Back To The Notes
Gee, I had a great time yesterday. I finished up a 6th grade music residency, called “Back To The Notes”, with a rock and roll concert that had the joint jumpin’. Over the course of the last week, I visited each classroom playing the recordings of some influential African American musicians, directly linking them to the “Beyond The Notes” unit in their Open Court reading anthologies. The kids enjoyed hearing the sounds of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Robert Johnson, B.B. King, and Ray Charles (pictured). As a writing prompt, each 6th grade class wrote their own version of “The Homework Blues.” Then the real fun started. With the help of my fellow band mates in the Loose Acoustic Trio, plus our good friend and drummer, Jim Caselli, we turned on the electricity (guitar, keyboard, bass) and rocked the house. The set list included “The Thrill Is Gone,” “Crossroads,” “Unchain My Heart,” and all three original versions of “The Homework Blues.” Who knew the 12-bar blues could be educational and so much fun at the same time?