Friday, September 28, 2012

My Wednesday evening American folk singing and songwriting group

My students (mostly the women) were interested in getting together and singing in English once a week. We began this week. I think song lyrics are a great way to learn language.  they are simple and repetative and the singing of words often helps them remain longer in memory.. Thats why we remember song lyrics often all our lives.
We worked on Roy Hurds song 'Adirondack Blue'. Its beautiful, lyrically simple, and classically Adirondack. We practiced all together, then split the versus up so that several people sang each one. Then again, with different versus so that each group had the opportunity to sing each of the four versus. I had to explain some parts of the lyrics, which is always interesting to people who are are just learning a language.. Things like using 'neath instead of 'beneath' and especially the colloquial 'ain't no big deal':-)  I explained to them that often in songs we use colloquial phrases or shorten words to make them work with the music:-)

In the end, I had them all stand up and we walked in a circle as we sang the words.  I love this song, and I explained that many people in the Adirondacks know this song and that children learn it at summer camps...

These students are working hard on the words and we are trying to understand the lyrics. They asked me what the Adirondacks were...... I never thought about needing to say more about that.

The next day I had my public lecture at the Univeristy on the Adirondacks and Paul Smiths College...
I was able to show and tell about the place that we sang about and many of the students were in the audience.. It felt good to share the information.  I talked about where the Park was, the regulations and threats to the environment and economy, showed images of my students working and then showed parts of the PBS movie on the Adirondacks and they loved it!!
 My daughters and I , well , we got a little homesick....


  1. Love it!! I see they found a guitar for you.

    1. hey , they did, its a fender.... I think that is the bets they have, but its a good guitar, I brought new strings and restrung

      We had a blast watching willas card this morning.. so funny and so John and becky.

      thank you for making her day
      Love cel