In all my music anniversary talk this week, I should also mention that this month is the 30th (gulp) anniversary of an album which also had a giant impact on me, the Police’s Ghost in the Machine. I have written about the Police before so I won’t go into depth now, but this record marked the moment I became a real fan. That is, I bought all the albums and the magazines and had the posters up. I made art projects of the cover in summer camp and named pets after band references. I think it was the first time the scattered love I had for rock came together in one artist.
I was thinking about the Police this week because I have become a DJ of sorts. Believe it or not, I have never DJ’d in my life, but nowadays I choose background music for my 4th graders as they do independent work. It keeps them more focused, somehow. But it’s hard to choose the right music even though I got the idea from their homeroom teacher who plays things like John Coltrane and the Eagles as they write essays. When I heard the Coltrane I got the impression that it should be instrumental but that was hard. I chose an album which I love by my friend’s band which is called Forma and is old-school synth and wonderful. Check them out! But it didn’t help the kids focus for some reason. Maybe because it isn’t background music.
Then when I heard the Eagles, I was a little bewildered. The first song on the CD was “Life in the Fast Lane” which has some risque lyrics for nine year olds. But I think the volume was too low for them to hear plus some of them actually recognized it which I guess is good.
So the next class I played The Beatles, specifically Magical Mystery Tour because it was the first thing I saw of theirs in my Amazon Cloud Player that wasn’t Let It Be. One of the kids actually asked me, “do you have that ‘hold your hand’ song?” Ha! But I don’t. I am not so much an early Beatles fan. I do have Help. Maybe I should upload it. In the meantime, I have been thinking of the Police. That’s classic and energizing yet not too crazy. Maybe I’ll put together my own “greatest hits for fourth grade” mix. Hey, it worked for me.
Title comes from the last song on Ghost in the Machine and could really apply to any of my students.
The Police – Darkness