Folklorist/educator Paddy Bowman prepared this guide for grades 10-12, as one of a four-part series, using video excerpts (each about ten minutes) from The Music District, A Singing Stream, Cowboy Poets, and The Men Who Dance the Giglio.
The Music District
Filmmaker Susan Levitas Copyright Date 1996.
Distributor California Newsreel.
Excerpt Running Time 9 minutes
Use one of these quotations to spark discussion.
The future starts here with us. Like...how we carry ourselves when we go to the show... you just have to show them that it's not all about violence, that, you know, if you have the talent or the ability to do anything that you should try to go further on with it, instead of, you know, letting the streets hold you back. Because it's not the streets that's holding you back; it's yourself. And we're trying to project that and show them that, that people can come together and do things together without violence
2. Go-Go fans depend on posters and word of mouth to learn about performances. How do students find out about concerts and dances? Ask students to design posters for their favorite music. They must use classroom-appropriate language and images!
3. All pop music is rooted in traditional music, from country to salsa, indie to rap. Have students research African American popular music genres such as blues, jazz, doo-wop, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, hip-hop, rap, and Go-Go. Ask them to relate genres to historical eras and changing race relations in oral or written reports. Class presentations should include music samples. How do students think various kinds of popular music today express contemporary social events and mores?
4. Young African Americans in Washington, DC, play on improvised instruments on the street, collecting and carting around plastic buckets of all sizes, like street musician Rapper D in the film. Where do musicians play in your community? Have students collect buckets, cans, and other found objects to create their own junkyard band. Working in teams, students can assemble instruments, work out rhythms and words, perform, and advertise a classroom performance.
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