A Grateful Nation
by Teresa Jennings
Get everyone on their feet at your Veterans Day program. Remind them through the power of music that our veterans deserve our gratitude. This song says what we should say in honor of those who serve – and their families, who do not often get mentioned. (Feel free to make a big thing about that particular aspect if it feels right in your setting.) The song uses power, passion, and a giant rock beat peppered with military snare drums and brass to achieve depth of feeling. Turn the volume way up on the recording, and tell your kids to belt it out. Keep them in their chest voices for the best effect, especially when they get to the chorus. The dynamic is fortissimo and the range is deliberately low to assist with the projection. It also invites the boys in your group to feel like they can contribute solidly, as our studio boys did. When you get to bar 26 of the coda, add claps on beats 2 and 4 for emphasis and added energy.
As always, be sure to have an American flag prominently displayed during the song or program. And definitely pause to acknowledge any veterans present at the performance. Have your students say "thank you" to them, individually or all together.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.