My Mind Is Mine
by Teresa Jennings
When you first put on your cassette for this issue, you may think that you're playing the wrong tape, or that we've clearly gone without sleep one night too many. Our intention was simple: get your attention, or more specifically, get your students' attention.
The subject of substance abuse is a tough one to deal with for any teacher, let alone a music teacher. But the fact of the matter is, you as a music teacher have a unique opportunity to try to reach your kids before, or heaven forbid, after substance abuse becomes a reality in their world. That is why we gave you this song. We wanted you to be armed.
"My Mind Is Mine" is a hard-hitting, hard rock song. It should be sung as loudly, powerfully, and intensely as your kids want to sing it. If really letting go and shouting any parts of it mean something to them, particularly the word "no," let them do it. This one is not here for "pretty." Don't pick on them for growling, grunting, rasping, or not singing in a "proper" voice. Let them feel. This one's theirs.
There are any number of ways you can perform "My Mind..." Of course, we'd like to strongly suggest that you purchase the tape to use with it, not just because we want to make a sale, but because there's no way you can duplicate the sound we produced to impress your kids. And if you do use the tape, turn up the volume. Don't worry about disturbing the other classes. This is important. As a matter of fact, invite them, and your principal, in to listen.
You'll note that there is a second part which enters on the D.S. It is deliberately written in a lower octave for lower, changing, and changed voices. If you don't have lower voices, you can take it up an octave, or leave it out entirely.
Both parts at measure 24 are sung all times. They are written in virtually the same range, but you can take either part down an octave if you have singers who can make it. Part 1 doesn't go quite as low as part 2 and may be a better alternative for some.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You will find that there is no lyric page for "My Mind Is Mine" in this magazine. Instead we are giving you a fully extracted Student Part for this song which you should find inserted in your issue. If it's not there, call us. Those who order Reproducible Packs get this type of part for every song!
Bottom line on this one is to let the kids get into it. Encourage dancing, movement and conversation.
The D. A. R. E. Program
To get the most out of "My Mind Is Mine," you may want to tie it into other substance abuse education programs in your school and community. Probably the most respected resource nationally is the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. Developed nearly ten years ago by the Los Angeles Police Department in conjunction with the L.A. public schools, this effective program is now active in all 50 states as well as in schools on armed forces bases worldwide.
Regardless of the size of your community, there is a good chance that your local police department offers D.A.R.E. training. In Wisconsin, for instance, most municipalities offer this assistance, right down to some departments with only one officer. These officers must receive special training at one of the two approved national training centers (in Illinois or California). To be admitted, the officers must have at least three years of experience in the field, and must submit a detailed application for acceptance. Not only do the officers go through intensive training, but they are also carefully evaluated to make sure that they are well suited to working with children.
Our home town (Wauwatosa) is a small to medium sized town just west of Milwaukee, with 2 full-time D.A.R.E. officers on the police force. The program they run in our elementary schools is probably typical of the programs available. They offer short programs on choices, peer pressure, etc., for grades K-4. Their most intense program is aimed at the 5th grade. Here they run a 17-week program that explores many of the things young people will face from drugs and alcohol to stealing and other problems. Aside from the in-school programs, D.A.R.E. also offers other positive experiences for early teens. Locally, for instance, D.A.R.E. sponsors a trip to a Brewers baseball game complete with a party beforehand. This year they expect 10,000 kids from our area to attend. Every state also produces newsletters for schools. We saw a couple of them from the California chapter, and they were well produced.
To learn more about what D.A.R.E. offers in your area, contact your local police or sheriff's department. There is also a national office, which you can reach at:
P. O. Box 2090
Los Angeles, CA 90051
One last thing to remember about D.A.R.E. They are mainly supported by donations. Our local chapter gets $2,000 in tax money to run a $95,000 program. So if you are looking for a worthwhile charity for a concert, etc., here is one that will use its money for your kids.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.