Ms Fletcher's Music Blog – Burnaby SD41
 

Earth Day

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Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22. It was founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, and now more than 1 billion people from 192 countries participate in Earth Day activities!

The theme for the worldwide event this year is Invest In Our Planet. As individuals, we have the simple yet effective power to make our voices heard through our choices and our actions. What each of us does, and how we do it, has a huge ripple effect on our ecosystems.

The song This Pretty Planet was once used to wake up astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle. This arrangement is sung first in unison, and then in a 3 part canon. Sing and play along on ukulele or recorder!

This Pretty Planet – lyrics and chords

This Pretty Planet – recorder

I Have A Voice

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“This song and video is an opportunity for child performers from Broadway and beyond to express their voice and to let other children know they have a voice as well. Everyone is valued and we hope this song will inspire others to be more inclusive and tolerant. Differences are beautiful and should be celebrated.” The music for I Have A Voice is by Frank Wildhorn and the lyrics are by Robin Lerner.

Ella Fitzgerald

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Ella Fitzgerald is often called the First Lady of Song, the Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her clear diction, pure tone, and a natural improvisational technique including great scat singing. Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Virginia, and loved to dance, sing, and listen to jazz music. She made her singing debut at age 17 at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York, and began her solo career in 1942.

Here are Ella and Duke Ellington performing It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1965.

Oscar Peterson

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Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson’s legendary career is celebrated in this Heritage Minute. The minute-long video chronicles the seven-time Grammy winner’s rise from a working-class Montreal family to becoming a world-renowned piano virtuoso. It touches on his encounters with greatness, such as being dubbed “the man with four hands,” and acknowledges the racism he faced at jazz gigs in the 1940s.

Wade in the Water – Black History Month

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During the 19th Century, thousands of slaves escaped to freedom through a secret network known as the Underground Railroad. It is believed that, along the way, spiritual songs were used as secret coded messages to escaping slaves. Wade in the Water warned them to flee dry land for the water so that the dogs and owners chasing them couldn’t track their scent.

I Lived

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Members of One Voice International, from dozens of countries around the world, join One Voice Children’s Choir in their latest music video. The song I Lived by OneRepublic inspires us to seize the day, enjoy life, and embrace opportunity.

Pu’tliskiej – Blackbird

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In 2019 Emma Stevens from Eskasoni, Cape Breton recorded this beautiful rendition of Blackbird by The Beatles in her native Mi’kmaq language.

O’Siem

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Susan Aglukark is a Canadian singer who blends Inuit folk music traditions with country and pop songwriting. Her most successful song O’Siem is a joyful greeting for family and loved ones, and a call to turn away from racism and prejudice. O’Siem is also a Coast Salish word meaning “a welcoming of honoured guests.” Aglukark has spent her lifetime promoting inclusivity and acceptance.

O’Siem, we are all family
O’Siem, we’re all the same
O’Siem, the fires of freedom
Dance in the burning flame

Siem o siyeya, all people rich and poor
Siem o siyeya, those who do and do not know
Siem o siyeya, take the hand of one close by
Siem o siyeya, of those who know because they try
And watch the walls come tumbling down

Siem o siyeya, all people of the world
Siem o siyeya, it′s time to make the turn
Siem o siyeya, a chance to share your heart
Siem o siyeya, to make a brand new start
And watch the walls come tumbling down

Fires burn in silence
Hearts in anger bleed
Wheel of change is turning
For the ones who truly need
To see the walls come tumbling down

7 Levels of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

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Hayato Sumino, known professionally as Cateen, is a 25-year-old Japanese classical pianist. He shares his 7 variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, each one increasing in virtuosity.

Level 0 is the nursery rhyme’s humble melody, and Level 1 has flourishes in the style of Mozart.

Level 2 adds lovely harmonies in the form of a lullaby, and Level 3 is in a ragtime style.

Levels 4 and 5 display virtuosic flourishes in the style of Liszt.

Level 6 is in the style of a Chopin étude, and Level 7 gains dizzying speeds and a rich tapestry of colours and dynamics.

The Planets – Jupiter

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The Planets is a seven-movement orchestral suite by the English composer Gustav Holst, written between 1914 and 1916. Each movement of the suite is named after a planet of the solar system and its corresponding astrological character as defined by Holst.

In 2016, a flashmob from the Berklee Contemporary Symphonic Orchestra assembled to perform Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity. 

Avlaia Group

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Enjoy the precision of the Avlaia body percussion group from Greece. The orchestral music, In the Hall of the Mountain King, was composed by Edvard Grieg in 1875.

Sing Gently

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The Virtual Choir is a global phenomenon that brings together singers from around the world and their love of music through the use of technology. Grammy-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre created the very first Virtual Choir in 2009. I’ve participated in a few of his wonderful projects, including Virtual Choir 6: Sing Gently in 2020.

The video’s visual metaphor is inspired by Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. The flaw is seen as a unique piece if the object’s history, which adds to its beauty. This stunning work of art features 17,572 singers from 129 countries bonding together in song and spirit. 

National Indigenous Peoples Day

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June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Daya day for all Canadians to honour and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.

Buffy Sainte-Marie is an Indigenous Canadian-American singer-songwriter, visual artist, educator and social activist. In 1983, she became the first indigenous person to win an Academy Award for co-writing the beautiful song Up Where We Belong.