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  • I really enjoyed all the fashions, dances and the music that accompanied this era. I really think all ages should be exposed to this type of music, especially individuals that are hooked on rap and heavy metal music. I would like my social study students listen to this type of music and share their ideas.

  • Studying about this Era connects to me more because of stories passed down through grandparents.  My grandmother was a seamstress and was aware of the different styles of women's clothing.  She used to make her own clothes, and taught me how to sew.  My dad loved Jazz and played a trumpet in High School.  He was a drum major.  As he taught my siblings and I to play musical instruments, we learned about music from his youth.  My mother-in-law would talk about women's skirt lengths changing, but still having to be uniform in length.  That women would wear hats and gloves to be dressed properly for going out.  She wasn't allowed to go out dancing as a teenager, but her brother who was a couple of years young was.

  • The era of depression in terms of health, weather and social problem. And what a way to cover that all up with the establishments of dance schools, musical theaters, and dance marathons. Great stuff! I have wanted to learn how to fox trot, but so difficult to do for anyone who has difficulty following directions.The Fox Trot would be an excellent dance to teach students who have problems following directions. I love this dance!

  • Ah, the Roaring 20s. If my enjoyment of this period is not conveyed by the more casual tone of this post then just know that I find it fun... The conservative temperance society against those crazy, partying progressives, moonshine and gangsters versus the FBI and the "revenuers", Bonny and Clyde against the rich men, and seeing all of those legs and shoulders...

    This period set up the political divisions we still have to this day, in my mind, with today's republicans embodying the same moral position as the temperance society, and the democrats embodying the more free attitudes of the progressives, and all those sensible moderates stuck in the middle. You can take the music and dance as a concrete illustration of this, with the rigid dances of previous eras against the Charleston, and the (comparatively) moderate foxtrot in between.

    Because of this, I feel like I would be most likely to use this in a government class when trying to explain the differences in our two major parties' positions, as this is often a hard concept for students who see most of today's political wranglings as irrelevant to them. As I said in my previous post, I think concrete and multisensory are the key words here. So often we engage those who learn by reading, writing, listening, and speaking because that is the focus of our curricula, but there is this wonderful space occupied by these physical explanations of abstract concepts.

    Besides that, the whole growth of jazz and blues grew out of a blending of music from different cultures- the traditional 3/4 of European music beginning to drift into 6/8 and 4/4, the "devil's interval" 5b, and all of these previously unknown note combinations. These had never been popularized to the general public before the popularization of blues and the jazz/fusion music. They all illustrate our American "melting pot." Plus this is a less objectionable way to bridge the melting pot than my previous example, Public Enemy and Anthrax on "Bring the Noise."

  • Well...the dances are less structured which is sometimes harder to get but so fun when you click!  I guess I know why elementary teachers start with square dances and more structured ones to get rhythm down and counting to the beat so they know where the feet go.  I really like the swinging kind of dances like waltz and foxtrot but those the discipline is more within rather than outer.  (Does that make sense?)

    Anyway, I enjoyed figuring out how to dance with my partners...I like that aspect of these dances..you have to communicate with your partner and do the dance together.

    The music of this era is sensational and so uniquely American.  Jazz is a powerful musical platform but I think it is just not listened to or thought to be the music of an older generation--and you know that will never do! 

    So much to consider...so much history to contemplate in this time period...the dancing makes it come alive, that is for sure.  Making it come alive is important for students and that is what I want to do! I want them to feel connected!

  • The foxtrot was a great example of how the was still structure dancing that had exact steps, although danced with more closeness than ever before!  It seems like the charleston is the dance that showed the rebelliousness of that time.  There is a "loosing up" that was happening in America that reflected itself in the clothes people wore, and is also reflected in the dancing.

    In the song, "It Don't Mean A Thing If it Ain't Got That Swing" There seemed to be a lot of instrumental interludes where improvisation and freedom of expression occur.  The tempos are also getting quicker, and the introduction of syncopation!   

  • The Charleston is an easy dance to recognize. The Fox Trot is not as easy to pick out. Sometimes the kids "earn" a movie Saturday. It would be fun to teach these dance to the kids and see if they recognize them in an old movie.

    This was my grandparents' era. Each was born at least 4 years apart. I wonder how each of their perception of what was scandalous changed by those few years?

  • I think it is so interesting to see the dance, music, and fashion of this time period shift to a carefree, expressionistic, somewhat provocative type of art.  I think it would be interesting to study how these two forms of art correlated (if at all) with the familiar structure and nature of personal relationships at the time, courtship and marriage specifically.  It would also be interesting to study the curriculum and subject matter being taught in schools during this time period.  All of a sudden I'm not hearing this religious undertone or the church involvement in music, dance, social entertainment forms, etc.  What's going on on the religious home front during this time?

  • I like learning about this era--the "change" in their lives parallels how quickly our world is changing today.  There were so many ups and downs and new experiments that were happening while all the time a conservative backbone trying to hold it all together.  I like how the dances of this era reflect that.  The crazy Charleston and the classy foxtrot.  The music also is varied and reaches a multitude of tastes.

    The Charleston was upbeat and students would enjoy learning this. I would try it as a line dance to make sure that everyone can participate. Pairing this with the change in fashion helps to give a good picture of the change happening and the "daring" attitude that was present.

    I really liked the Foxtrot, probably because I had such good dance partners!  The two dances together would be a great compare contrast activity that can easily link to other events of the era.

  • There is so much that I could do with this...my brain is exploding (well, maybe that was the fox trot!). Right off the top of my head, I'm thinking I'd like to have kids listen to and examine "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey" and compare/contrast it with Aretha Franklin's "Respect". I think it would lend itself to a great discussion about social issues of the age that each song came out of, and also personal issues that kids, especially girls, deal with.

    And of course I'd love to teach kids the Charleston. And my daughter! Wouldn't she just love that. ; )

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