Keeping and spreading French-Canadian traditions, language and culture thru school residencies, Vazzy teaches students and teachers some of the music, songs, dances and oral traditions of French-Canada.
If it is the school's wish, at the end of a residency, we can produce a show for the entire school and parents, in which the students/classes take turns performing some of what they learned with us during the residency. We must see the students three times before this performance. We look after all the details, produce the show and accompany each group/class, when on stage.
A large room with no carpet is ideal for the residency: gym, small gym, multipurpose room or another large room. We set-up in the room and the students/classes come to us. In some instances, we may work out of classrooms, when no larger rooms are available...
Desks and chairs must be moved out of the way to make room for the activities, before the workshops..
Always accompanied by live music, the instructional and participatory residency/workshops are adapted to various grades, from kindergarten to secondary levels. We teach a wide range of activities.
The residency is an excellent support tool for teachers and students of French, French Immersion, Core French and FSL programs.
Dance CD's, Fr/En dance instructions documents, MP3 audio files for songs and rimes and documents with songs and rime lyrics are left with the school (online). These are sent to all participating teachers via e-mail. This material becomes additional cultural tools for teachers, who can continue using them in their future lesson plans.
*These documents and files are all produced by Vazzy.
The language of instruction can be in French only, in English or using a mixture of both languages. After consultation with the teachers/school, the artists calibrate the French language spoken during the residency to the level of the group in attendance. The songs and the dance calls on the CD's are in French.
During a residency, we offer four types of workshops, selected ahead of time by the school, teachers or students. For a well rounded cultural experience, we can mix the content within a workshop, for example: "song, foot-percussion and spoons as well as a dance" or "rime, round and dance".
1_ Foot-percussion (podorythmy) and spoon playing
2_ Traditional and Community Dances
3_ Rounds, rhymes, songs and dance
4_ Traditional Songs of French-Canada
*Live fiddle and mandolin accompany all workshops. The two bilingual artists are present at all times.
Each 45 minutes workshop is taught to one class at a time or to a maximum of 30 students (4-5-6 workshops per day). The duration of the workshops can be adjusted to the regular school schedule in order to accommodate a school. *This detail must always be discussed prior to booking the residency.
The residency can be of one day for smaller groups or of many days, for an entire school.
The activities learned can later be used in the classroom, in the gym, for performances by students, for social and community events, etc...
Vazzy can be an integral part of your school's "Carnival"
Foot percussion and spoon playing (Grade 4-12)
For a very long time, spoon playing and "podorhythmy" (foot percussion) have been the principal percussion instruments to accompany fiddle music and traditional songs throughout French-Canada.
These two instruments are accessible to everyone. We supply detached wooden playing spoons for the workshops. We also instruct the students on how they can transform a pair of soup spoons from their kitchen, into a musical instrument, and then use it and their feet to accompany various styles of contemporary music of their choice. Chairs in a circle are required for this workshop.
The Workshop: We teach the students how to hold the spoons in one hand, in a position facilitating the making of a continuous percussive sound or rhythm. Once they acquire that skill, we teach them basic patterns and movements to accompany reels (4/4) and jigs (6/8).
Once the students are at ease with the spoons, we introduce the foot percussion. Again, teaching the basic movements to accompany reels and jigs with their feet.
After they master this new skill, we put the two together; playing the spoons and the feet at the same time.
Rounds, dances, rhymes and songs (Grade K-5)
The rounds involve simple movements in a circle formation usually accompanied by a short song. The movements mimic the subject or actions in the song.
The dance introduces the young students to simplified movements and formations of traditional dances.
Many of the rhymes and songs were recited or sung in the artist’s family in Acadia (N-B).
*MP3 Audio files and documents are left with teachers.
Traditional and Community Dances (Grade M-12)
Many of the movements, the steps and the formations are found in other styles of dancing such as square dance, Irish dance, Scottish dance, contra-dance, folk and social dancing.
In these dances, we find three basic formations: circle, contra-dance (two columns) and quadrille (square). The complexity of the dances is matched to the age and ability of the group. Although the dances involve many skills, they are designed to be learned easily and quickly. The objective of the dances is to socialize, exercise and have fun in a group setting.
After the residency, a CD for each dance taught is left with the school, so the students can keep dancing after we are gone. The CD's include French language dance calls (verbal instructions), dance calls and music and music only. Documents with French and English dance instructions are left with the school. The recordings can be used in various school activities: in the classroom, during PE, for school performances by the students and other social activities and social events. Vazzy produces these CD's and documents.
Traditional songs of French-Canada (Grade K-12)
The songs are adapted to the age of the group in attendance and to their level of comprehension of the French language. They are a great way to learn vocabulary. They range from short songs for the youngest to enumerative and humorous traditional songs for the eldest. The songs are generally learned orally. For more advanced songs, lyrics are provided during the workshop.
MP3 audio files and documents with lyrics to the songs are left with the teachers after the residency.
Integration to the School Curriculum
Our residencies support the BC School Curriculum in many ways at all levels (K-12), and can be a useful learning tool for students as well as teachers.
_Cooperation and participation in groups
_Dexterity, coordination and motor skills
_Language arts: French language/spoken/heard
_Music: time signatures, rhythm, singing
_Social studies: Peoples, cultures and traditions
_Physical education and daily physical activity
_Science: songs naming parts of the human body
_Mathematics: dance, music and songs
Click on the link below to view a 3 minute video
http://youtu.be/8B2S0Ql229A Vazzy workshops and residencies
"Their workshops (school residency) weave themselves very nicely into the curriculum and are an excellent fit for all English, French as well as French-Immersion Programs. I highly recommend them as I found their work with our students exceptional."
Erika Moser / Principal École Deep Cove School FSL and Immersion programs
"The instruction was excellent. The artists carefully calibrated the amount of French they used to match the level of each class. The kids were thrilled… Several weeks later, my students were still singing and trying to master “taper du pied” (foot percussion)…I would say that Vazzy's visit to our school was a resounding success. Their programs make traditional francophone music and culture come alive and I recommend them highly for any class.
Core French & French Immersion Teacher
"Thank you for an incredible week and a fantastic show!"
Astrid Pedneault / Teacher
École Glenayre Elementary School
We have a daily fee for the Greater Vancouver area and one daily fee for everywhere else in the province. Contact us or visit the Artstarts in Schools website (www.artstarts.com ) under artists: "Vazzy in New-France/ Workshops" or the "Artists in the Classroom Directory".
*Please note that in British-Columbia, funding for your residency may be available from "Artstarts in Schools" thru their "Artists in the Classroom" or "Artists in Education" Grants.
The "AIC Grants" are for individual schools and their application deadlines are: May 27/2016 and October.
The "AIE Grants" are for school districts and the application deadline is: May 29.
Always pre-plan the details of your residency with us, before submitting a grant application. If your application is successful, your school could get up to 70% of the artist’s residency fee. You can find out more by visiting “Artstarts” ( www.artstarts.com ) or by contacting:
Grant Representant at Artstarts in Schools
1-855-292-7826 extension # 108
Do not hesitate to contact us for additional information or to plan a residency for your school.
Suzanne Leclerc / Vazzy