Throw your worries away, summertime is here!

Sean Smith, our Director of Sales Northeast and former music teacher, is here to share some of his favorite Quaver Reggae resources that will get you and your students ready for a relaxing summer.

Take it away, Sean!

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One of my favorite musical styles to introduce this time of year is Reggae. Reggae music has so much excellent musical value and is so accessible and relaxing at a time when the students are restless and the weather is begging them to be outside. Reggae is filled with culture, stories, history, and the feel of Reggae has a relaxing, no-worries attitude. Students will feel the island vibe the moment they hear the timbales playing the pickup beats.

I wanted to point out some of my favorite Quaver Reggae-themed resources, and show the music value I find in teaching Reggae, beyond it just being Seriously Fun!

How to access Quaver’s Reggae Resources:

  1. Log in to QuaverMusic.com
  2. Click the Teacher Tab to navigate to the Teaching Resources
  3. Click the Resource Manager icon, located at the top of the Teacher Dashboard
  4. Type “Reggae” into the search bar to find loads of resources for you to implement into your Reggae lesson

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My Favorite Quaver Music Reggae Resources:

  • Reggae Episode

Before watching the Reggae episode, ask your students to be looking for the following: name an instrument that is unique to the Caribbean, what topics are addressed in Reggae songs, what are the distinctive characteristics of a Reggae beat, and what’s unique about the way the guitar is played in Reggae music? These questions will help set up the other activities you have planned for your lesson.

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  • Cobbler, Cobbler (LYRICS)

The song “Cobbler, Cobbler” provides a simple and consistent melody throughout the song – a common characteristic of Reggae music. Have your students feel the groove and sing along with our Lyrics Screen.

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  • Venue Book – History of Reggae

Our Advanced Reggae Venue Book and QuaverBook provides self-guided learning and exploration opportunities for students to read about the history of Reggae, make cross-curricular connections, and quiz their knowledge.

  • Syncopation in a Song

Syncopation is the foundation of Reggae music. Our Syncopation in a Song activity has students listen to the music, and use the DRAW tool to circle places in relation to the beat where they hear the syncopated guitar rhythm. Ask students to see if they can determine if syncopation is used for each instrument part. Once they are familiar with syncopation, divide the class into two groups and have one group play along with the syncopated guitar rhythm, while the other group plays along with the snare drum cross-stick hits.

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Tips for Teaching Reggae:

  • Reggae is typically in a 4/4 meter, the accent is often on beats 2 and 4. One of the challenges, which makes an excellent game, is to work on clapping beat 2. Many times, students want to play or clap on beat 1 and Reggae is a seriously fun way to learn to rest on beat 1. It’s harder than it sounds, you have to be “chill” and rest on beat 1. Consider clapping a quarter note on beat 2 and eighth notes on beat 4 to introduce syncopation.
  • Syncopation is also at the foundation of Reggae, whether you want to have the students focus on beats 2 and 4 or start exploring deeper syncopation, you can create endless opportunities for practice. Explore the upbeats each measure, make it a game, and increase difficulty as the class improves. See who can create the coolest, playable musical phrase only using upbeats. The rest of the class keeps the groove.
  • Remember Reggae relies an almost trance like consistency in its form. Keep the playing simple and consistent, even melodies are simple. Let the students focus on groove, feel and syncopation. Much like funk music, Reggae is all about feel. Funk legend James Brown used to demand his band played the same exact one chord groove for as long as 20 minutes and if one musicians changed a single note, he would dock their pay!! Let the students find that killer groove and juts settle into it.

 

Dive into our Reggae resources, and let us know how you plan to get your students ready for a relaxing summer!