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Monday, January 30, 2017

The "The Creative Arts: Part II - My Granddaughters" Story

Granddaughter Camille
It was an ordinary day.  My grand- daughter Camille is showing me the online version of her report card.  She has six classes with an 89% in one of them and 90% or over in the other five.  One of them she even had a 100%.  Course was listed as Creative Arts 47 and lasted the entire first semester of this school year.  Naturally I wondered how anyone could maintain a perfect average in anything so I had to ask. I was amazed when I learned the course was about music, specifically "Rock and Roll."  Wow!  For the next half hour we talked about my favorite type of music as well as what could be Camille's favorite also.  What a course to teach!  I would have loved teaching a class where we talked about musicians and their music from the early1950s to the 1970s.  
Buddy Holly and The Crickets
Camille and I talked about the artists as well as the songs of the "Rock and Roll" era and pulled "Rock and Roll" up on her phone to learn: In the early 1950s, a new form of music exploded onto the scene, exciting a growing teenage audience while startling many others who preferred the music of Bing Crosby and Patti Page.  The term "rock and roll" came to be used to describe a new form of music, steeped in the blues, country, and gospel.  Teenagers fell in love with this new sound, listening to it on transistor radios and buying it in record stores.  
The Beatles
Well, what a great topic to talk about with my granddaughter who is one year shy of being a teenager.  I told her of my first job at a department store and being in charge of the 45 records which were the same songs that she had just finished studying.  I asked her what musicians and songs they listened to and studied and she pulled up a chart on her phone that listed: (1) Band/Artist, (2) Time Period/Era of Rock Music, (3) Instruments, (4) Dynamics, (5) Tempo, (6) Tone Color/Mood, (7) Subject Matter (what it's about). Their teacher talked about the band or person, gave some background history, played a few songs from the artists and gave them incidentals such as the year it was produced and what country the group or person came form.  I told her I would have loved to have had a course when I was in school like the one she had.  I questioned her as to her favorite "Rock and Roll" band or artist and she told me, "I really liked the Beatles and Buddy Holly."  
A few of my wife's albums she
collected in her early years.
I told her Buddy was one of my favorites and that we also had the Beatles first album framed and hanging on our wall in the living room.  Happened to be my wife's favorite group.  Told her she can have it we ever decide to get rid of it.  Then she said, "The teacher gave us a pdf file with most of the lyrics on it from the different songs and artists we studied.  Would you like me to email it to you?"  Within a few minutes I had the file on my desktop, reading some of the lyrics with Camille.  We spent some time reading the lyrics and talking about what the artist might have meant that wrote the lyrics. She looked at me and said, "This is exactly what we did in class.  How did you know all this stuff?"  Well, I told her, "I lived all this stuff.  These were all written when I was a boy about your age or a few years older.  Neat to live in the "Rock and Roll" era."  She agreed with me.  It's neat to be able to spend time talking with your grandkids about life and when it hits home, it's rather easy to do.  They have a hard time seeing you as a kid, since it was in another time zone to them. It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Pages from the PDF files that Camille's teacher used for her class.

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