flow well for you, and give you the right feeling.

For m. 18, how do you feel about making "then" just an half note? This actually makes a lot of sense compositionally because you're moving into the chorus and the shortened "then" makes the music move forward in a good way.

After this, I think the chorus works out nicely. I still need to go through the parts in 48, but in m. 63 you want to do the same thing with the chorus and move it around like you did the first half.

And one last thing, your eighth notes should all be over a single beat instead of being split up. What I mean is all the eighth notes should be joined to another if they cover a single beat (like the first 18 bars, which is perfect. In m. 23, you have three eighths beamed together, which makes it hard to read - basically you never want to beam two eighth notes across a beat (like from the "+" of beat 3 to the downbeat of beat 4). This is what happens in m. 29, 32, 34, 35, 37, 39.

Does that last paragraph make sense at all? It's hard to explain with just text. Please let me know if you have any questions.

You're doing such a great job, so keep up the fantastic work! It's tough, but it will be so worth it in the end.

#4 Jennifer Martel 2018-02-16 16:29
Hi Mr. LaRocca!

Thanks for the helpful instructions! I moved everything so that it would be in the right place according to what you said.

I found that almost everything lined up without me having to change the rhythm I wanted. There were a couple of places though where I wasn't sure how to get it where you wanted without changing it. If they should just be changed then I'm fine with that, but I'll list them below to see if there's any way to solve that.

m. 8 - I wanted 'no' to be a quarter note and for 'blue' to move from an E to a D, each being eighth notes.

m. 10 - Same thing as above, 'no' as a quarter note, 'love' as two eighth notes, sung on E then D.

m. 18 - There's an extra half rest to get 'let' on beat one of the next measure, but I only wanted an eight rest between 'then' and 'we'.

Those were the only places, everything else worked out fine. Mrs. Tozzi sent you the video of me singing with a metronome, so you'll probably be able to hear what I'm saying about the rhythm in those spots.

#3 Matthew LaRocca 2018-02-14 14:54
Hi Jennifer,

My apologies for the slow response! Somehow I didn’t see that you responded.

So I’m going to through and tell you which words should be on beat 1 of a measure, and I think you should move them around accordingly so that’s where they land. It will greatly help with the feel and flow of what you have. It will be a measure number (for what you have now), followed by which word should be on a downbeat (beat 1) of a measure. Let me know if this gets confusing! It’s really hard to get things in the right spot when you’re translating something from your head to the page.

m. 8 “no”

m. 17 “let” (so then “shine” is also on a beat 1)

m. 20 “speak”

m. 22 “hear”

Try it up to here…after this it gets pretty weird with the rhythm.

But in m. 30, I definitely think that “up” should be on beat 1, as well as “wanna.”

This is going to be weird, but I wonder if you could have Ms. Tozzi record you singing it with a metronome going on her phone and then send it to me. I can’t quite figure out exactly how it should go, but I do know there’s a big difference between what you’re signing and what you’ve actually written down (which is normal! Again…this is really tough, so don’t be discouraged). If I can hear you sing it with a pulse going in the background, I can help figure it out for you. Would that work? Right now, people actually wouldn’t be able to sing what you want with the music we have so far. Once we get the rhythm squared away, we’ll be good to go.

#2 Jennifer Martel 2018-02-09 11:37
Hi Mr. LaRocca!

Thanks for the feedback! I did try singing it with the metronome, but I feel like the song is so engraved in my head that I have a hard time hearing anything other than what I'm used to. However, I did change measure nine and ten so that 'no' is on beat one instead of 'love'. Is that what you wanted?

To be completely honest, I had never really heard about how certain words should fall on beat one to move the song along, so I don't have an informed opinion about the chorus.

As for what I have planned for this song, I would like this to be an SAB arrangement. I want the verses to be A Capella, which would symbolize the independence of this generation by having the singers be independent with their parts. I was considering having the melody line of the verses be solos, with 'ahs' under that. Then during the chorus everyone would be singing in three part harmony, to symbolize working together, and I would like to add a piano accompaniment in the background at that time.

Once again, thanks for the feedback!

- Jennifer
#1 Matthew LaRocca 2018-02-03 08:13
Hi Jennifer!

You've done a ton of work on this since we met at Colchester. Great stuff! l think that the rhythm and flow is better in the first part, but I'm still not sure about it starting at m. 9.

Have you tried turning on the metronome and singing along? Really focusing on where you feel beat 1 in each bar happening? I think that would be a good exercise - it's similar to what we were doing when I visited.

In the chorus, I really hear the words "let" "speak" and "hear" as the strongest beats, which would fall on beat 1. Is that right from your perspective?

Let me know what you think, as we'll still need to re-write some of the rhythms to make the flow perfect.

Also, what else are you going to add to this? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Is there a piano? Percussion? More voices?

I'm so happy you're writing with us, and I love what you've got so far. Can't wait to hear back from you!


Add comment

Security code