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Québécois Culture and History through Music: A Student Project

Shaftel, Matthew, Florida State University, and Pascale Shaftel, Maclay School (Tallahassee). May 2005.

(Editor’s note: The following highlights a set of activities from Matthew and Pascale Shaftel’s highly detailed Learn About Quebec Project, whose goal is “to provide many possibilities for classroom enrichment, while helping to build an impression of Québécois people, history, and culture.”)

The Learn About Quebec Project:

Introducing Québécois Culture and History Through Music

A Resource for Instructors of French and Canadian Culture



Student Project

Names of Group Members:

Song:

Singer/Songwriter:

Your goal is to produce a CD cover and liner notes for a hit single from Québéc. You want to market it to the widest possible audience, so your cover and notes need not only to capture the unique qualities of the music, but they also need to explain the cultural and historic context of the artist, the music, and the lyrics of the song. In order to complete this project, you will need to complete research on all aspects of the song and its artist.

Required elements of liner notes (each element must be checked by Mme. Shaftel during class before inclusion in the liner notes):

1) Provide a bibliography of your artist (at least 2 paragraphs, 5-sentences each). For this you must have at least eight different sources (web sites are fine). AT LEAST FOUR OF THE SOURCES MUST BE IN FRENCH. You may also find sources that discuss your song. Be sure to include them here. Extra credit may be awarded for groups finding sources of exceptional quality and/or more than 12 reasonable sources

List your sources here:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9. etc… feel free to use a separate sheet of paper.

2) Provide a translation and summary of your song. Make a list of all the words that were unfamiliar to you and include their English counterparts.

3) CD cover representing the elements of culture/history/and musical style found in the song (all three elements must be included).

4)

a. Find at least three additional sources that relate to the content of the song lyrics. This may be movies, books, essays, art, historic writings and so forth.

b. Explain (in two or three sentences) how the source relates to the lyrics.

5) Provide a brief discussion of the historic and cultural importance of this song (at least three paragraphs). How does this song represent Québecois culture, history and esprit?

Schedule:

Complete list of sources (part 1) due by May 9 (Monday)

Draft of the song translation and summary (part 2) due May 10 (Tuesday)

Three additional sources (part 4a) must be checked by May 12 (Thursday)

Draft of comments on the three additional sources (part 4b) due by May 16 (Monday)

Draft of discussion of historic and cultural importance due on May 18 (Wednesday)

Final version of CD liner/cover and 15-minute presentation to class due on May 23 (Monday) and May 24 (Tuesday

Song Project

REMINDER:

-Last day in the Media Center Computer Lab Monday May 16, 2005

-Draft of comments on the three additional sources (part 4b) due by May 16 (Monday)

-Draft of discussion of historic and cultural importance due on May 17 (Tuesday) at the beginning of the class. I will look at it and give it back to you on Tuesday

-Final version of your CD cover and presentation (10 to 15 minutes) are due Wednesday May 18 or Thursday May 19

(We will have a French breakfast for the senior on Thursday May 19)

CHECK LIST FOR YOUR CD liner /cover (…market it to the widest possible audience, so your cover and notes need not only to capture the unique qualities of the music, but they also need to explain the cultural and historic context of the artist, the music, and the lyrics of the song.)

1) CD cover representing the elements of culture/history/and musical style (all three elements need to be included) _____

2) Biography of your artist _____

3) Words of your song in French _____

4) Translation of the song _____

5) Summary of your song. _____

6) Vocabulary list of all the words that were unfamiliar to you and include their English counterparts _____

7) Your brief discussion of the historic and cultural importance of this song (at least three paragraphs). How does this song represent Québecois culture, history and esprit? _____

YOUR PRESENTATION Wednesday May 18 or Thursday May 19

(You should have the following things covered)

Please have your team ready to start as soon as the bell ring!

1) The class should listen to your song.

2) Talk about the text and meaning of your song.

3) Talk about the cover of your CD and the choices of your design.

(the elements of culture/history/and musical style included on your cover design should be discussed)

4) The politic and cultural connection of your song to the population of Québec

5) Have different members of your team do certain parts of your presentation.

6) Be original: come dressed up, with props…

*At the end of your presentation you should give me your CD (CD cover included in it) and the three questions and answers your team prepared relating to your presentation.