Singer/songwriters visit Bristol school

SINGER-SONGWRITERS Matthew Witten and John Hadden, performing as the Swing Peepers, are teaching Bristol Elementary students how to write songs. There will be a performance at the BES gym this Friday afternoon.

BRISTOL — Bristol Elementary School is having a month long artist in residency with the Swing Peepers. Each class is spending five hours with the singer/songwriters John Hadden and Matthew Witten creating and performing a song.
Hadden and Witten are accomplished musicians who have worked with school children in Vermont and elsewhere for years. The two area residents have been writing original songs since they were teenagers and play several instruments. They perform as a duo, as solo artists and also as members of the Swing Peepers.
Swing Peepers is a vocal harmony and multi-instrument duo who perform inventive, earth-friendly and interactive songs and stories. The Swing Peepers are lively, improvisational, and endearingly goofy. Instruments strummed, swung, and tapped include guitar, mandolin, violin, harmonica, banjo, ukulele and accordion. Most songs and stories are participatory, and body movement is part of the action.
Their residency program, “Play To Your Strengths,” strives to involve every student in an engaging and fun collective songwriting experience that draws on the students’ areas of study. Their approach reaches students with different learning aptitudes through singing, movement, improvisation, and verbal and written interactions. This five-day experience is an exercise in working collectively and cooperatively as well as in expressing individual creativity.
The final product is one song completed by each class and performed for the larger community.
There will be a public performance on Friday, Feb. 14, at 2:10 p.m. in the gym at Bristol Elementary School. The performance will include kids in kindergarten through third grade.

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