Take A Breath
by Teresa Jennings
In this day and age of rapid living, even our children are subjected to a fast-paced existence. Couldn't we all use a little slowing down and breathing easier? Written with middle to upper elementary students in mind, this song's unique message may just help to remind your students to take a little slower pace sometimes.
The first time through, the piece is in unison until measure 28, when an optional second part joins in. For our recording session, we decided to let our older singers perform the second part. You may find this a desirable option for your situation as well.
At measure 18 both times, there is a break in the singing to allow students a chance to inhale and exhale slowly as the tune suggests. During these parts, we have added the gentle sound of wind and tinkling wind chimes to enhance the relaxation mode. You might even wish to lower the lights and/or have students close their eyes.
If you do have the recording, you will be treated to the beautiful sounds our incredible cello soloist, Marjie Hanna. Marjie told us that the solo laid well for the cello and was a joy to play. Which leads us to believe that if you have a talented young cellist in your midst, you might wish to offer this solo to her for a live performance. Of course, we also have strings, winds, and rhythm on our recording, but the piano part is very nice by itself as well. It would do as an accompaniment for cello and voices.
At the end of the song, you will see that the music not only slows down, but it gets softer and softer as well. In the last measure or so, singers are instructed to close their eyes and continue singing until all of their air is expelled. You will hear breath come out of some, while others hang on longer. This is fine. If they truly continue to decrescendo, it should be an interesting effect. When used with the recording, it will blend in with the wind and wind chimes at the end.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.