Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Funny Thing That Happened to Me at Work: Taylor Swift(ed)

This past week, my co-teacher told me I could teach something fun, as mid-terms are over and none of the students are really interested in studying the textbook that hard at the moment.

I decided to teach a music lesson that my buddy Meg suggested. I played a bunch of different pop music videos for my students, and then they identified the genre of each music video, rated it on a scale of 1 to 10, and wrote a sentence about each one.

I think most of the kids enjoyed the lesson to some degree, but I wasn't prepared for how nuts my most advanced class of girls (my classes are gender segregated) would go for this video in particular:

I cut the video off at the one minute mark, and the girls in my class literally started screaming at me: they wanted to see the rest of it. I promised I would show it to them at the end of class if there was time, which there wasn' every single girl stayed after the bell rang to finish watching it. At the end(*SPOILER ALERT*) when dorky Taylor kisses the Hot Boy, they all screamed with excitement.

Personally, I find Taylor Swift to be revolting for many reasons, the chief one being that all of her songs are about boys/boys not liking her/waiting for a boy to marry her and take care of her forever. The reason Taylor Swift is so successful in U.S. is why she is a bit hit amongst my Korean high schoolers, I think: she is a "Good Girl," and Koreans embrace Good Girls even more than we Americans do (The Grand Narrative excellently outlines this a bunch of times over).

By the way, ever notice that American music videos are super, super racy and not school appropriate? I thought that this Enrique Iglesias video would be an okay example of "Latin" music--I mean, I loved this song when I like, thirteen, right?--but within the first five seconds of this video, all you see are gyrating asses and boobs, it seems:

Yeowzah.I went with the comparatively tamer video for Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca". My other examples:

Amy Winehouse "Just Friends" = jazz/R&B
Craig David "Insomnia" = R&B/pop*
Black Eyed Peas "Boom Boom Pow" = Pop*
B.o.b. ft. Haley Williams "Airplanes" = Hip-hop*
Darude's "Sandstorm" = Techno
Rossini's "La Gazza Landra" = Classical
2ne1 "Clap Your Hands" = K-Pop
Kings of Leon "Use Somebody" = Modern rock*
The Beatles "Hello Goodbye" = Classic rock
The Clash "I Fought the Law" = Punk rock

Most of the kids really, really liked the stared tracks. Amy Winehouse was very unpopular, and one of my more advanced students asked me, "Teacher, Amy Winehouse, DRUGS. You?" implying that because Amy Winehouse is a drug addict and I like her music, I must be a drug addict, too. HARDY HAR HAR

What do you think of my list? What songs would you have used?

1 comment:

  1. OK, what about some Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett? I guess that would be crooners? Your list is good and I bet your students loved it.

    Good going!

    Aunt Michelle