Rockademix Adds a Bit of Rap, Hip Hop, and Soul to Its Menu
One of my favorite aspects of Rockademix is the musical diversity it offers. All of the songs produced, recorded, and used within the program are original and they cover everything from funk to blues, rap, metal, country, and of course, rock and roll (I’d love to claim the program incorporates so many musical genres in an attempt to appeal to the masses and offer something for all of the varied tastes in each classroom. But really, it’s simply an extension of my own eclectic tastes!).
In order to generate authentic material, I have teamed up with experts from various musical genres and with help from three-time Grammy Award winner, Dennis Walker, we’re producing a Rockademix CD. Prior to a recent meeting with a number of the music personalities helping to make this all possible, I sent Dennis a new – and totally funky – song. This song, in particular, is the perfect complement to the twelve songs we’ve already produced and it serves as the first Rockademix song that specifically focuses on math (fractions, in particular) and has elements of both rap and hip hop.
Over the past months, I’ve learned there is a careful balance that needs to be struck with the music we create for Rockademix. Though each song has its own theme, it’s critical not to overdo it so the music sounds forced. Rather, the songs need to appeal to the producers, musicians, the kids, and my tastes. While that’s a tall order, it ensures that only the very best songs make it to the CD.
So, when the musical minds behind Rockademix got together to crank out a bit more for the CD, I also called Francesa Hargrove, a vocalist I’ve worked with before, and asked her to join the party. From the second she set foot in the vocal booth to record, she absolutely nailed the song, adding a bit of soul and totally impressing the entire crew. Though I knew immediately that I liked the sound, its success was confirmed when I saw Dennis – a world class guitarist – and our engineer, Alan Mirikitani, grooving to the beat as well. We were all so blown away; I recorded a quick iPhone video and sent it off to some of our Rockademix parents. Not surprisingly, the texts immediately started to roll in – adults and kids alike were eager and excited to hear more.
Not only does this song have amazing musical appeal, but also it’s a fantastic teaching tool (that should go without saying – this is, afterall, Rockademix!). We talk a lot about the content areas in Rockademix, but this song begins to explore mathematical concepts as well and has the potential to really hit home for teachers as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is pushed. It’s crucial for us, as teachers, to make these concepts interesting and fun for students and encourage them to pursue interests in this area – surely, an opportunity to rock out in math would help. Listen to a sample here:
[zoomsounds id=”Fractions Funk”]
As I write this post, it’s no wonder Rockademix is rapidly gaining followers and interest from around the US. When I sent a sound excerpt and video from our fractions song to a staff member at [insert school name-REPLACE WITH SCHOOL NAME – JON, is the name here?], one of the schools that will soon begin piloting Rockademix (more about this in an upcoming blog!), they were thrilled. And, why not? Rockademix is taking core curriculum and adding music, movement, high interest materials, and excitement to learning. Doesn’t that sound like a recipe for learning success?.