M u s e u m  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

Making Music - An Expression of Culture

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Heritage Branch, Province of New Brunswick, Oromocto, New Brunswick

Every musical instrument tells a story...
The violin or fiddle was very popular in early New Brunswick.

In every community the fiddler played at weddings, kitchen parties, dances and funerals.

The tunes and instruments were passed down through generations and musicians learned from each other.

In this way a unique sound was born.
Heritage Week 2008
The theme of Heritage Week 2008 is Music of the People.
The above words were used in a video clip, featuring the violin of Acadian musician Arthur Leblanc, that can be viewed at http://www.gnb.ca/0007/HW-SP/2008/index-e.asp.

Activities: Play the video clip for the students and discuss what the statements mean.

Show students the image of this violin from the Musée Acadien and discuss the circumstances where they have encountered a violin or violin music.

Find out what additional musical instruments the students are familiar with, and ask them what the music from each instrument sounds like.

Read "The Violin" by Lisa (the teacher can adapt for the particular class) and discuss why Lisa thought the violin was so important in Acadian history.

Discuss how a parent's (Joe Leblanc's) interest in violins could promote its use by his son (Arthur Leblanc).
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Joe LeBlanc - Violin
Violin made in 1915 by Joe LeBlanc for his young son.
A violin made by Joe LeBlanc in 1915 for his young son Arthur LeBlanc, who became a famous musician.

Joseph LeBlanc




© 2007, Musée acadien, Université de Moncton. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
The Violin by Lisa
Musée acadien at the University of Moncton
© 2007, Musée acadien de l'Université de Moncton. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
Performing Music
Activity: Have students describe any musical instruments that are used in their homes. Invite musical parents or siblings to show the class how these instruments are played. Invite any student who is learning to play an instrument to perform for the class.
Artifacts related to the delightful world of music.
An exhibition of violins at the Acadian Museum, University of Moncton
The Acadian Museum situated on the campus of the University of Moncton developed an exhibition related to the theme of music.

Acadian Museum, University of Moncton




© 1997, Musée Acadien, Université de Moncton. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
The Value of Museums
The Musée Acadien on the campus of the Université de Moncton provided an exhibition of musical instruments related to Acadian history in New Brunswick.

Activity: Show the above exhibit of violins and discuss with students the purpose of museums, and the roles they can play in preserving heritage.

Activity: Arrange a field trip to a local museum through the museum's educational officer. Prepare your students appropriately for the field trip. Debrief the students following the visit.
Fiddle at Harvey Station
Giant fiddle erected at Harvey Station in 2000.
A giant fiddle, made locally by Rollie McLean, was erected at Harvey Station in 2000 as a tribute to the memory of favourite son, Don Messer.

Rollie McLean




© 2007, Cherry Mountain Lodge #50. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
The Fiddle - Down Home Music
Sometimes the violin is called a fiddle, usually depending on what kind of music is being played. Don Messer, the leader of a band called "the New Brunswick Lumberjacks" and later "the Islanders", is probably the best known New Brunswick fiddler.

Activity: Find out what students know about "fiddle music", and about New Brunswick musicians like Don Messer. Discuss musicians known in their community, and the type of music they play. (This provides an opportunity to explain how much preparation and practice is required to become a skilled musician.) Invite a local musician to perform for the class.

Activity: Using the giant fiddle erected at Harvey Station, New Brunswick, as an example, discuss why people would want to construct and display this type of structure.

Project: Research to find out more about the careers of local musicians like Don Messer.
Don Messer and the fiddle
The beginnings of Don Messer's musical career.
Don Messer, who began playing the violin at five, learned fiddle tunes from local players - his uncle Jim Messer, Bowman Little, Charlie Bell, and others - and Scottish and Irish songs from his mother. At seven he was performing at barn dances, weddings, and other social gatherings in the area. After living for three years in Boston, where his studies with Henry Davis and Edith Hurter constituted his only formal instruction in music, he began his radio career in 1929 on CFBO, Saint John, NB. A local merchant subsequently sponsored regular programs by Messer's small band.

