Teaching Students About John Deacon
Teaching music history is an essential component of any comprehensive music education program. One significant figure to teach about is John Deacon, the bassist for the iconic British rock band, Queen. Although often overshadowed by other members of the band, such as Freddie Mercury and Brian May, John Deacon played a crucial role in shaping its unmistakable sound. This article will outline some key aspects to cover when teaching students about John Deacon, his contributions as a musician, and his impact on the world of rock music.
Early Life and Education
John Richard Deacon was born on August 19th, 1951, in Oadby, Leicestershire, England. He attended Gartree High School and later Beauchamp College for his secondary education. At Leicester Polytechnic (now known as De Montfort University), he studied Electronics, which later came in handy during his career with Queen. As a teacher, you can delve into his early influences and discuss how his education helped define his role within the band.
Joining Queen and Musical Contributions
John was introduced to Queen by a mutual friend near the end of 1970. He officially joined the band as their bassist in early 1971 after impressing them with his musical ability. Although primarily known for his phenomenal bass playing skills, another important aspect to emphasize while teaching about John Deacon is his songwriting talent.
He wrote several hit songs for Queen, including “You’re My Best Friend,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “I Want to Break Free,” and “Spread Your Wings.” Delve into the creative process behind these massive hits and encourage students to analyze their structure, melody lines, and lyrical content.
Apart from being an extraordinary bassist and songwriter, John also had expertise in engineering, which he put to use for the band. For instance, he built the “Deacy Amp,” a custom amplifier used by Brian May that assisted in creating their signature guitar tone. This piece of knowledge helps students to understand the importance of multi-disciplinary skills in achieving success, ev
Collaborations and Post-Queen Life
While John Deacon is best known for his work with Queen, it’s essential to explore other musical projects he participated in. He played bass on and co-wrote songs for the likes of Elton John, Cozy Powell, and Gary Numan. Exposing students to these collaborations can help reveal Deacon’s versatility as a musician and composer.
After Freddie Mercury’s passing and Queen’s final album release (“Made in Heaven” – 1995), John decided to retire from the music industry. You can use this opportunity to discuss the impact of Mercury’s death on the band members and how John prioritized his family life over an ongoing music career.