The Guns of Brixton, Three Ways

One of my favourite Clash songs, remixed in three directions– a rough-around-the-edges Balkan number from Oncle Strongle, a jazzy twist from Nouvelle Vague, and finally, covered by Jimmy Cliff, the actor who originally played the “Ivan at the end of The Harder They Come” mentioned in the song.

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Music: Note Names

Today’s exercise went in a very unexpected direction, which I guess is the fun of following the lead of your student’s interest. The only plan I had was ‘label the piano’, but here’s what we did:
-Got out our alphabet stickers and began labeling the notes– all the C’s, then all the D’s, etc. As we did this, I showed him out all the C’s sound the same, and so on with the other notes.
-Talked about how the high notes were light and high like a fairy’s feet, and the low notes were deep and heavy like a giant’s feet. Oh, oops, I mentioned fairies, so Scout Kid, “Where Peter Pan?”
-Improvised a quick song for each octave, with the low octaves serving as Captain Hook, the cannon, and the crocodile, on up through Peter Pan, Wendy, John & Michael, and Tinker Bell. Samples: “Crocodile ticks loud; his clock rings,”and “Peter Pan flies up in the sky.” Not fabulous lyrics but we did sing a lot of scales that way…

Music: Shakers and Rhythm

Today we explored rhythm in music. Here’s what we did, for about 45 minutes:
-Listened to Paul Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints while we coloured and decorated our paper plates. Drummed on our plates along with Proof, listening for the loud and soft parts.
-Filled our plates with rice and beans (one of each) and stapled them shut.
-Had a dance party to Coast, Frantik (WWMT), and Happy from Despicable Me 2. Shook our shakers, twirled (“Look, woom turning!”) and ran around.
-Listened to Paul Simon’s Gumboots, and watched a video of gumboot dancers, since earlier Scout Kid had been drumming on his rubber boots. While we did this, Scout Kid also practiced cutting on the streamers with his little scissors.