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Record Store Day '15

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13th April 2015



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CROSSWORD DAY - 18th April
The 18th April is Crossword Day so for ideas for using crosswords & some interesting materials see:


Stephen Hawking is getting in on Record Store Day with the issue of a video of him singing the Monty Python 'Galaxy Song'. The limited-edition 7 inch single will be issued in vinyl on Record Store Day. Check out the video:

Record Store Day is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day..'

The official site:

David Grohl 'will wear the sash of Record Store Day Ambassador 2015'. Here's what he says:

I found my calling in the back bin of a dark, dusty record store.

1975's K-Tel's Blockbuster 20 Original Hits by the Original Stars featuring Alice Cooper, War, Kool and the Gang, Average White Band and many more, bought at a small record shop in my suburban Virginia neighborhood, it was this record that changed my life and made me want to become a musician. The second that I heard Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" kick in, I was hooked. My life had been changed forever. This was the first day of the rest of my life.

Growing up in Springfield, Virginia in the 70's and 80's, my local independent record stores were magical, mysterious places that I spent all of my spare time (and money) in, finding what was to eventually become the soundtrack of my life. Every weekend I couldn't wait to take my hard earned, lawn mowing cash down for an afternoon full of discovery. And, the chase was always as good as the catch! I spent hours flipping through every stack, examining the artwork on every cover, the titles and credits, searching for music that would inspire me, or understand me, or just to help me escape. These places became my churches, my libraries, my schools. They felt like home. And, I don't know where I would be today without them.

More recently, I've been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to rediscover this sense of excitement, that magical feeling of finding something all one's own, by watching my kids go through it. Let me tell you: Nothing makes me prouder than watching my daughters spin that first Roky Erickson LP one of them picked out for their very own on one of our weekend trips to the record store. Or to watch the reverence they have as they handle their Beatles vinyl. How carefully they replace the albums into their sleeves, making sure they're placed back onto the self in the proper sequence. Watching them realize how crucial and intertwined every part of this experience is, I relive the magic of my earliest experiences with vinyl singles and albums, their artwork, liners notes etc. all over again and again.

I believe that the power of the record store to inspire is still alive and well, and that their importance to our next generation of musicians is crucial. Take an afternoon (and some hard earned lawn mowing money) and please support them.

You never know, it might change your life forever, too.

This would make a good reading for an interested group. Then onto discussions about their first records, their local record stores, first concerts, best concerts etc - see ideas below.

An article in The Guardian last year about the best independent record stores in Britain:

With independent record stores disappearing every day, this Day raises awareness of their unique place in the development of popular music. A lesson could take the following form:

1. Intro to the theme - ask the students: buy records? where? names of any indie record stores? what was the first record you bought?

2. Elicit why there is 'Record Store Day' on the 18th.

3. If you can use video in class, there are several videos on , a few of them for the vinyl enthusuast so choose carefully.

4. You could choose some of the quotes on & design reading tasks for them.

5. Students discuss how one could promote the Day > pool ideas.

6. Students design a poster for the Day > put them on the walls & all wander round & vote for the best.

7. Pairwork discussion - for/against RSDay - the against arguing that RSDay should be every day.

8. Discussion:
- why have record stores declined?
- do you buy music online?
- do you think it is valid to download music without paying for it?
- what do you think of the music & flim companies prosecuting individuals?
- what do you think of the French idea of three warnings & then internet cut off?
- etc

9. End with a song - choose a song the group would be interested in - you could ask them the previous lesson for ideas on this. Here are a couple of books to help with designing tasks with songs:

Music & Song - T.Murphey (OUP)

Musical Openings - D.Cranmer & C.Laroy (Longman)

Record Store Day '15

A few other ideas for using music in class:

- Music vocab: musician, musical, song, sing, play, tune, rhythm, composer, lyrics, music, notes, key, beat, different genres: blues, rock, reggae etc., band, group, vocalist, singer, choir, backing singers, guitarist, drummer, bassist, top ten, charts, cd, single, mini-disc, MP3, player, album, solo album, cover, hi fi, cassette recorder, recording session, studio, concert, recital, gig, on the road, roadie, groupie, fans, stars, live, record company, label, jukebox, music to my ears, musical chairs.

- Figurative music - ring a bell, chime in, drum (sthg) into someone's head, as fit as a fiddle, play second fiddle, fiddling while Rome burns, jazz something up, all that jazz, music to one's ears, face the music, strike a false note, strike (or hit) the right note, (sound) like a broken record, go for a song, call the tune, sing a different tune, fine tuning, blow the whistle .....

- Background music is a good idea when doing roleplays & discussions as it gives the shy student something to hide behind. I wouldn't put it on during a silent reading activity as it can be very distractive for some. What kind of background music? Soothing classical music never fails. If it is music the students really like you run the risk of them concentrating on the music rather than the lesson. I would certainly make a point of making sure the lyrics were in English.
In Suggestopedia music is used while dialogues are being read out. The first 'active' concert uses music from early & classical romantic periods such as Beethoven, Mozart & Hadyn as it is dramatic & therefore emotionally engaging. The second 'pseudo-passive' concert uses Baroque music such as Vivaldi, Telemann or Corelli as this is supposed to be less personal & provides a background of order & regularity which is better for the presentation.

- Music taste questionnaires - students write their own & fill it in & feed back on the classes' tastes in music.

- Play a selection of different genres - students identify & discuss which they like.

- With the selection of genres, students match moods to the different excerpts.

- Using a song is a really nice way of starting a theme off.

- Reading & writing music reviews - students could bring in own music for the others to listen to who then write the review.

- Music discussions: give out discussion points - e.g. 'Music with offensive lyrics should be banned.' 'Downloading music from the internet is not illegal.'

- For the very young learner music & songs are a must. Lots of language can be learned by repetition & a good store of songs is essential. Get to the EFL Playhouse

- Provide the language to talk about music. Eg. the language of like/dislikes - 'a great sound', 'love the bass line', 'it doesn't do much for me', 'when I hear this I think of....' etc.

- Music & the past - 'which songs encapsulate each period when you were growing up?' Take in examples from your development & get the students to bring their own in.

- Play music & students think of a film type that might 'go' with that music & then a scene that would be suitable, & then they write the script for that scene, & then practise acting it out, & finally act it out in front of the class with the music in the background.

- Listen & tick 'emotion adjectives' that the song evokes & then students compare & give reasons.

- Listen & unjumble the verse order.

And the list goes on so we'll stop there & point you towards Sarn Rich's article on how to use pop music in the classroom. There are lots of ideas & materials.

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Happy teaching!


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