I remember my older brother playing (on guitar and recordings) José Feliciano songs. I instantly fell in love with Feliciano’s sound and cool vibe and have followed him for years.
José Feliciano is a musician, singer, and composer. His greatest hits include “Feliz Navidad” and “Light My Fire.” “Feliz Navidad“, was written in 1970. Feliciano said the feeling behind the song was what he felt in his home country of Puerto Rico, celebrating Noche Buena, Christmas Eve, eating pasteles and lechon, and caroling in parrandas.
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José Feliciano, one of 11 children (all boys), was born in 1945 in Puerto Rico and moved with his family to New York City when he was 5. He was born blind from congenital glaucoma.
By the age of 9, he was performing in theaters. One of his first instruments was a concertina but then he switched to guitar.
He continued to perform and gain in popularity because of his ability to play the guitar (virtuoso) and sing, and how he arranged the songs to make them sound so unique. He became popular in the 60s and still tours today. (2020s)
Light My Fire
This shows his incredible guitar and arranging skills.
Integrate literature into the music class with these lesson plans for Build a House by Rhiannon Giddens and illustrated by Monica Mikai. This book is based on the song of the same name and is the story of what happened to enslaved Africans after the Emancipation Proclamation.
The resources on this page have been researched for their authenticity and respect for Hispanic Latinx (a/o/e) heritage, using culture bearers as much as possible!
This nationally recognized heritage month extends from September 15-October 15. Originally named Hispanic Heritage Month, the name has been slowly changing into Latinx Heritage Month. It is a time to celebrate Latinx culture, people, and history.
A composed song about important black leaders and the power of one.
Musician & Song Database-Searchable
I’ve tried to use songs written by Black artists that are accessible to children. There is a multitude of current songs (or within the past 10 years) that could be used as well that I haven’t added to the list. Also, there are SO MANY amazing Black performers who weren’t composers that you can highlight as well.
a physical timeline showing origins and connections for black music genres
LOTS of music links on every page that play Apple music snippets, just enough to be perfect for the classroom
beautiful images of musicians and historical events on every page
African Drumming & Dance
In this series, dancer Rujeko Dumbutshena and drummer Farai Malianga show you how to dance traditional African dances and drums and their place in African history. This is a YT playlist from the Kennedy Center.
Music History, Is Black History
This resource page by Reverb has lots of information about Black musicians who were innovators and had groundbreaking achievements.
Teaching Idea: Let students choose a musician to research, putting all the research together into a timeline of Black music history.
The final student product could be online or hard-copy. ONLINE-a Google slide, Flipgrid video presentation HARD-COPY-poster board, report on 8.5 x 11, info on record-shaped album
Preservation Hall Lesson Plans
What an amazing resource! Just to name a few lesson plans: Learn the song Blue Monday, Bourbon Street Parade, Brass Bandbook, Congo Square, El Manciero, and TONS more.
Namibia Culture-Bearer, Garth Prince
Prince is a musician, vocalist, drummer, and educator who has knowledge of traditional folk songs of Namibia.
Black Stringband Music
This resource, by musician Jake Blount, has some essential and relevant information about Stringband music but other information about Black music and musicians. Mr. Blount has such thoroughly researched information.
A History of We Shall Overcome
A fascinating and thorough search of the evolution of this famous song. After watching, I definitely subscribed to Genie Deez’s channel because he is amazing!
His YT playlist on Culture & History includes great information on Funk, Civil Rights, syncopation, and so much more.
Black Diamond Queens: African American Women and Rock and Roll.
“In Black Diamond Queens, Maureen Mahon draws on recordings, press coverage, archival materials, and interviews to document the history of African American women in rock and roll between the 1950s and the 1980s.”
AMAZING video. I highly recommend watching for teachers and upper middle school/high school students.
The United Parish in Brookline introduced a unique program to help carry on the legacy of this music in Roxbury, and they’re hoping to be a model for others.
“There was growing discomfort around how to use Negro spirituals, appropriately and respectfully,” said the congregation’s minister of music Susan DeSelms.
Black Music of the African Diaspora
This blog post is from two educators who created a new seminar that looks at American history through Black American music. The greatest thing is that they have shared their playlist on Spotify!
