Ms. Gust’s 6th grade class inspired the direction for our entire project. Speaking with her at the very beginning of the year, she mentioned that her class would be exploring Lafayette’s immediate neighborhood in a variety of ways and focusing their writing on the concepts of narrative and perspective. I thought: why not write musical “narratives” exploring the cultural-musical “perspectives” (predominantly African American and Latin American) in the area? Art liked this idea, as did the kids. We will explore hip hop culture, of which rap is a part, and write a narrative rap about the Lafayette neighborhood in the tradition of rap as social commentary and communication about potentially unknown circumstances and conditions. We will also write and notate a song in the style of Latin American music after studying Honduran, Mexican, and Puerto Rican music. Both songs/raps will celebrate and communicate the perspectives of those cultural groups.
Big Idea: What are the cultures in our immediate neighborhood of Humboldt Park? How does music convey cultural characteristics and history?
Inquiry: How can we represent Puerto Rican and African American culture in our own original music and lyrics?