Keeping and spreading French-Canadian traditions, language and culture thru school workshops, Vazzy teaches students and teachers some of the music, songs, dances and oral traditions of French-Canada.
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 workshop.
Always accompanied by live music, the instructional and participatory workshops are adapted to various grades, from kindergarten to secondary levels. We teach a wide range of activities.
The workshops are excellent support tools 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 include them to 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.
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 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 activities learned can later be used in the classroom, in the gym, for performances by students, for social and community events, etc...
Vazzy's workshops can be an integral part of your school's Carnival, contact us to plan a carnival event.
Foot percussion and spoon playing (Grade 4-12)
For a very long time, spoon playing and 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 workshops, 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 workshops.
Click on the link below to view a 3 minute video
http://youtu.be/8B2S0Ql229A Vazzy workshops and residencies
"Their workshops weave themselves very nicely into the curriculum and are an excellent fit for all English, French as well as 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 / K-5
"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 “tapper 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
Herbert Spencer Elementary
For a day of workshops (4-6) we have a fee for the Greater Vancouver area and a fee for everywhere else in the province.
Please contact us for those details or visit the Artstarts website ( www.artstarts.com ), Artists on Tour / Vazzy in New-France / Traditional Arts Workshops.
*Please note British-Columbia schools can book/contract our workshops directly thru Artstarts in School
( www.artstarts.com ) Search: Vazzy in New-France.
Booking & Touring Coordinator
1-855-292-7828 extension #103
Do not hesitate to contact us for additional information or to plan one or many workshops in your school.
Suzanne Leclerc / Vazzy