Song of the Week

Rather Be by Clean Bandit

Chords: http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/c/clean_bandit/rather_be_ver4_crd.htm
Lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/cleanbandit/ratherbe.html

Why I Chose This Song
The simple answer to this is I happened to see my brother posted a Clean Bandit song on Facebook today. Seeing his post reminded me this was one of the songs on our list, so I decided to make it our song of the week!
What I Love
There are so many layers of texture in this song. I love the combination of dance beat and acoustic piano and strings paired in multiple ways. i also love the smooth quality of Grace Chatto’s voice.
The lyrics of this song really speak to me this week because I just returned home from 2 weeks of visiting my family and my husband’s family all over the country. It was such a great vacation and when I am with my husband and our son, my siblings, or my husband’s family, there is really no other place I would rather be. I love the fun way those sentiments are expressed by Clean Bandit.
Clinical Uses
Lyric Discussion
The subject of this song appears to be a relationship the singer values and finds comfort in. This could be a romantic relationship, but I could also see these lyrics referring to other relationships that we value, such as a good friend, sibling, child, or parent.
There are several lines that could provoke stimulating conversation, such as:
Chorus “If you give me a chance, I would take it.” This brings to mind the subject of redemption and setting goals for oneself.
Verse 2 “We stake out the mission to find inner peace.” What exactly is inner peace? What does it feel like? What are some ways you can establish peace in your life?
Verse 2 “Sacred Simplicity”. Why would someone speak so highly of simplicity? Is this something we strive for?
Performance/Recreation
The chords are in a repetitive pattern, which provides easier ability to teach and perform with clients.
And the multiple textures of sound inspires me to try my own instrument pairing, such as ukelele and xylophone, synthesizer and trumpet, or piano and maraca. This could be a fun recreation project with adolescents or young to middle age adults.
Improvisation
For a simple improvisation project, the facilitator could play/sing the song and allow the client to perform a solo between the end choruses. To add some improv to a recreation project, there is a place where someone could solo towards the end of the music video above (3:00 – 3:20).
For something entirely different, the music therapist could use the violin sequence from the introduction of the song as a starting point for melodic element and let the client improv percussion underneath it. Use that sequence to teach taking turns in a conversation. Play the melodic line, then pause. Allow each client to take turns responding with their instrument. This could also be done 1:1 at a piano.
Something to keep in mind when playing this song with clients is the rhythm is not your straight forward quarter and eighth notes. It could require some creativity to teach non musicians to feel/play the rhythm correctly.

And now for your entertainment, check out Pentatonix version of this song. Towards the end they sing a portion of the song with clapping. This is a great simple way of switching up the texture and getting some involvement. Just drop the instruments for a minute and clap (or other simple body percussion).

Have fun experimenting with this song this week! I know I will for sure. Let us know in the comments if you get a chance to use it in a session or in class.

Be Musical,
Catherine

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