Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hard Work

I never get tired of hearing passionate people deliver the truth.

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Sansa Kroma"

This is another West African song. It celebrates the unity, connection and compassion of each village. The lyrics translate to "Sansa, the hawk. You are an orphan, and so you snatch up baby chicks." According to Let Your Voice Be Heard! Songs from Ghana and Zimbabwe by Kobena Adzenyah, Dumisani Maraire and Judith Cook Tucker (World Music Press, 1967), "Akan children singing this song are reminded that if anything happend to their parents and they became orphans, they would not have to wander alone, frantically trying to provide for their own needs. They would be taken in by a relative or a family in their village."

The following activity isolated a rhythm in the song, that 2nd and 3rd graders called "short-short-long". We are now transitioning to standard music notation, recognizing the rhythm as eighth-notes and quarter-notes. Students in this activity found the one occurrence of the rhythm, played it with a partner, and then had to switch partners before the next time it played.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"Funga Alafia"

Here are some of the first sounds of the year; a 2nd/3rd grade class singing "Funga Alafia". Enjoy!

Friday, September 5, 2014


The 2014-2015 school year has begun here at Heyer!!! All of our Harmonious Hawks, from Kindergarten all the way up to 5th grade, are digging in to the song "Funga Alafia"; an awesome song of welcome and celebration. Ask them to sing it for you!

"Funga Alafia" is a very simple, West African folk song, and what makes it great is that within it's simplicity, there are so many skills and concepts that can be taught; pitch, rhythm, movement, and improvisation, just to name a few. In addition, all of these concepts are expressed through the voices and bodies of a different culture; therefore allowing ourselves to understand how celebrations look and sound in different parts of the world.