Lyrical Language workshop for TTO students Het College

3 november 2015

Australian teacher and musician Michael Keoghan established Lyrical Language so he could combine his love of singing and teaching while sharing his musical passions and love for Australia with others.

The workshop, he gave in the activity week just before the autumn holidays, was themed around "colonial Australia", a time period that covers 1788-1901, when Australia was a British colony. The names in the title refer to 3 very interesting "occupations" of the period.

The story of each group is told using the lyrics of classic folk songs as the focus. “Waltzing Matilda” for swagmen, "Botany Bay" for convicts and “The Wild Colonial Boy” for bushrangers.

Australia was a dangerous and often brutal place at this time. British criminals were sent there as punishment, often for menial crimes. Most never returned home.

Escaped "convicts" and others, sometimes became "bushrangers" (bush criminals). Also, during particularly hard times, many men had take to the road to look for work on farms, and were known as "swagmen".

The classic songs bring the historical events and social issues of the times to life. They provide an opportunity to use and improve English through role-playing and singing.

After the separate sessions for each class, during which they had practiced the songs, the groups gathered at the end of the day to sing the songs all together.
The Lyrical Language workshop was a great combination of education and fun. By using the lyrics of classic songs and the stories behind them, Michael taught English and history in a fun, interactive way which made it more lively and interesting for the students.

Pictures of this workshop can be seen in our photo gallery.