Our cover song project was created with the same spirit of our “video of the day.” The ultimate goal of the cover song project is to broaden our students’ musical interests and challenge our students to express their artistic talent in unfamiliar ways. Their confidence will increase as the students learn how to overcome obstacles. Allowing the kids to write their own songs while introducing unusual material to them has yielded some pretty impressive results. Kids who only listened to hip-hop are singing Grateful Dead songs, while girls who idolize Adele and Beyonce are recording songs by Sam Cooke and Beach House. Hidden talent is being revealed from these students as they jump out of their comfort zone! Videos of all the Believe in Music cover song projects can be found on our youtube page.
“Video of the day” is a new teaching tool we came up with to help expose our students to diverse musical genres and styles on a daily basis. At the start of every class, our students watch a YouTube of the teacher’s choosing. We’ve viewed clips of everything from Bad Brains and Nirvana to Future Islands to Public Enemy and KRS One. In the video below, you see an entire class of high school who had never seen the video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” by Nirvana before. Most of our class hadn’t heard of artists like Jimi Hendrix or Miles Davis, who paved the way for today’s artists to create music that is true to their inner voice. The video of the day represents our unique approach to teaching that involves tracing the impact of music on the human experience and helping our students connect musical history to their daily lives. We hope that by introducing our students to material that may be obscure to them, we will broaden their artistic horizons and encourage them to expand their interests.
Future Islands dance party:
The month of March began the audition process for our students at the Green Street Academy in West Baltimore. Some kids came in and really stood out by having original rhymes ready to record, while a few students blew us away with the raw talent in their singing voices. Working with high school students is a new endeavor for our program, and they are on the next level as far as maturity and skill. Their creativity is a bit more developed than the elementary and middle school students we’ve worked with in the past, and it’s very exciting to watch them tap into artistry within themselves and grow. We were only able to accept 30 students, but there is a huge pool of talent at this school that we hope to tap into over the summer and the next school year!