Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Passion, Emotion, Ignorance and Music

Take a moment to read this harrowing account of the New York Times journalists who were captured in Libya.  I read this story this morning and decided I wanted to use it in class.

My lessons for discussion:
1. Ignorance can rock your world.  Countless numbers of my former students couldn't answer where Iraq or Afghanistan was.  Now they know.  Twelve months in the desert will do that for you.  Ignorance is not something to be proud of.
2. These guys are living life.  They might make poor decisions, but what a life.  How do you get a job like that?  Start writing stories now.
3. Even good people make bad decisions.  The account of what happened to their driver is terrifying.  Do they regret decisions that they made?  Absolutely.
4. We owe these guys five minutes to read their stories.  People every where are putting their lives on the line.

Each class is working on a research project so I asked these questions:
1. Choir is researching Lift Thine Eyes from Elijah.  They have been researching how Mendellsohn's religious background influenced the piece.  I asked them how Lift Thine Eyes (the lyrics, the music) relates to the news article.
2. Theory is answering the question "what is music?".  Philosophical question it is.  I asked them to choose a piece of music that would fit the story.  A theme song, so to speak.  I asked them to defend it emotionally.  Music is at its heart about emotion.
3. Band is researching the song Summertime.  I asked them to answer why parents sing lullabies to their children (besides the obvious).  I asked them if their was a prayer service for the reporters would Summertime be an appropriate song to sing?