Yesterday I led a music/poetry workshop in Detroit with some fabulous students. It’s part of my ongoing collaborative work that was funded by a grant program at my University. The kids are amazingly funny and brilliant!
This week our topic was call and response in African Diasporic music traditions. The students learned to identify the many faces of this popular musical technique and then in partners they wrote their own call and response poem and performed them in front of the class.
One poem in particular was hiiiilarious! The writers warned us in advance that it was a tragicomedy, but I think that the performance was subsumed in the comedic side of it. The two poets couldn’t stop laughing as they performed their poem about two 0rphans having a conversation. Everyone was laughing and couldn’t stop. The tragedy (that these two orphans were unwanted) was lost in the performance. I hadn’t laughed that hard in a very long time!
My co-teacher and I taught the students about call in response in music and in poetry, using an example from Sterling Brown. I can’t wait until we meet again in January. These monthly meetings are turning out to be the highlights of my months!
I also saw Wicked, the musical, last night and it was amazing! I highly recommend it. Entertaining yet so deep. Check it out while it’s still running in many cities!