Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Now That's What I Call Learning! Vol.1 (Leaving Cert 2013)

What do all my Leaving Certificate pupils like? Music. Hhhm, how can they use that to their advantage I thought?

Are you are a leaving cert. pupil (or teacher for that matter) that has got that recent hit single stuck in your head? Then why not turn it to your advantage!? Take a current text that you are studying, pick a song you really like at the minute and mash up the lyrics! It's certainly not as productive as doing out all those revision notes or completing an extra exam question for your teacher to correct as both of which are just mandatory over the next couple of months. But mashing songs is something different that can give you a productive break from the revision marathon and might just give you that bit of help on the day of the exam.

Here are a few different ways it can work:

  1. Summary - Having trouble remembering the main events/plot of a text? Mix the song with the major events of your text. See 'Macbethelmore' below.
  2. Characters - Who are the main characters and why are they important? Mix a song you currently like with all the characters in a certain text. Even just try and fit them all into a verse or chorus.
  3. Themes - What are the major themes of your text? Rich and Shakespeare deal with very different themes in their poetry. Could you link their themes to different songs?
  4. Quotes - The dreaded quotes. They have to be there to support points and you can't just paraphrase! If there are ten quotes from a text you must know maybe at least half of them could fit in a song you currently like.
  5. Key Moments -  'The Great Gatsby' has lots of different key moments for example. I've mixed Justin Timberlake's Mirrors to include the ultimate moment of the revelation of the character of Gatsby.
You can easily find the lyrics to all current songs online and then find the instrumental version of the song on Youtube. Nobody need know you have done it! But I've been changing songs for the last few weeks and found that the original lyrics are now a distant memory when I hear the song on the radio. It might help with your exams or it might just be the fifteen minute break for fun that you need during exam revision season. Either way, be careful you don't destroy a song you love forever!

Mirrors/Gatsby/Key Moment

Original Hook

Cause I don't wanna lose you now
I'm lookin' right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold
Show me how to fight for now
And I'll tell you baby, it was easy
Comin' back into you once I figured it out
You were right here all along
It's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me
I couldn't get any bigger
With anyone else beside of me
And now it's clear as this promise
That we're making two reflections into one
Cause it's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me

Revision Hook

Fitzgerald's trying to tell us now
Gatsby can never really love Daisy
Resentment that he has in his heart
Is a space that Buchanan holds
He wants her to renounce him now
Daisy tells him it's just not that easy
Comin' back into you once she figured it out
You were right here all along
I love you now dear Gatsby
Is it not enough that you have me?
I couldn't be any clearer
Tom Buchanan will always be family
Don't get stuck in this moment
What you want is just unattainable
But I do love you now Gatsby
Please let go you have me, you have me


(Mackelmore starts Thrift Shop by saying what what what what seven times, but I start by saying 'witch witch witch witch' three times to remind me of the importance of the number three in Macbeth. Edit your songs to remind yourself of the points you keep forgetting)

(Witch, witch, witch, witch x3)

I'm gonna steal the throne
Only got a bloody dagger in my pocket
Witches have me hunting, looking for Duncan
This play is bloody and gruesome