||Grade 4 students at Dufferin Elementary School, in Kamloops, were treated to a unique fine-arts workshop in June, prior to being "let loose" on their summer holiday adventures.
Trevor Mason, a talented musician in the Kamloops community, came into our class of 28 budding singers to do a two-session songwriting lesson. Mason involved the students in every step of the process and the finished product is a recording of a class song on compact disc.
The workshop began by having the class brainstorm ideas about what they would like to have as a theme for their song. In this case, the Grade 4 class chose the subject of friends. Next, the class began constructing lyrics and brainstorming different rhyming patterns. After four lines of lyrics were created, work on melody and chord structure began. At this point, Mason strapped on his guitar and together the group completed a verse, chorus, and bridge.
With the first lesson over, Mason took the song home and recorded drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, and vocals at his home studio. On day two, Mason brought his multitracker machine back to the class and recorded the entire class singing the song with the accompaniment. Finally, the recording was mixed and mastered onto a CD.
As a classroom teacher, I found this workshop to be a great boost to my music program. It provided the students with an authentic appreciation for careers in the music industry and something they remember fondly.
Kate Zahir teaches at Dufferin Elementary School, Kamloops.