Music is the medium

Bobby Boogaloo speaks and sings to children at Ponoka Elementary School. Boogaloo has been helping each class write a song and the school will perform the songs for the public on March 24 at 1 p.m. in the gym.

By CHARLES TWEED

Bobby who?

Why it’s Bobby Boogaloo!

A children’s musician and entertainer, Bobby Boogaloo has been working with students at Ponoka Elementary School since the beginning of March.

The month-long visit is part of the artist in residency program and it’s afforded the school the chance to bring in different artists each year to work with the fine arts program.

“He spends five sessions with each class and they come in with a character trait, it could be respect, sharing, trust, and then they brainstorm and talk about it. While their brainstorming he’s (Bobby) jotting down notes and what he’s doing is writing a song,” said principal Nicole Rawlinson.

The kids determine what type of song they would like to sing, be it rock’n roll, rap, or country.

From there they rehearse the song and then it’s time for the grand performance. The hard work has paid off and the kids’ reactions to Boogaloo have been incredible.

“He’s magic with them. He’s obviously skilled and has a lot of experience of being with kids at every age range. He meets them at their level and gets them engaged. They are so excited to be writing music,” said Rawlinson.

The kids learn about music and each song is designed to have a message within the lyrics. The song helps the kids learn about life.

“Music and songs with good hooks is the best way our brains learn, no matter what it is. When you can incorporate that with some philosophical ideas, it sticks in the brain and helps them learn. Comedy too, comedy, philosophy and music, those are the three fun things that I like to do,” said Boogaloo.

Each grade gets a chance to record their song on a CD so mom and dad can enjoy the music well after Boogaloo’s gone. He thinks it’s important to get the kids on stage and believes it helps with self-esteem.

“I always try and take something that they come up with and empower them through it. The song we did about responsibility isn’t about ‘Oh I gotta do this or I gotta do that’ instead it’s about how when you take responsibility for your actions you become your own boss and you gain power through that,” said Boogaloo.

Ponoka Elementary School will host its grand show featuring a song from every class on March 24 at 1 p.m. and encourages the public to attend.

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