Drug Free Me

by Teresa Jennings

We sure had a lot of fun doing this piece! Set in a hip-hop style, we especially enjoyed adding the way cool brass and sax lines throughout. As you might imagine, we encourage you to use the recording when performing this piece so you can get the full benefit of the arrangement.

Because the song is hip-hop, the eighth, dotted eighth rhythms are swung, that is, they are based on a triplet feel. Let your students listen to the singers on the recording for an example of style.

The beginning of the vocal part is divided into a call and response. The first group sings and the second group yells in response. Later in the song, during the D.C., the two parts are reversed. (You will note on the lyric page that the groups are switched in the columns for ease of reading.) At measure 18, the two groups are joined, both of them singing.

During the rhythm break at measure 28, claps can be added, if you like. A suggested part is included on the music. You could also bring in some non-pitched percussion, such as cowbells, tambourines, or woodblocks.

The section is also meant to offer a chance for movement. Some simple steps could be added for the whole group to perform, or you could choose a few dancers to feature instead. Especially in the case of hip-hop, which is very contemporary and familiar to young performers, movement ideas might be best solicited from them. In any event, let the movement continue into the next section at measure 32, even while the students are rapping.

We're quite sure you don't need us to tell you to bring this one across the curriculum. Anti-substance abuse songs are very popular with teachers, parents, and administrators alike. What a good opportunity for you to reinforce the value and importance of music in education!

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.