April 13, 2013

Earth Day Global Village Music

My amazing friend, Steffanie, who hosts Culture Club, is planning an Earth Day gathering in which 100 school aged kids will come to the community center and receive an envelope with various pieces of paper in them to tell them their assignment for various parts of the activity.  The kids will represent various demographics if the world were a village of just 100 people.  So kids will look at their slip with the #1 on it and see what continent they are from and go there so that we can all see what proportion of people roughly live on each continent.  And then we'll do similar things like make a human Venn diagram to show how many of our global village are well fed, always hungry, and sometimes hungry, or how many can read, how money is distributed, who has electricity, etc.  I'm really excited to get to be a part of it and really grateful to have such amazing moms in my world.

It seems like a perfect time to look back on old photos from some of the m any cultures that we've studied in preparation for Steffanie's  Culture Club.

Back when we studied Nepal

My job for the event is to prepare the sound track, keep young people busy and engaged while the whole group trickles in (we homeschoolers are notoriously incapable of being prompt!) and to make a downloadable sheet that families who attend can print out if they want an infographic for the  global village activities.  I'm excited about all of it!  Like really, really, flipping out excited!

Gypsy Culture
I'm still waiting on the numbers for my info-graphics, so today I sat down to work on the sound track and to kind of meld the opening activities into the front end of the same disc.  To engage the kiddos who are early while we wait for those who are not, I'm planning to teach the song and dance for Taba Naba.  Yes, the Wiggles did it.  But no one has to know that!  Kids love this song and dance until they realize that the Wiggles covered it and then it becomes completely uncool (unless we're talking about the under 6 crowd).  So, I'm not going to mention the Wiggles.  Just sing it, teach it, and dance it.  Steff wanted a calm, sit-down kind of dance and Taba Naba is just the ticket!

Ancient South American Cultures
If we still need to eat up some time, I'm going to play Red Grammer's Places in the World and have the kids raise their hand when they hear a place they've heard of and clap when they hear a place they've been to.  Thankfully, Idaho is in the song and we live 20 minutes from the border, so I assume that everyone will get to clap at least once. I'm going to write all the places on a poster, too, because it's kind of hard to follow as fast as he sings.  

Catholic Monks
As I made the playlist, the kids ran in the room the first minute of every song and yelled, "Oh, I love this song!" and sang along.  I never realized how much international music my kids know and love!  I suddenly felt a little proud as a mom that I've managed to raise 3 kids under the age of 9 who know all of the words to songs from all corners of the world.  Italian, Swahili, German, Spanish, Latin, and French!  Music is such a gentle and inviting way to introduce new cultures to children.  As a rule, when we study a new time period or culture, I always try to have some music from that time or place playing in the background while we work on art projects or do our afternoon clean up.  And it really sticks, ya know?  There are some songs, like Divine Tapestry, that the kids all heard once and were like, "We have to have that song, mom!  It's amazing!  What do you think it says?"  And when the kids listen to La Oreja de Van Gogh, they are starting to be able to pick out words that they know from the lyrics.  Some of the songs, they know entirely in Spanish, and as they go through their lessons, that are able to say, "Hey!  That word is in Cuentame!"  So, there are so many reasons, I think, to have international music playing in the house.  

Communism

Here's my tentative soundtrack

Taba Naba by Christine Anu, language: Meriam Mir
Siyahamba by the Tapiola Children's Choir, language: Swahili 
Con te Partiro by Andrea Bocelli, language: Italian
Cuentame al Oido by La Oreja de Van Gogh, language: Spanish
Divine Tapestry by Smith and Dragoman, language: Arabic?  (I can't find anything that tells me for sure, but     my guts says Arabic, with Farsi as my second guess.)
Lakota Prayer by Kevin Locke, language: Lakota 
An die Musik by Schubert, language: German
Dola Re Dola from Devdas, language: Hindi

I'm still looking for Chinese and Japanese pop songs that I can be certain aren't obscene.  LOL!  I know what all of the above songs mean in English and have them in my personal collection, but I don't own any Chinese or Japanese songs and when I looked for some with English subtitles, the lyrics were all appallingly obscene.  I'm sure most of their modern music is just lovely, but somehow the only songs that end up with English subtitles are the shocking ones.  I finally decided that rather than exposing myself to more yuckiness, I'd just ask people from those countries to recommend something they would play in front of their grandma.  Ha!  Still waiting to hear back on those songs.  

Anyway, I'm really excited about this event.  Steff is so creative and engaging that I'm sure it's going to be fantastic.  And I'm hoping my small contribution will be a lot of fun too!  So, if you're in my community and you want to come join us for this fun filled, completely not political event for Earth Day, check out the forum for the flier and rsvp link, OR e-mail me and I'll get you the details.  The event is sponsored by Washington Online School - which has gotten a new name and whose new name I cannot for the life of me remember, - and is being planned by a small tribe of really cool, globally minded momma bears.  Don't miss it!  

And if you don't live near me, use those music links to get the ball rolling on your own global village day for your kids.  I know, Earth Day is a plant a tree and care about the condition of the environment kind of day.  But is can also be a day for understanding the cultures and people who share our awesome planet!  When you learn about the people, you care about them.  And when you care about them, maybe you take a little more time to support the planet that serves us all!

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