Pirates and canons and ukes, yo ho!

pedagogy corner Mar 09, 2022

The most engaging musical activities are those that add wind to our sails. Canons offer numerous pedagogical benefits but they’re not only useful classroom teaching tools, they can also be a whole lot of fun! Raise those sails and get ready! 

We’ve sung the praises of canons many times here at Uketropolis. Lorna MacPhee’s article Canons as Reading Weaponry post has long been a useful read on these important benefits. We’ve also featured canons for your playing and learning pleasure along the way, like the Hungarian Canon, James’ recent podcast and arrangement of Dona Nobis Pacem, and you can even find some canonic activity in the Funbook!

Ahoy! We’ve got a fun new option for diving into the world of canons with your students: the freshly launched resource, Canon Club. This set of twelve lively canons are more than meets the eye. They’re not only great for music making together in a group and as accessible sight reading challenges, you can get even more creative with your students!

What stories might go along with these melodic adventures? Canons are perfect for lyrical exploration in a structured way. Have your students craft words along with the melodies and see what emerges. Hint: the title of each is the first line of the lyrics so you’ve already given them a head start to get the creativity rolling!  

Canons are perfect for lyrical exploration in a structured way. 

There are also some fun and rocking backing tracks for your students to play along with, too. They’ll really make students feel like part of the musical crew! Interactive scores and options for speeding up, slowing down, and looping, can help keep your music makers rowing... {ahem} picking together in time.  

And for something crafty and hands-on, check out the additional free activity sheet to turn your canons into real sea shanties! A perfect March Break or rainy day activity, yo ho!

So grab your trusty ukes, rally the crew with your treasure chest full of shiny new canons, and set sail on a musical adventure, me hearties!



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