Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lesson with the iPad

And an awesome one it makes. I gave my girl and co a comprehension passage on jazz music... when you read about jazz, you'll come across the likes of Louis Armstrong and Davis Miles. Now how many 10 year-old-kid would know about jazz? My gal and the other boy learn music. They've taken their theory exams and know some of the instruments. But jazz is not one of those things they know. I went on to talk about different types of music - classical, reggae, soul and they contributed names like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga (yup! That peculiar and poor role model is in their list, horror of horrors).... and of course, Bruno Mars. His Marry Me song used to be my gal's favorite. Can't say I don't like it cos the tune is really catchy... that is of course, till you get down to its lyrics; how it belittles the worth of marriage.

Anyway, enters the iPad as my teaching companion. First I let them listened to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, the jazzed up version. I got bewildered looks cos the jazzy version sounded really different to these kids who have been trained to think and function on a single track. So they only know Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in one style. Then from jazz I showed them a philharmonic orchestra playing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.... There had tenors and sopranos backed by a full choir and it was an awesome show. And the clip gave us plenty to talk about... the different types of instruments, the roles of tenors and sopranos, musicians from the age of European Renaissance...

From the classical realm I moved back to more contemporary music and music as a career. The interest in classical music is more difficult to sustain since they are the Bieber and those boy (girl) bands generation. The first the first guy I showed them was Richard Clayderman on his piano. Then I went on to show Kenny G and wowed them with Kitaro playing Matsuri. We played Louis Armstrong's It's A Wonderful World too and the kids like it. All throughout the kids were very consistent in asking one same questions..... is that guy still alive? And then somehow my gal came to this conclusion that if the clips were black and white, they got to be dead. LOL!! Kids! They asked too how come no girl? So I showed them Vanessa Mae playing Toccata and Fugue in D minor, her pop version.

The iPad makes it really convenient for small group instruction cos you can show them stuff and it's speaker is loud enough to be heard clearly. And all I needed was a connection to YouTube for this lesson. No other sophisticated sites or AVA. Just audio and visual on the 10 inch screen and the lessons come alive. One more reason why I like my iPad a lot.

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