Stringing my Life Together: Purishpa takini, takishpa purini.

Current happenings and reads…
2007/05/25, 19:28
Filed under: Global Music Ed

So a few more weeks have passed…final projects, final exams, graduation!!!, observations for student teaching…a very busy time! I’ve just been back and forth trying to keep up with practicing and my research, along with all the packing and unpacking (my least favorite thing in the world after doing laundry).

I’ve purchased two books with the last of my grant money that I plan on reading in the next month or so.
One is Song of the Outcasts: An Introduction to Flamenco by Robin Totton,
and the other is Princes Amongst Men by Garth Cartwright. (This book focuses on Gypsy musicians from the Balkan states, not southern Spain, but I figured because of the ties of being Gypsy and musicians, it would be eye opening for me and others).

I recommended Princes Amongst Men, based on the synopsis of the book, in the social justice unit I made for the end of the semester as a possibility for a cross-curricular collaboration with a literature circle in a reading/arts class. I will post the lesson eventually, and plan on reading the book to see how it can be utilized even better.
The Totton book I found about a week and a half ago online and thought it would be great for me to read it to have a better understanding.
I’ve started with the Totton book, about two chapters. I like it so far because the author is trying to delve under the surface of the commercialized flamenco, and stresses his place of a cultural outsider who has had the fortunate opportunity to be accepted into the gypsy community and has worked to have a better understanding of their lives and how flamenco music is a part of it. I can already say that this will be one of my recommended books.

After observing with one of my sponsor teachers for next semester’s student teaching, I’m getting really excited to try and make an arrangement of a piece for string orchestra that can be used as a learning tool to introduce flamenco concepts to students in a string ensemble setting.
I also received Sibelius notation software in the mail yesterday, so that is equally exciting!

I’ll definitely want feedback about the lesson plans and everything once I post them, so if you read this and know anything about flamenco, be ready!


I’m still here! …Flamenco as social justice?
2007/05/03, 13:44
Filed under: Global Music Ed

So I had a brief hiatus… three very busy weeks with rehearsals, concerts (one with Leon Fleischer!!), my own hour recital, projects, presentations, you name it!

But anyways, I’m contintuing focusing on flamenco for another project in Global Music Education, dealing with social justice this time. I want to learn more about the social problems that exist with their culture clashing with Spain and other western ideas about not being nomadic and “democracy” and all these things. What I will be doing is devising a lesson plan (or unit) that will cover flamenco and social justice issues and then having it critiqued by the class. I feel that these issues are important to understand the cultural context of the Roma people.

That being said, I’m interested in trying to find a variety of mediums to explore this. Are there any recommendations for novels, books fiction and non-fiction, articles, movies, shows, plays…other types of art that I can couple with the music and use to help people explore this culture?
I would particularly be interested in showing both sides…so if there’s literature, a movie, or anything else (especially if it’s in Spanish or English) that comes from either the Roma point of view, and/or from an outsider’s point of view, I would love to know!! I think it would be highly valuable to show BOTH sides.