Tell the Lord how thankful you are


Getting started

Michaël Vancraeynest wrote a song that can certainly charm young teenagers with its flattering melody, its rhythmic features and the variation in the arrangements of the different stanzas.


There are four stanzas in this song, although they are not parallel. The unisono first stanza provides the singers with a melodic grip. It is desirable to immediately demonstrate a nice phrasing. I myself would dare to extend the arc above bars three and four over the entire next line. Possibly you can add an unnoticed short breath before the word and in bar 10. The rhythmic figure as in bar 9 comes back repeatedly, but does not have to be a problem: make sure you teach it properly right away. Slight variations of this motif require some attention in the following stanzas.


Once the melody is known, you can tackle the second and fourth stanzas with their varying two parts. In both stanzas, the melody must flow seamlessly from one voice to the other. If you want to teach the separate melody from the third stanza first, you can of course do that too, and then start the polyphony later. In the second and fourth stanzas the sopranos are given short interventions to the text the Lord is my God. Make sure that the main accent is not on the first note, but on Lord and on God. Practice that for a while.


The third stanza takes on a new familiar-sounding melody via a seamless modulation from B flat to A. It then rises via a progression to a form of C to end up via a flat and an instrumental bridge to the opening key and melody. An apparently complex script, but the chorus gets a clear, harmonic support from the piano. Nevertheless, vigilance is required here so that the choir continues to sing with a steady tone. Moreover, the endnote of the stanza is not so obvious in the second voice. Listening carefully to each other will help.


An unpretentious song at first sight that, with special attention to a few bars and thanks to the flowing piano accompaniment, becomes a fresh song, ready to captivate a wide audience.

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