Erika Compton's third grade class decided to take the melody of the Christmas tune Jingle Bells and write their own lyrics about how awesome it is to be in the third grade, all with the help of WGNA's Richie Phillips.
Phillips, one-half of The Sean and Richie Morning Show on 107.7 WGNA, brought his music making talents to Compton's classroom on Dec. 16, where he assisted her students in writing a song about the things they are currently learning.
With lyrics such as: "We are third grade kids/we're learning science and math/they also teach us writing skills/that's our learning path/work,work,work," the children were able to learn how to form rhyming schemes and delve into basic music composition. Phillips, while assisting in writing lyrics, played along on his keyboard and added beats as well.
Compton sees this as a unique way of teaching her children to write.
"The thing that I like about it is that it's, in my opinion, the most authentic learning experience I can give these kids," she said. "They're writing for a purpose and they have an authentic audience who's going to listen to it. Not only that, you incorporate the musical component"there's just so many things they get out of it: there's the reading component, the writing component and the musical component."
This is one of the many trips Phillips makes to local schools, as he said he makes a visit to one every two weeks and writes a song with the children.
"I do this all year round, even in the summer time." he said, adding that with the recent focus from schools on bullying, he has made several songs with classes on the subject.
"I went to four different schools and we did four different bullying songs," he said. "Then we had a contest. So we do all types of things."