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Popular Music Education - seeking suggestions


thomson
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Have I ever mentioned that I love my job?

I have been vested with the task of providing a young musician with a popular music education. I was hoping you fine folks could offer some suggestions.

I work at a therapeutic boarding school and one of my students has completed high school but is staying on with us for therapeutic reasons. He is a very talented singer-song writer and is in the early stages of recording his first album. Despite his musical skill and sensibility he does not have much knowledge of the roots of his musical influences; he knows very little about blues, jazz and even rock’n’roll history. That’s where I come in. I have been asked to provide him with resources and assignments to learn more about popular music.

What would you suggest?

We watched Cadillac Records and currently I have him watching Ken Burns’ Jazz film series.

Please keep in mind that reading is not this dude’s strong suit, nor does he enjoy reading, so I won’t be asking him to read an entire book. Articles, websites or even sections of a book are fine but I’m not looking for a lengthy reading list.

Ideas?

Thanks! :content:

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I have him watching Ken Burns’ Jazz film series

Fantastic series ... so much to absorb, learn and experience in that. Contextualizes so well the changes in styles and instrumentation with what was going on in society and musicians lives over time.

For some Canadian history, get him to watch This Beat Goes On.

http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/doczone/2009/beatgoeson/

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I forget when they aired, but CBC had a 2 part mini series entitled "The Beat Goes On" and "Rise Up".

They were docs full of interesting musical info, and didn't wallow too long on any particular era or artists. A great overview of 30+ years of Canadian music.

And if this guy has not ever watched The Last Waltz, you should probably fix that....

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I took Music in Popular culture @ Guelph --- I suspect you did too. I bet Matt Vander Woude would make his notes available and likely even let you guys attend his class occasionally.

I found his class thorough and something which I draw on frequently when making musical connections.

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^ Deeps has the best one so far. I'm sure the prof would have great film recommendations otherwise I have a number of audio books that deal with the developments from Duke Ellington and the Big Bands through to the ebullience of Bop and post-Bop in the post-war era, by way of developments in musique concrete via John Cage and Phillip Glass up to our more contemporary improvisational forms. I don't think it'll be very helpful though.

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LOL ... i had Matt Van der Woude as well!!!! He was my TA in the great Rob Bowman's music class. That was probably around '91 '92.

Damn I loved that class. I had a bit of a flashback to it when Rob Bowman did a mini preshow lecture before the last Lanois show at Massey Hall :)

I got a kickass mark on one of my essays (on 2-Tone British Ska) that Matt asked to keep. Wonder if he ever used portions of it ;)

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Thanks friends! I appreciate all your suggestions and look forward to following up on them. I knew from the get-go that I too would learn a ton about music through this process.

What genre of music does he prefer to play?

This dude would self-identify as an indie rocker. The guitar riffs he comes up with remind me of some of Bruce Cockburn's acoustic instrumentals.

I love the responce y'all have provided so far and by all means keep the suggestions flowing!

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