May 20: Sweet Cherie at Simon Elementary School
Fourth graders in Ms. Shanklin’s music class at Simon Elementary School (DCPS) hosted a Teach the Beat workshop with go-go performer Sweet Cherie. All of the students participated, learned, and enjoyed.
Sweet Cherie opened with a talk about the history and culture of go-go. Then she invited students to play go-go music with her. The teacher had instruments ready, calling students up in small groups by their birth months to select from the drums, tambourines, cowbells, and maracas. While playing songs such as “Sardines and Pork ‘n Beans,” Sweet Cherie wove in lessons about the go-go beat, call-and-response, and the role of the keyboard player.
Many of the students (including the drummer pictured below) are part of the school’s drum line. The Be’la Dona performers noted that the young girl (pictured below to the right) could be a future lead singer in their band. The visit was funded by Office of the Chief of Schools of DCPS.