My Family

by Teresa Jennings

In our ever-changing society, what defines one person's family and what defines another's are rarely the same. If you ever have the opportunity to talk to students about their families, you will no doubt find a wide variety of responses. Some students may have one parent, while others have two. Yet others may have more parents (usually due to divorce). Or perhaps they have a guardian, such as a grandparent or aunt. They may live with brothers or cousins or stepsisters. Or maybe they have no siblings. Some families are very small, and others are enormous. Truly, you will hear just about everything.

In this gentle and poignant song, family is not strictly defined or limited. Indeed, it is a broad definition that includes "the ones who care for me." Who those people are to your students is very individual and personal. Any family occasion would be appropriate for the use of this song - Mother's Day, Father's Day, Grandparents Day, and even Kids' Day (if you live in a place that celebrates this one).

The song is unison throughout, unless you decide to use the optional solo at the beginning. Our soloist, Grace Morgan, sang from the pick-up to measure 9 all the way to measure 24. You could have yours do the same, or you could alter it. For example, have the solo end in measure 16. Or divide the first 24 bars into several solos, perhaps one every phrase.

The orchestration on the CD is particularly lovely, and is reminiscent of an old English folk song. It alternates between strings and brass during the verses and combines them during the choruses. However, the piano part is written in such a way that it could be used in a live performance, if you prefer.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.