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There’s always room for cello!

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

I want to give a MASSIVE shout-out to my dear friend Nan Kemberling, who created this awesome rap video about cello technique!

Not only did Nan come up with this totally creative, fun, sassy, helpful, and accurate rap full of cello do’s and don’ts, but she also directed and starred in the video, honed a new persona as a rapper, showcased her own students, and created a viral youtube phenomenon!

This video is also a powerful example of what can happen when artist/teachers create educational music that you actually *want* to listen to.

When I asked Nan about the creative process of writing this rap, she said that she was always telling her students the same things, so why not make a rap song about it? This seems to echo the sentiment of Tim Bedley, veteran teacher and creator of the “Rockin’ the Standards” album of math songs: “My students just have the hardest time remembering some really important concepts. I have to keep reteaching and reteaching. If only I could get them to sing the information, they would NEVER forget!”

Here’s to a world where there are more awesome songs to help us learn the important stuff!

Related posts:
Five fun ways to help your kids learn math this summer with rock songs and raps
Happy pi day (beautiful song and video about 3.14159…)
“Simple, but not easy” (Lynn Harrell)

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2 Comments on “There’s always room for cello!”

  • Terry VanNoy on January 21st 9:54 am

    Rebecca, thanks for sharing this great video from Nan. What a talent! Her students are fantastically lucky to have her. It reminds me of what I’ve read over the years about teaching to as many senses as possible to help students learn and remember concepts. Rap songs, although not my favorite genre, tap into something more than just sound: it’s physical and rhythmic, and of course popular so it gets their attention. I’ve tried to write little songs for piano and guitar to do similar things for my middle schoolers, but it was too much work! So . . . I did the next best thing: made them come up with their own songs to illustrate math ideas. Very time consuming, but something they might never forget! Again, thanks for sharing, and proving once again that listening, singing, and dancing must help all of us store information better, and put it in places where we can find it more efficiently. Terry V

  • Rebecca Zook on January 21st 11:44 am

    Thanks for stopping by, Terry! I totally agree — the more ways we can store math information, the easier (and more fun) it can be to recall it!

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