July-14th-2003, 12:59 PM
swing like crazy!
Teaching Again (and a question about Leadbelly)
Well, I'm back in front of elementary-aged kids again. I'm teaching this week at a multi-arts daycamp at our local Community School of music and arts. There's a theme every week and this week is "Blues Brothers and Sisters Week." I'm the music teacher.
This is the first time I've been in front of kids since the winter time when I subbed for a day. I discovered that a) if you don't play guitar for a whole year, when you pick the instrument up again, it hurts and b) I really *do* enjoy teaching. I have the knack. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy the actual teaching part.
I don't regret quitting my public school job. I don't miss the bull****. I miss the money most, but money's just money. What I didn't realize was how much I miss playing with the kids.
Today I taught them "I'm Gonna Sing When the Spirit Says Sing" just to give them something active to do (they get to clap and shout on different verses. Tomorrow we'll add some more like stomp and jump. Steady beat, baby---that's where it's at.
Then I taught them a Leadbelly blues called "Good Morning Blues." Now here's the Leadbelly question: how do you pronounce his real name "Huddie"? Is it "hew-di" or "huh-di"? I just plain told the kids I'd heard it both ways and I don't know which is right but that I'd try to find out. Anyway.....
I then had them add a couple of verses of their own in the classic AAB form. They were pretty good, too.
Then just for fun, I had them dance to "Rte. 66" and did a call and response thing.
Tomorrow they practice what they learned and came up with today. I'm going to teach them to "act" out the basic harmonic scheme of the blues by dividing them into three groups and teaching the "I group" to stand when they hear the I chord, the"IV" group to stand on the IV chord, and the "V" group stand on the V chord. It'll help them learn to feel the changes. I may place sheets of paper with I, IV. or V written on them in a big triangle in the middle of the room and have groups of children move from chord to chord like the papers were bases in a weird baseball game.
I'll also start teaching them the words and melody to "Rte. 66."
My only complaint is that I HATE GETTING UP IN THE MORNING!!
Thanks for any help on Leadbelly. I think I'll have some Leadbelly on when the kids come in tomorrow. Wish I had a recording of the song they're singing, but I have a recording of Leadbelly singing the children's play song "Ha-Ha Thisaway".