H"Sao according to their official website is pronounce Tsao, but I heard them say it this way: Aitch-Sao. "H" is short for the French word "hirondelle," which is a swallow. "Sao" is the name of the first people who lived in Chad in ancient times. So, the group's name is, basically, Chadian Swallow - Why? Well, their father, the pastor in the church where they started singing, said that his sons, nephews and niece sang the way swallow fly. And, in one of their songs they tell their story this way: "From the stormy desert/ Six beautiful but angry minds/Musically engaged//The "H" wants to change everything/But the heart is afraid."
Today before students listen to the concert, they will encounter images (art and photos) from an area of the world in distress and they will examine music that speaks to that reality in multiple languages and in multiple musical styles: Some call it Afro-Pop or Afro-Fusion, others World Music. They certainly will hear R& B and a cappella and bits of Gospel, soul, and even Reggae. Even the name of the group is a mix of languages and ideas and almost every song is sung in multiple languages and musical styles.
Attached is the complete lesson plan; below is an overview of the lesson
Students will walk around a gallery of about 18 prompts which include art work, photos, and statements about Chad and the refugee situation. They will "ask" questions..... and share what they notice about the images.
Intonation and Meaning
Teachers will demonstrate how a simple sentence can be given different meaning by stress, intonation and other dynamics of music and speech.
Students will apply that knowledge to the lyrics of H'Sao's songs and while doing this encounter the interesting collage of different languages and styles in the groups' songs. They will also embody the lyrics or give personal meaning to the words.
Performing the lyrics
Students will perform their songs using musical and speech elements for emphasis and meaning and also creating an ensemble
Identifying with a work of Art or photo
Students will select a work of art or photo to enhance the meaning they hear in the song, sharing their ideas about how one art form speaks to another.
After experiencing these songs on their own, the students will then hear H'Sao perform the songs they worked with. Now, they will be attuned to choices the artist made in emphasis, stress, tone, etc.