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African popular music Teacher Resources
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Upper graders explore pop culture and pop music as a forum for female role models. They explore women who have currently contributed to our pop world and why they could be considered role models. They each interview a woman in their lives, asking questions about their female role model. Responses are then shared with the class.
Students evaluate the messages in music. In this communication through music lesson, students listen to various musical selections and determine the message being conveyed in the song. Then, students create their own message as they pretend to be drummers in an African village.
Students examine pieces of art by African-American artists in the 20th Century. For each piece, they are shown slides of the artwork and others by the artist to identify the techniques used. In groups, they discuss and research the time period in which the art was produced to end the lesson.
Trey from Phish and Dave from the Dave Mathews Band took a trip to Africa to explore music, culture, and history. Your class watches this episode from VH1's Music Studio to understand how African culture and music have influenced modern American artists. Background information on Senegal, the musicians, web links, and critical-thinking questions accent this well-thought-out lesson that blends pop culture, social studies, and music.
Upper graders listen to the blues. They discuss blues scale, read a description of the blues, and work together to write an original piece. A lesson like this ties into American history and African-American musical contributions very well. It also promotes self-expression and creative problem solving.
Learn about American pop culture, art, and the social voice that art can convey. The class discusses the life and art of Barton Benes, views his piece Reliquarium, then discusses what they see and feel when they view his work. Make sure to include a viewing and discussion of how art can act as a vocal forum for social injustice or activist movements.
Students determine that thriving African cultures engaged in international trade and exploration before the emergence of European civilization. The study ancient Ghana, its geographic locale, the diversity therein to include its people, their lifestyles, languages, and customs.
Seventh graders listen to a variety of folktales sharing experiences of slavery. As a class, they compare and contrast reading a story and telling a story. They participate in a role play activity to discover the journey of a slave and reflect on the activity in their journal. After watching a video, they discuss how point of view influences ones view of history.
Learners examine the history of blues music and discover how it relates to the music of today. As a class, they listen to the drum songs of Africa and compare it to the use of drums in pop music today. Using the internet, they research the history of the blues and its early artists. To end the lesson, they write in their journals to reflect on the music.