July 11, 2012
When I was in high school, I knew a couple of really hilarious guys. These two were best friends and extremely smart. For a class, they decided it would be cool to create a rap about Abraham Lincoln and went on to make more parody music. I learned that music can help people learn, even if they aren’t a student of music.
There is a song my brothers and I listened to growing up, called “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”. I’m sure that between the three of us, that song played over a thousand times. It never occurred to me until my pals recorded their songs that I could learn from music.
My friends drifted apart and stopped writing music; but, what really saddens me is that I studied music for four years and have not written a comedic and historical song. There have been numerous tests that would have been more rewarding had I simply written a song to study.
Luckily, I recently discovered The History Teachers.
The History Teachers make authentic sounding and looking visual aids for study and pleasure. Their songs are hilarious, witty and informative. My favorite to date has been “Napoleon”, cleverly put to the tune of “Gone Daddy Gone” by one of my favorite bands, the Violent Femmes.
This blend of literature, history, and music is inspiring. Many teachers and professors across the country are using their videos to help inspire students of all ages- to the point where Amy Burvall has given TED Talks. Hopefully they will keep writing these catchy parodies to inspire future generations of students to learn.
Their most recent video is Burvall’s one minute video application for the Google Teacher Academy. She created the video with her sketches made in the iPad Paper app by 53, filmed herself with the iPhone 5, penned lyrics by Burvall and recorded herself singing in Garageband to the tune of “Royals” by Lorde.
Before that, the history teachers hadn’t posted since this video of “Mary Antoinette” to the tune of “Paparazzi” by Lady Gaga. Enjoy.