I am so grateful that the Saskatoon French School asked me to give songwriting workshops to help their students write a song about the values by which they function to help cultivate a positive learning community: being kind, learning, being respectful and ensuring a safe learning environment.
I visited the school 5 times before recording the composition with the entire student body. Everyone had a job: students from grades 3 – 8 wrote the lyrics; the students from grades 7 and 8 composed the melody, chose the chord progression and groove; the grade 6 students played percussion and sang; the grade 5 students played ukulele and sang; the grades 3 and 4 sang and played the recorder; the Kindergarten – grade 2 students sang… that is roughly 300 students in the gym to record their composition. What an incredible experience (for myself, and them too!).
I really enjoy putting projects like this together (in collaboration with a great staff btw!) because they remind me of the importance of community in a school setting. When the students saw all the pieces of the puzzle come together, I truly believe they understood that they were contributing to something bigger than themselves – that they were essential to the process. It was also fun to see their school pride and sense of belonging become stronger too.
…and their enthusiasm is absolutely contagious!
I’d like to thank Pasacle Bouchard, from Radio-Canada SK, who came to the school to conduct an interview. You can listen to the interview HERE (in French only – as of 17h22) on Pour faire un monde, Radio-Canada. The T.V. interviews will be broadcast on tonight’s news (link to follow soon!).
Have I ever told you about my other band – Rosie and the Riveters? When I’m not touring with my solo francophone project, I’m usually touring with them! R&R are a female folk-gospel quartet. Inspired by the 1940s’ our take on folk-gospel is simply riveting!
We just launched a new website! Please have a look/listen here:
This is it ladies and gents! I’m hitting the road on Thursday to begin a series of shows that will take me from Vancouver to Halifax. Many of them are double bills with my good pal Raphaël Freynet. Hope to see you soon!
February 20th: Calgary, AB (Wine-ohs)
February 28thr: Vancouver, BC (Festival du bois)
March 6th : Edmonton, AB (Jefferey’s Café) with Raphaël Freynet
March 7th : Saskatoon, SK (Village Guitar & Amp) with Raphaël Freynet
March 9th : Montréal, QB (Verre Bouteille) with Raphaël Freynet & special guest Sarah Toussaint-Léveillé
March 11th: Edmundston, NB (Le vieux poele pub) with Raphaël Freynet
March 12th : Moncton, NB (Plan B) with Raphaël Freynet
March 13th : Halifax, NS (Company House) with Raphaël Freynet
March 14th: Caraquet, NB (Grains de Folie) with Raphaël Freynet
March 15th : Petit Rocher, NB (Bistro Artishow) with Raphaël Freynet
March 16th : Saint Quentin, NB (Karma Café) with Raphaël Freynet
March 18th: Québec, QB (Studio P) with Raphaël Freynet
* Please visit the Shows page for more information
We would like to thank Creative Saskatchewan, Musicaction and the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques for their support on our tour!
Since I’ve spent so much time in a vehicle this fall, I thought I would post a list of music that has been making the road more pleasant. There are no surprises on the list and I’m not trying to impress anyone by posting the newest music no one has heard of yet… these are just solid tunes that make time spent on prairie highways more enjoyable.
I’ll start with a short list of album’s I’ve been listening to from beginning to end:
The Bearer of Bad News, Andy Shauf
Down the Way, Angus & Julia Stone
The Barr Brothers, (self-titled album)
Court and Spark, Joni Mitchell
Birds, The Blue Warblers – I met these two lovely ladies at the Canadian Folk Music Awards a few weeks ago in Calgary. They are gems and their music is so refreshing and authentic to me.
Any album by Daniel Bélanger…but mostly, the album Rêver Mieux (I will never get enough of this one) and his most recent Chic de Ville (I will always have a soft spot in my heart for rockabilly music)