Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Music Class Lessons...

O.k. This is me being vulnerable. I could not decide whether to share this with you, or not...but here it is...Lessons about Prince Bob.

Lesson One:

As my helpers took attendance I stepped into an adjoining room and into a silly costume consisting of a very bright green sweater, purple, pink and green swirly pointy hat, and a multicolored scarf.

I came loudly into the room proclaiming: Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye...then proceeded to tell this story about Prince Bob. I am Schmee...Prince Bob's Personal Assistant.

Once upon a time there was a great Prince of a great land. The Prince’s name was Bob.

Everyone loved Prince Bob. He had curly red hair and wore knickers that had pink and purple polka dots on them. It was a fashion mistake that just endeared him to the people of his land.

(I colored a silly picture of a young boy dressed like this and showed it to the class.)

Prince Bob has two passions in life; music and greased pig catching. Anytime he could think of an excuse there would be a festival and you could find Prince Bob there among the people of his land, having the time of his life.

Prince Bob loved music so much that he named the pigs in the greased pig catching pens after it. He named one Classical, the others Jazz, Blues, Rap, show tune, Rock ‘n Roll, Country, gospel, Ballad, Praise and Worship and Spiritual.

It was a rule of the land that whenever a pig was caught the band would strike up a song in the genre of the name of that pig. Ahem: can you help me with that word, genre? Everyone is too ashamed to ask Prince Bob….

Well, one day the people of this fair land were out at the games. The band was ready to play and the winds were blowing. Prince Bob’s red curly hair was tossed by the wind and his knickers were unusually bright on this day. This scared the pigs and they tried to get away.

Sure enough, out through the pen they went. They scattered all throughout the local neighborhood. People began to find them in their garages and basements. Sometimes these pesky pigs were rooting through their trashcans…sometimes they were sleeping on the big comfy couches in the basement family rooms. Either way, this was not something that the people of this happy land wanted.

Prince Bob was inconsolable! He pulled at his hair, he cried out to the people…you must help me gather in my pigs. I need them! I need the music to play!

Now, he is calling out to you…”Will you help me find my pigs?” Please find, Rock ‘n Roll, Blues, Classical, Ballad, Spiritual, gospel, Praise and Worship, Country, Rap and Show Tune. I need my pigs! Please, help me!”

Are you wondering how you can help him?

Here is what you can do…we are going to pull a pig from this container. For each one we pull, we will hear the music that goes with the name of that pig. IF you can tell me which kind of music it is the pig will be caught. If you get it wrong the pig gets away and has to be caught all over again.

Prior to classtime I had numbered each paper pig and had a corresponding piece of music pulled to go with it. I had the class vote on music style and if they got it right they caught the pig. I would then explain the history of that musical genre and took the moment to warn of modern/non-christian hip-hop.

We only got to catch 4 pigs and there was much begging and pleading to catch the rest this week. I am ok with that but have added the following mad lib to today's lesson.

As an aside, the funniest thing happened during the lesson last week. One of my helpers interrupted the lesson to ask for Schmee's autograph. Schmee, of course, was delighted and recognized it as a "perk" of his job...there are few, you know.
Soon, Schmee was at a table signing autographs for students and their siblings as we listened to the musical pieces. Hysterical!!!!

Now for that Mad lib:

A Musical Mad Lib – A letter from Schmee

Dear Friends,

Once upon a time…in a _____________land far, far away. There lived a

__________________prince, named Bob. Prince Bob was an interesting sort who loved

music so much that he would often __________________ it while he was

_____________________. This drove his _________________assistants crazy!

Sometimes, Prince Bob would play __________________ soothing music and the

People of his land would all gather around him to hear it. But then there were the times

that his music was a bit ______________________. That would make his

______________ people cry!

Prince Bob like such music as Jazz and Blues. Which made the people cry or swoon.

He liked the beat that came with rock and hip hop…though the Queen was not so happy

about that.

Then there was the gospel and the spirituals which got his toe to tapping and made him

think about a land that was somewhere out beyond.

Sometimes, Prince Bob, when he was in the mood for soothing, would sit down in his

favorite ________________chair and listen to the classical music written long, long ago.

Do you know that Bob even liked an opera, or two?

Now here is what I know about this _______________ Prince of ours. He is

_________________ and ________________________ but his is a friend of ours for

sure. For he has brought the ______________________music into the _________ land

of his. The people of that __________________world can never not love music!

Thanks Prince Bob!!! Signed, Schmee, Assistant to the Prince!

I know this is silly! It is supposed to be. But how many classes have you set through where you are just being lectured to about music and their styles and forms. I have a class that is more than half boys and many have let me know how much they hate learning about music...until last week!

Coming soon: Prince Bob hosts an opera!

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