I have to admit that I was a little scared this morning when one of my y8's decided to play us a piece of music from High School Musical 3. Before 10am on a Monday is too early for HSM. It was also a little scary that lots of my kids were really getting into it, especially the lads...
I didn't have a lot to do with my y8s this morning though, cause I was teaching Sam some theory. Well, bass clef, at least.
Y9 were doing their presentations. They were supposed to be doing them last week, but they all conveniently 'forgot' their stuff. I think they wanted to show me their presentations, because I wasn't in last week. Some of them were very good and I'm really impressed with them. This group has definitely changed since September. Yes they're still loud and raucous at time, but they're quite fun and are getting to be a nice group to work with, in general.
This afternoon I had some great fun. I took the y7 and y8 classes and did some listening work with them. Normally music classes hate doing listening, but not when I'm around. Today I had them trying to work out what the 'music' was in 'Le Mans 2007 FX' - the sound of Le Mans 07. It's good fun and really odd to work with. I tried getting them to pick out the elements of it, to hone their listening skills and it worked quite well. It's amusing because they also thought that it sounded like a train station to start with, which shows how things can be deceptive. There are also parts of it that sounds quite minimalist. Whoever thought that Le Mans could be so musical!
Then I had them listening to an amazing piece of music called Love Story meets Viva la Vida by Jon Schmidt.
This had them completely in awe. They couldn't work out how many instruments were in it, or how many people were in it! I had answers from about 6 to 50, which is phenomenal when it's only 2 people, with Piano, Cello, Bass Drum and voice.
It's interesting how the Viva la Vida rhythmic theme appears in the first half, without it sounding out of place. One of my Y8s picked up on this but didn't realise why he thought it sounded like Coldplay to start with, well, not until I explained it all later. The two songs also fit together very well and it now sounds slightly odd to listen to them separately! I also love how the melodic line of Love Story doesn't always stay in the highest voice. It's moved around and yet it works very well. It doesn't confuse or detract from the music at all.
When I asked the kids if anyone liked the piece, everyone in the room put their hand up straight away. Both times. That's approximately 50 kids just completely overwhelmed by it. Yes, they know the tunes, but they're not done in the usual pop way. It's more classical, so it's amazing to see them like it.
Good times, good times.