Aaron Jafferis has had a busy first week of his residency. In the upper grades kids are working collaboratively to create hip-hop scenes about conflict and are learning the basics of beatboxing , the vocal music and rhythms used in hip-hop theater to create soundscapes and build tension. In the younger grades kids are writing poems about feelings, creating vocal backdrops for each other as they read the poems aloud, choreographing theatrical vignettes to illustrate the poems, and doing other kinds of movement and sound exploration.
It’s been exciting to watch Aaron in the classroom and see all the different skills kids are getting to practice—not just the obvious ones of writing and rhyming, composition and revision. Collaborative creative work and creating unison rhythms and movements both ask for a high degree of focus and concentration from the kids—they need to listen to each other and practice things that may be new to them at the same time. Because hip-hop is an art form that engages the body and the mind simultaneously, it is a great form of expression for energetic kids.
One morning a surprise guest came into one of the classrooms, a longtime, expert, “old school” beatboxer with a broad knowledge of hip-hop.
And here is Principal Troon "dictating" beats to students—call and response beatboxing:
Aaron’s residency is funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies, and is made possible with support of business sponsor Hidden Automotive, The Tamworth Foundation, the K. A. Brett School, and the Tamworth PTA.