Unknown


P533/7, P204/450

© 2007, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
Don Messer and His Islanders - The New Brunswick Lumberjacks
Richard Green
© 2007 Historica Foundation of Canada. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
First Nations Music
Although the violin or fiddle was introduced into Canada from Europe, First Nation's musicians adapted this instrument for their use.

Activity: Examine the 1953 photo of First Nation's fiddler Micheal Brisk taken at Red Bank, now called Metepenagiag, and begin a discussion of First Nation's music.

Project: Research both traditional and contemporary music produced by First Nation's musicians in New Brunswick.
Recording First Nations' Fiddler
Fiddler at Red Bank, 1953
Helen Creighton collecting folksongs with an unidentified fiddler at Red Bank, New Brunswick, 1953.

Richard H. Smith


1989.108.924

© 2007, New Brunswick Museum, Saint John, N.B.. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
The Drum
Activity: Have students describe the Maliseet drum used in the 1913 photo of Edward Paul.
Discuss how this drum compares with drums used by musicians today, nearly a hundred years later.

Activity: In collaboration with a music teacher or First Nation's drummer, conduct a class on making music using the drum.
Maliseet music and drum songs.
Edward Paul demonstrating Maliseet music and drum songs, 1913.
Edward Paul demonstrating Maliseet music and drum songs to William H. Mechling at St. Mary's, New Brunswick, 1913.

William H. Mechling


24972

© 2007, Canadian Museum of Civilization. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
Learning Object: "Song of the Drum"
Song of the Drum
Read "the Passamaquoddy Song of the Drum" with your students. Discuss the effect the beating of the drum was expected to have on nature. Discuss the importance of nature to First Nations' peoples.

Activity: Invite an elder or representative to explain the significance of nature from a First Nation's perspective.
The Passamaquoddy Song of the Drum
J.D. Prince
© 2007, Heritage Branch, Province of New Brunswick. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
Learning Object: "Song of the Drum"
Dancing
This image portrays Edward Isaac Paul dancing in 1911, nearly a century ago. Ask students to describe this type of dancing. Discuss the relationship between dancing and music. Ask students to describe the various types of dancing with which they are familiar. How do these dances compare with the ways people danced in the past?

Activity: Have students demonstrate dances they have learned.

Activity: Invite a First Nation's representative to demonstrate traditional and contemporary dances.
Maliseet musical demonstration
Demonstating Maliseet music and drum songs.
Frank Sapier (sitting) and Edward Isaac Paul (standing) demonstrating Maliseet music and drum songs to William H. Mechling at St. Mary's, New Brunswick, 1911.

William H. Mechling


16435

© 2007, Canadian Museum of Civilization. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
Learning Object: "Song of the Drum"
Songs for Important Events
Arrange students in a talking circle and have students discuss these topics:
Why would music be important during weddings and funerals?
Why would music be used for social dances and during First Nation's chief-making ceremonies?
How does a marriage song differ from one performed at a funeral?
How do traditional First Nations' chants compare with music being played at wedding ceremonies and receptions today?

Activity: Have students demonstrate songs they associate with weddings.
Marriage Song
Marriage Song for a Dance After Wedding Ceremony.
Traditional
© 1953, Canadian Museum of Civilization Archives. All Rights Reserved.
Play the Audio File

Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
Learning Object: "Song of the Drum"
Song for When People Get Together
"Song for when people get together", performed by Chief John Augustine of the Metepenagiag First Nation (Mi'kmaq).
Traditional
© 1953, Canadian Museum of Civilization Archives. All Rights Reserved.
Play the Audio File

Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
Learning Object: "Song of the Drum"

Learning Objectives

Atlantic Canada Social Studies Curriculum Grade 3 - Provincial Identity: Unit Two - Peoples
3.2.1 Examine how cultural groups in their province uniquely express their traditions and beliefs
* describe ways in which stories, folk tales, music and artistic expression reflect the traditions and beliefs of particular cultural groups.