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New and tell

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:42 pm
by allanlummox
In my long time playing and singing Blues I've had the opportunity to bring the music into the classroom on a number of occasions - and recently the bulk of my shows have been live online broadcasts. Now I may be combining the two - with a series of three remote broadcasts to a classroom in my old home town, Philly, giving a primer on Blues as history and as language. (My sister teaches language arts, her husband computer science. It was bound to happen eventually)

We'll probably use Skype for the broadcast so that I can field questions between songs. I've not been using Skype so that's one more thing to bone up on.

A tentative list of songs to play and discuss includes Tommy Johnson's "Big Road Blues", Leroy Carr's "How Long How Long Blues", "Come On In My Kitchen" , "32.20 Blues" and "Dust My Broom" by the great Robert Johnson, Henry Thomas' "Fishing Blues" followed by contemporary Blues man Corey Harris' "Fish Ain't Biting" and my own "On top of the Food Chain".

I'm planning on culminating the last broadcast in the deep end of the pool - Son House's "Death Letter Blues", Leadbelly's "In The Pines" and ending with the Abel Meeropol poem recorded by Billie Holiday - "Strange Fruit".

The obvious assignment - explaining the most basic, AAB 12 bar Blues format and getting the kids (13 year olds - I think they can handle the songs I'm selecting) to write verses drawn from their own experiences.

Thoughts? Ideas? If any of the kids whip out a harp and jumps in, I'll send 'em here for further indoctrination...

Re: New and tell

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:27 pm
by Buffalo_Bill
Dan, sounds cool to travel all the way to Philly, and see your sister!

I had a good reaction to your song list, 'til I thought about the pre-teen mind.
Your song list is just too heavy on the ancient side. You're gonna have to find a few POP things from this past decade, that might have been heard before by the kids. As a fun starting point, then by steps, take them back to the roots.
Looking for those recent POP examples will be work.

“Enjoy yourself…It's later than you think.“

Re: New and tell

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:24 pm
by maxx england
Throw in something humorous, but non adult content? Make up a song about subjects the class gives you to show how it's an instant medium.

And, also, take a modern song and paste it over a blues frame, show them how there are only imaginary borders to what they can do.

Re: New and tell

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:59 pm
by allanlummox
"Make up a song about subjects the class gives you to show how it's an instant medium."

That I should have thought of myself.

I have Rita polling the class about their tastes in current music, we'll see what I have to work with.

The broadcasts will be in late April - if bandwidth allows (bet it won't) I'll be recording them.


Re: New and tell

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:58 pm
by s1120
I LOVE the idea of letting them toss out ideas, and song verses, and you making up on the fly. If you can do that it would be AWESOME, and IMHO bring a lot of kids into the music/songwriting world! make them learn that Blues is from inside... from the people, and people with all the thoughts and issues we all have.

I do ditto the commont about the song list. I would mix it up with a modern blues based song...maybe played in a more terditional manner. Keep some of the list for sure.... always good to get unknown [to them] songs out.... but keep it moving with some stuff that they might have heard before.