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Coolio is dead: Call the old music teacher


The rapper Coolio is dead, one of his biggest hits is »Gangsta's Paradise«. The song even made it into school books, our author sang it in music class. But why actually?

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Coolio died at the age of 59


Bernd Weissbrod / dpa

My school days were not exactly characterized by success, so much in advance.

As a result, I hate to think back on it.

Until I read the news on Thursday morning that US rapper Coolio had died.

Damn it, I thought, didn't we sing his song "Gangsta's Paradise" in music class in tenth grade at junior high school?

That must have been around 2010.

I checked with the person sitting next to me at the time: indeed, he remembered, Mrs. Sandmann hung up on it again and again.

Margret Sandmann is now 69 years old and has been away from school for four years.

A phone call to Cloppenburg.


Hello Ms. Sandmann, this is Henrik Bahlmann speaking, your former student.

Margret Sandmann:

Bahlmann, does your father run the heating installation company?

Didn't you do a lap of honor?

And after much deliberation, didn't I give you an A on your final certificate?


That's not why I'm calling.


I don't remember any classes that I only had as a subject teacher.

But individual students and their results are still remembered.

I only had to ask once whether you were the "right" Bahlmann.


I had to think of you this morning when I found out about the death of US rapper Coolio.

Guess why?


I think because of his most famous song.

We sang it in class back then.

When I heard that on the radio news this morning, I thought: Look, you used to sing this one of his songs with your students a lot.

But at that moment I never would have thought that you would call me about it.


Yes, that's exactly why.

The song is called »Gangsta's Paradise«.

And I was wondering this morning why he was on the curriculum back then.


At that time, rap was a topic for the tenth year, we discussed the time of its origin in class.

And Coolio's song was in the textbook that we already had at school.

I found it quite good and memorable.

The refrain, which is repeated after each verse, is relatively easy to sing.

The verses weren't that easy, only occasionally I managed to rap along.

But some of the students were quite good at it, and it appealed to many.


So the song was musically valuable for the lesson?


He was a good example.

Although the rap scene is a topic in itself.


What do you mean by that?


There is this monotonous rap, it just goes bamm, bamm, bamm, bamm - without any change in the rhythm.

And the lyrics often go below the belt, I don't think that's a good thing either.

I actually have a very diverse taste in music.

But when I hit on Coolio, a lot of people knew him, so I got in touch with quite a few students.


So there were limits?


The last six to eight years of my time as a teacher I taught in a secondary school, the students loved this music.

When I told them to play their favorite songs, it was mostly rap.

But if that went too much below the belt, I said: Stop it, I won't play that anymore.


How up-to-date should music lessons be?


You should take the students' taste in music into account and bring them in.

Some brought computer music with them, some of which wasn't bad at all.

But all this synthetic or electronic music, well, I like it better when music is played on instruments.

But it is important that music is heard at all.

It is part of life and can do many things.

And it's important as a student to get to know unfamiliar music from time to time.

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2022-09-29

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