Melody of Tearin' Up My Heart

Lesson based on a song written by Max Martin and Kristian Lundin.
  • Students will learn melody of Tearin' Up My Heart.
  • Students will sing accurately and with breath control.
  • Students will read at sight simple melodies.
  • Students will evaluate the quality and effectiveness of a music performance.
  • CD player
  • Tearin' Up My Heart sheet music
  1. Look at the music.
    • Hand out Tearin' Up My Heart sheet music to students.
    • Invite students to read through noting the lyrics.
    • Invite them to read through a second time, concentrating on the melody line.
    • Ask if the melody moves by leaps or steps. Where is the largest leap? Where are some steps? Ask students to find the lowest and the highest note.
  2. Listen to the music.
    • Ask your students if they think the recorded version on CD will follow the notes on the sheet music. Lead a short discussion on how recorded versions may differ from written scores mentioning rubato and ornamentation. Also discuss how tenors read in treble cleff, but sing an octave lower. Ask the students how they predict the recorded version will sound if they are not familiar with the song.
    • Play the CD, inviting the students to follow with the sheet music. Ask students to look carefully at measures 23 through 28. Does the singer in verse 2 sing the melody differently from the singer in verse 1? If so, how? (The singer in verse 2 adds ornamentation to measures 24 and 28.)
    • Ask your students what else they noticed about the melody while listening and reading the music. (Notice places where the soloist slides between notes, like in measure 14, and additional harmonies not notated beginning in measure 21.)
    • Ask if anyone may think that the addition of vocal harmonies and ornaments adds to the effectiveness of the music.
    • What other pop singers use ornaments like this? (Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men) If you wish, discuss the fact that this type of improvisation/ornamentation is especially prominent in African American song styles. Note that *NSYNC crosses over style boundaries. They use this type of ornamentation in a mainstream "pop" context.

    3. Sing the music.

    • Examine the first page of music. Ask students how long the phrases are (2 measures).Which phrase (measure 5) is longer than the others? Does the singer breathe in that phrase? (No)
    • Invite students to read the melody, singing only on an open "du." If enough students are familiar with the music, then sing the lyrics.
    • Practice singing on du over two measures without a breath.
    • Invite students to read lyrics, then sing melody with lyrics (if they haven't already).
    • Ask student volunteers to sing the melody, adding their own ornaments. Invite constructive comments on the effectiveness of the ornaments.

The recording is sung an octave lower than notated. Because your students may be familiar with the recording, singing in the notated octave may seem unnatural for them. Boys and altos should sing the same range as *NSYNC. Sopranos may wish to sing it in the written octave. Please caution your students not to overuse their chest voices.

Return to Teaching with *NSYNC.

Provided in partnership with NAfME
The melody of the *NSYNC song Tearing up My Heart is examined in detail by listening to the recording, reading sheet music, and singing the song.
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