Friday, August 1, 2008

What's a jingle?

In preparation for teaching music here in Nambia, I did a little searching on the internet looking for easy beginner piano music. I found a site where it is free to print music from and I downloaded 20 songs in to my flash drive and printed them out, making a booklet for each of my students. The first song was A Tisket, a Tasket, A Green and Yellow Basket. Finally after hearing that many times, I told them "No more A Tisket, A Tasket."

One of the songs is 2 lines of "Jingle Bells" and a student was singing it as he walked along. He saw my husband and asked, "What's a jingle?" Another song is "London Bridge is Falling Down." A student wrote "important" on the song, meaning he really wanted to learn it. They may not understand it, but they like the song. They were amazed when I told them London Bridge is in Arizona now.

A student was overheard asking, "Why did London Bridge fall? Was it during World War II?" When I was told that it cracked me up. Things we take so for granted just knowing are not necessarily things that are known all over the world.

Another student was absolutely determined to learn the simple version of "Amazing Grace." On his page he wrote "vital." And he has learned it. It may not be perfect but it will be recognizable. The amazing thing about all of this is....they've learned these simple songs in only 5 days. I've tried to spend 15 minutes per day with each of the 14 students and tomorrow they will have a small recital. We had a practice today where each of them played their piece. How exciting. We applauded. They high fived. These are adults who are so excited to learn a little about playing the piano.

One man who plays well by ear, has learned on his own "When the Saints Go Marching In." It has chords and tied notes--not necessarily an easy feat for a beginner. He has spent a lot of time on this song. I've helped him twice, figuring out the rhythm, where the notes fit together, etc.

It will be interesting to see how the recital comes off tomorrow. To be continued.

1 comment:

happyone said...

What a great post!! It made me smile to read it. How wonderful to hear about such simple joy!
We should all be so happy!