We Go Jam: Finding the Music in Words


Workshop for Teachers:
Finding the Music in Words

On Saturday, November 14, 2015, teaching artist James McCarthy presented a teachers’ workshop on music creation at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Participants unlocked their musical talents through the discovery of creating music with their own words. Through readings from We Go Jam: Celebrating Our Music, Our Soundscape, Our Hawai‘i, teachers reflected on key themes and explored the craft of composing songs and lyrics, as practiced in the tradition of Haku Mele, a selection in the book by Puakea Nogelmeier. They examined Hawai‘i place names and wrote short verses in which they expanded to simple rhythms and melodies. Each participant received a copy of We Go Jam and Musics of Hawai‘i, a recording resource and booklet.

James McCarthy is a teaching artist on the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts’ Artistic Teaching Partners roster. He is also a professional songwriter who has been nominated for a Nā Hōkū Hanohano award and had his songs placed in film and television. He earned an Ed.M. from Harvard University and is a founding faculty of SEEQS Charter Middle School, Honolulu.

Maui Arts & Cultural Center is located at One Cameron Way, Kahului, HI 96732

Lesson Plan

  • Professional Development Opportunities For Teachers – We Go Jam: Finding the Music in Words 

  • Accompanying Music: Wai Ola performed by Leon & Malia  

  • Excerpts from stories used in the workshop

Haku Mele by Puakea Nogelmeier

“Haku Mele” by Puakea Nogelmeier

People of Place by Carlos Andrade

“People of Place” by Carlos Andrade

For information on implementing this curriculum,
contact shoshino@hihumanities.org

Teaching artist, James McCarthy, with a teaching workshop participant.

Teaching artist, James McCarthy, with Kisha Robinson, Pomaika‘i Elementary School.

Workshop participants.

Workshop participants.

A teacher performing his mele created during the workshop.

Julius Galanto, Maui Waena Intermediate School, performing his mele created during the workshop.

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