Friday, February 10, 2012

Student Song-writing Experience with Little Miss Higgins

Today we had a visit from the band Little Miss Higgins, who actually live in the community where I teach. Click on the song title if you want to hear a few of their songs such as "Bargain Shop Panties" or "Middle of Nowhere". They were here today sharing with us the song that was inspired and partially created by the students from my school! Jolene Higgins from Little Miss Higgins came out in December to work with the students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 about song-writing. She spent some time talking about her creative process and how she and her partner and guitar player Foy Taylor (David Mark), write songs. She wanted to write a song about the school and include the perspectives of the students themselves, so when she came to work with the kids we all were very excited. 

Jolene gave the students 5 prompts, a few of them being 'what did you learn in school this week' and 'what is your favorite thing about the school' - they were told to just write down the first thing that came into their heads because that means the most to them and not to worry about sounding 'good' or being 'right'. It was the ultimate in free-writing because the students were making a connection to their lives without even realizing it! Jolene compiled all of the answers from all of the students in the school and took them with here to start her journey of writing this song. 

She came to us explaining that she was done writing the song and that almost all of the lyrics (with exception of making it flow), were from the students' responses in the song-writing exercise. Jolene and David, along with Irv Fines on bass (another local musician, member of the party band Men Without Shame) and one of our own grade 11 students Cory Bart on drums, performed the song for the staff and students today in the gymnasium. In addition to just performing the song, Little Miss Higgins also had the students get involved and we all helped sing the chorus along with her. Her idea is to maybe use some of the process we did today with some students in the music recording and also in the video creation later on! How cool is that?!? I hope to get at least one of the videos put up here for you to see in the near future so stay tuned!

The kids were so inspired and excited to be part of such an amazing team of fun musicians. Thank you for sharing your talents with our future!