Teachers’ Guide – Canary in the Mine Exhibit

Monday, September 7th, 2015

This learning and teaching module will enhance the current curricular focus on music creation as it meets outcomes in creating and presenting music. In short, it will provide opportunities for students to experience songwriting as a vehicle for that exploration.

Taking into consideration the current research on the brain and how it constructs meaning in the teenage years, this module is designed to be interactive, applicable with authentic learning experiences, and based on a discovery approach.

The digital exhibit, Canary in the Mine: Nova Scotia Mining Disasters and Song, provides an extensive range of songs written to tell stories of tragedy, life experiences in coal mining communities, and disasters in general. This module is intended primarily for instruction in the music classroom, but in an appendix, teachers will find opportunities to collaborate with social studies and language arts teachers through integrated units of work. It is recommended that the activities presented herein become a starting point with these integrated units to provide opportunities for students to experience cross-disciplinary connections. Continue reading

Songs of Death from NL

Monday, September 7th, 2015

This conference paper, “Survivors Make a Difference: Songs of Death from Newfoundland,” ┬áby Joe Scanlon and his undergraduate research assistant, Peter Knowlton, was read at the Canadian Society for Traditional Music conference on Thursday,┬áJune 18, 2015, at Cape Breton University, Sydney, Nova Scotia.

This paper will argue that songs written about incidents without survivors will differ from those written about incidents with survivors in three ways. The former will generate songs which generally focus on portraying the experience of those present during the incident while the latter will focus on the experience of the community the incident takes place in. Secondly, songs about incidents without survivors portray those who perished as brave and unafraid of death while those songs written about incidents with survivors portray them as terrified of their impending deaths. A final difference is that songs written about incidents without survivors consistently make a point within the song to ask what occurred at the event even though details are often known. Additionally the similarities between both songs written about incidents with and without survivors and songs written about Newfoundland incidents and military disasters will be examined.

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