AJ’s Music Factory decided to make May “Beatles Month” to have an engaging, light-hearted theme during the hectic last month of the school year. When we started this adventure, I received a great deal of feedback from my students that went something like this:
Student: “But Ms. Andrea, why do we have to study The Beatles?”
Andrea: “Can you name me any Beatles song or tell me one thing about The Beatles?”
Andrea: “That’s why we are studying The Beatles.”
Have you seen the video “Do Kids Know Beatles Songs? Classic. Kids’ reactions to “older things” always crack me up. Do yourself a favor and watch it. The kids often don’t realize how many Beatles songs have crossed their ears in their short lifetimes.
Did you know Smashmouth covered “Getting Better” for the movie “The Cat In The Hat?” Or did you know “Blackbird” is covered in “Boss Baby?” And did you know that Netflix has created an entire animation series called “Beat Bugs “with every episode focusing on a story centered around a Beatles song?
Pay attention, people. The Beatles are everywhere.
As one of the most influential bands of all time, I desperately wanted my students to at least know of The Beatles and be able to call out one (or two!) of their tunes. Little did I know that by the end of the this month 99% of my students reported either loving The Beatles or at least enjoyed learning about them.
Throughout the month students read kid-friendly articles about The Beatles, worked on Beatles crossword puzzles and word finds, listened and analyzed Beatles songs, and they thoroughly enjoyed watching Paul McCartney and James Cordon drive around Liverpool, England to see all the legendary sights on Carpool Karaoke.
“Wait, Paul McCartney is still alive?” Yes, yes he is.
Every single student was required to learn at least one Beatles song during May. Favorites of the studio were “Hey Jude,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” “Let It Be,” “Day Tripper,” and “Love Me Do,” to name a few.
But by far, the most enthusiasm surrounded “Yellow Submarine!” 5-year-old student Nolan took his love of this song to a new level learning all the lyrics. Incredible!
Vocal students worked on singing “outside the box” with ballads “Imagine” and “Let It Be.” Fostering the artistry of our students is of the utmost importance, and we work to find their truest self in their music.
Our final group lesson of the year brought on some serious “Beatlemania!” Bucket drumming guru Sammy Foster has created learning content for all levels of students centered around Beatles songs including “Imagine,” “Love Me Do,” and “Come Together.” Our students had a blast rhythmically coming together with mallets in hand and buckets-a-bangin’!
We also had a KAHOOT! competition on Beatles trivia, younger students created floating yellow submarines, and everyone finished off the lesson with a Beatles Photo Booth. How many photo props can one student get in their hand and strategically placed for the picture? The answer…a LOT!
So, after one month of Beatles exposure, AJ’s students now have an understanding and (most) have an admiration for The Beatles. If there is one thing undeniable, it is that The Beatles created music and a legacy that stand the test of time then, today and always. John, Paul, George and Ringo – thank you for making the world a better place by sharing your musical gifts. Our hope is that in some way, small or large, that we can all do the same.