Evolution of Dance has lots of great dances and might be appropriate for some classes. Please review it before showing.
January 3-Women Rock! Day
My ❤️ FAVORITE rocker-H.E.R.
December 6-Walt Disney Day
Walt Disney Day-December 6
The first Monday of December (12/06/2021)
Walt Disney was born in Chicago in 1901 and began as an illustrator. One of the first characters he helped create was Mortimer Mouse who later was renamed Mickey Mouse. He is known for the animated features The Three Little Pigs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Pinocchio, Bambi, Dumbo, and Mary Poppins. Disney was a pioneer in animation and introduced several developments in the production of cartoons.
Minnie & Mickey
Disney’s 2021 Release Movie-Encanto
December 13-National Violin Day
The violin, also known as a fiddle, is a wooden chordophone in the string family. It is the highest-pitched instrument in the family, has four strings, and is played by plucking or bowing.
Pictured is a violin from 1658.
Early stringed instruments came from the Greeks, Central Asia, and the Middle East and influenced the violin that we know today which emerged in the 1500s in Northern Italy.
Here are some ideas to explore the wonder of the great jazz virtuoso, Thelonious Monk. You’ll find biography info, a movement activity to his fabulous piece, “Stuffy Turkey,” some links, and advanced movement options!
Dave Brubeck was a jazz musician. He was born in California and died in 2012 at age 91. He loved experimenting with different time signatures such as 5/4, 6/4, and 9/8. He recorded Take 5 in 1959 and it became a jazz hit and a classic. Take 5 was written by Paul Desmond.
A Mashup of Take Five and Beethoven’s Fur Elise
Fun With Fives
Try a few of these ideas!
Count to five repeatedly and clap on the numbers FOUR and FIVE. Add the music.
Instead of clapping on the 4 and 5, what else could you do?
Get with a partner or small group, come up with a plan, and share with the class!
Can we move on all five numbers? Let’s try some opposites.
Hands up on 1-2-3 and down on 4-5
Bend over on 1-2-3 and straighten on 4-5
Smile on 1-2-3 and frown on 4-5
Right arm up on 1-2-3 (then down) and left arm up on 4-5 (then down)
Challenge move: Sway one direction on 1-2-3 and then the opposite on 4-5.
Parachute-whether you have a big parachute, mini parachutes, or scarves, create a move for the 1-2-3 and then another for the 4-5.
Parachute-up on 1-2-3 then while up, pull, shake, or beat of hands on 4-5. Repeat for down. So, “Up, two, three, pull, pull. Down, two, three, pull, pull.”
Create movement for the A section and then the B section to perform the entire first section Intro and ABA. (see notes below)
3+2=5 Add a 3-syllable animal to a 2-syllable animal-“mockingbird + robin”
Play the TWO syllable game. The teacher says “An-i-mal” and each student (or with a partner) in rhythm has to say a two syllable animal. The teacher can point to random students or go in order. If you play it as an out game, students who are out could then be in charge of clapping on 4 and 5 or playing an instrument on 4 and 5.
Could you play using “Yum-my fruit” or “Stu-dent names”?
Try the 3 + 2 activity with colors, food, plants, reptiles, etc.
Play on beats 4 and 5 trying out different drum techniques. (low, high, brush, knock, fist.
Put two together for the 1-2-3 + 4-5. Maybe brush for 1-2-3 and high for 4-5. Let students explore and then share with class.
Try playing just on the 1.
Try using the form ABA. The A section is the two styles on 1-2-3, 4-5 and the B section is just on the 1. Try it with the recording.
Sticks-exactly the same idea as drums but partners could tap each other’s sticks on the 4 and 5 of the A section or beat 1 of the B section.
Spotlight Artist: Al Jarreau
Al Jarreau was a singer. He was born in Wisconsin and came from a very musical family. He sang jazz, pop, soul, and R & B music and won many Grammy awards. He died in 2017.
Singing-Take 5 Cover with lyrics.
Les Nuages is a band from Romania.
If you are adventurous, here are some lyrics I created to show students some possibilities. Sing along 😀 and try writing some of your own.