Teaching Students About Phil Harris
Teaching students about influential figures in the field of music and entertainment is an essential aspect of a comprehensive music education program. Phil Harris, an American singer, songwriter, and comedian, is one such figure that students should learn about in order to gain a well-rounded understanding of the diverse personalities that have shaped popular culture throughout the 20th century. In this article, we will explore various strategies for introducing Phil Harris to students and encouraging them to dig deeper into his remarkable life and career.
Who Was Phil Harris?
Born in Linton, Indiana, in 1904, Phil Harris was a man of many talents. Throughout his career, he worked as a bandleader, singer, actor, and comedian. He first rose to prominence as the conductor for his own band before moving on to work with other notable musicians such as Bing Crosby. However, he is perhaps best known for his voice acting roles in Disney animated classics like “The Jungle Book,” where he voiced Baloo the Bear, and “The Aristocats” as Thomas O’Malley.
Integrating Phil Harris’ Music Into the Classroom
One way to introduce Phil Harris to students is by incorporating his musical contributions into your lessons. You can play select recordings from his time as a bandleader or as part of Bing Crosby’s orchestra during class or use them as accompaniment tracks for various activities.
1. Discuss the musical styles used by Phil Harris and how they were influenced by elements of jazz and swing.
2. Analyze the arrangements in his compositions and discuss how they contributed to making his music distinct within the entertainment industry.
3. Have students practice listening skills by identifying different instruments in Harris’ music arrangements.
Exploring His Voice Acting Roles
Phil Harris’ voice acting work provides another avenue for introducing him to your students. By screening scenes from “The Jungle Book” and “The Aristocats” in class, you can stimulate engaging discussions about his portrayal of such iconic characters. This could include:
1. Examining his use of voice, delivery, and improvisation to bring these animated characters to life.
2. Comparing and contrasting the character’s overall message with the voice acting portrayal by Phil Harris
3. Encouraging students to experiment with their own voice acting exercises inspired by Harris’ work.
Studying Phil Harris’ Sense of Humor
Phil Harris was known for his comedic wit, which can be demonstrated through various clips from his numerous appearances on radio broadcasts and television shows. By sharing these snippets with students, you can help them appreciate how humor played a major role in his career and overall appeal.
1. Analyze segments from his time on The Jack Benny Program, highlighting his ability to seamlessly transition between music and comedy.
2. Examine clips from other radio shows where he appeared as a guest, shining a light on the impact he had on audiences through humor alone.
Teaching students about Phil Harris in the classroom is an enriching experience that helps broaden their knowledge of influential figures in the world of music and entertainment. By integrating his music into lessons, exploring his voice acting roles, and studying his unique sense of humor, students will gain a deeper appreciation for the lasting impact made by Phil Harris in the entertainment industry.