TOPIC: Project Based Learning + a celebration of Mardi Gras & NOLA Culture.
Tonight's #worldgeochat on Project-based Learning led me to create a playlist that was in itself a project and celebration. I decided to focus on the culture of New Orleans, being that today was Mardi Gras!
Below I have presented information about the specific cultures that created New Orleans.
At the end, I will give my summary on how this applies to Project-based Learning. Please feel free to comment and offer ideas for improvement.
Just as a New Orleans Gumbo is a unique mix of Native American, African, French, Spanish and British flavors, so to is the music.
The Native American Influence
The Mardi Gras Indians are a ceremonial tradition in New Orleans. They parade and sing chants to support their community.
For more information. Click Here
The Mardi Gras Indians had many influences. One of which were the Choctaw's of the Mississippi delta region.
The Spanish Influence
The first Europeans to settle the Crescent City were the Spanish who brought the "Spanish Tinge", a rhythm that is ubiquitous in the Americas. You can hear it in this piece by Jelly Roll Morton, one of the first composers of Jazz music.
"Spanish Tinge" = the Habanera Rhythm
The Habanera in Bizet's Carmen.
The African Influence
The Second non-native culture to come to the crescent city were the African Slaves who were first brought by the Spanish.
Under the Spanish and French rule, the African Slaves would meet in Congo Square on Sundays in New Orleans. The Africans were able to share and preserve their culture, music and dance. Here's a history in song -->
The first documentation of the music of congo square was actually a classical piece named after the dance Bamboula.
The French Influence
The third non-native culture was the French and their string & accordion music.
Ultimately, the French culture of Louisiana became the Cajuns, Acadians (through migration) and the Creoles.
The Brass Bands
New Orleans Brass Bands are a mixture of centuries of cultural influences. Even today, they are still evolving and expanding into new sonic and cultural territories.
Brass Bands of the Civil War were the early form. The music was purely European military marches. Who knew what the ensemble would become in the hands of the New Orleans culture?
Significant Content: Cultural History of Mardi Gras and New Orleans
Driving Question: What specific cultures helped to create New Orleans music and Culture?
Student Voice: I, as the student, was able to chose my focus and the design of my presentation.
21st Century Skills: I analyzed media and integrated it with relevant content.
Inquiry Innovation: Meaningful learning.
Feedback and Revision: Considering I started this at 4pm this afternoon I will call it a draft. I am open to all suggestions on how I could revise and deepen, while also making this a viable project for students.
Publicly Presented Product: In addition to being a blog post, the information was also presented as a part of #worldgeochat.