Music in Bon Soleil

This year in Bon Soleil students have been learning music in 6ème, 5ème, 4ème and 3ème. The music lessons are every other week, and they study in half groups. They have been lucky to play different instruments, they have learned about some musical cultures, and the younger students have started to form the base knowledge about musical theory, the alphabets of musical language.

6ème students started to practice melody on boomwhackers, and later on continued to play rhythms on bucket drums, an instrument that can easily be found at home, too. The second term has focused on European music covering folk music from Spain all over to Ireland. The classes include listening, doing exercises, singing and playing instruments. Sometimes they have percussion instruments and other times ukuleles. In the pictures they are playing ukuleles for the song Molly Malone. It’s a ballad from Ireland that tells a story of a fishmonger. The third term will focus on classical music eras.

5ème students started their year playing ukuleles. They learned to play many chords and were able to learn many songs from Iko Iko to Thunder. They were amazing students and they rocked! The second term has focused on learning to play beats on bucket drums, that makes a good base regarding next year when they start with the drums and other modern band instruments. They have created their own rhythms that they performed in groups. Next term we will travel all around the world getting to know new musical cultures -such as samba or reggae- listening, singing and playing.

4ème students were introduced to modern band instruments: the drums, the bass, the guitar and the keyboard/piano. Everyone was able to try to play the instruments and they learned the basic techniques of each instrument. The second term has been devoted to learn to play a song of their choice as a band. Each of the students has one instrument to play, and at the end they will play together, as a real band! In the pictures and the video you can hear the 4ème C students playing the song “Believer” by Imagine Dragons. They have been learning about African-American music: blues, jazz and rock n roll. In the third term they will peek into a symphony orchestra.

3ème students also started as 4ème students this year. It has been a great journey in the world of modern band instruments and playing as a band. In the future the study plan includes to get to know different popular music styles. The third term will differ from the one of 4ème’s, as they will learn about music on the stage. They will analyse music of a musical, and will create their own mini soundtrack for a movie clip, among other things.

My vision is to encourage students to try different instruments and bring music closer to them. On Wednesdays they have a Music Patio, which means that any student of the Secondaire can come during the lunch break to play the instruments in the class. There have been great moments of learning and jamming! In the future, when the situation with the restrictions has passed, I hope to be able to start a choir and a band here in Bon Soleil. Our students have a lot of potential and talent, and practising music together is an amazing opportunity not only to create stronger bonds between students, but to create memories that will stay there for the rest of their lives.

Aila Siliämaa, the music teacher