Monday, January 17, 2022

Singing with The BenAnna Band

Learn more about the BenAnna Band here

Creating art! It's such a joyous expression of emotion and purpose. I am finding it is a brilliant way to combat the anxiety surrounding the day-to-day uncertainties of this pandemic. And I'm understanding art as a form of rebellion in a whole other light. In finding joy through creative expression we are defiantly flipping the bird to our oppressive overlord, realizing we have a choice in our reaction even if we do not to our circumstances. 

I recently had the unexpected opportunity to involve my students in recording a song with the BenAnna Band. Anna, one half of this musical duo for children, is the daughter of my longtime friend Patti. I've known Patti since junior high school and we even dated briefly. Life comes around in the most delicious manner sometimes. 

Anna reached out to see if my students might be able to provide vocals for a call-and-response song called This Time We Share. I played the song for the kindergarten and second grade students on a Monday morning asking, "Who would like to sing?" Every hand went up! They learned it so quickly. Some students singing and others signing the lyrics. In the days that followed, I taught them a little bit about notes and rests as we looked at the sheet music. It made me wistful for the once upon a time days of music education at our school.

BenAnna Band producer Brian Cook and ASL interpreter Shannon Moore

The following Monday their producer, Brian, braved the elements and the threat of Covid to record the children in my classroom. We tried several groupings of mixed voices and, in no time at all, Brian had what he needed. 

I told the children he was going back to edit it all together and the final cut would be available on Apple Music, Amazon, and Spotify around Valentine's Day. One boy excitedly exclaimed, "We're going to be famous!" I admired the enthusiasm, but brought it back to the joy of creating rather than the lure of fame. An ASL video version is being discussed as well. I already know the kids can handle it after our previous outings with Dear Theodosia and Remember Me

The BenAnna Band children's choir :)

A big thank you to the BenAnna Band for the opportunity. I'll post updates with links to the finished song when it is available.

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