I should start by saying that Jr. High isn't my favorite age to teach...Kindergarten-6th grade? Bring it on...love it...but Jr. Highers are just hard. They are in such a different season than the young ones. Everything is such a big deal to them, and some of them are just too cool for music class, which is lame really. However, I have learned to love and appreciate them throughout the year more than I expected to. This week has been the best week yet with my Jr. High...
...I am currently going through one of my favorite lessons of the year with my 7th and 8th graders: musical analysis. I love hearing their opinions on music - what they like/dislike - what they notice first in a song or listen for - what emotion it evokes in them...and so on. And what's crazy is that it has brought each class closer together. I could write pages and pages of stories I have heard this week...and all of them have come out of discussions about music. Amazing. Here is an example:
Being that this is the intro. week to the lesson, musical analysis, we have been listening and discussing. I comprised a playlist of 17 of the most "popular" songs in the last 5 years. We have been going through the list and analyzing each one - genre, instrumentation, lyrics, guitar tones, and so on. #13 on the playlist is "Hide and Seek" - Imogen Heap. Yesterday morning the 7th graders and myself were listening to this song. After we were done listening and were discussing the emotions in the song, one of my favorite 7th graders raised her hand. She had tears in her eyes. This is what she said.
"One of my good friends did a dance routine to this song last year. Her mom had died the day before, but she danced anyway. She wanted to dance and she knew her mom would want her to. No one said a word while she danced. It was a very sad, beautiful moment. All that to say, this song makes me think of my friend's strength."
I have a feeling analyzing music with the Jr. High is going to be more meaningful than I thought. It has already moved me.