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 Published On: 23 Apr, 2024

William Shakespeare's 460th Birthday!

De, Dum, De Dum, De Dum, De Dum De Dum. You would be forgiven for thinking that is the sound of horse hooves, the beating of a drum or a heartbeat but it is not. Instead, it is Iambic Pentameter the beat and language underpinning Shakespeare. I know, *groan*; what has Shakespeare ever given to us? I suppose I’ll have to ‘break the ice’ for you and also highlight, that the phrase, 'breaking the ice' was invented by Shakespeare…. If you have ever seen something vanish into thin air, wore your heart upon your sleeve or ever thought what’s done is done then you are actually quoting a phrase coined by Shakespeare himself!

Sometimes Shakespeare can seem like 'It’s Greek to me', (Another Shakespearean phrase) but Shakespeare was actually a contemporary and forerunner of his time, especially when it came to sound. It is no mistake that Shakespeare used iambic Pentameter in his works because of the way it sounded. It is what all the cool kids of the time were using including his arch rival, Christopher Marlow. You have to admit there is something pleasing to the ear when you say out loud “My CAT is EAting CAsserROLE and CAKE” it rolls off the tongue nicely. It sounded nice both in the theatre and on the parchment. In fact, the theatre is where most of Shakespeare’s sound design happened. If a play called for thunder and lightning in the scenes (such as King Lear, the Tempest, Julius Ceaser) a stage hand would roll an ACTUAL cannonball around a specially designed trench on top of the globe to simulate the rumble of thunder as it travelled the theatre. Now we can just use our Junior Jam iJam courses' favourite app: Garageband, to make the sound of thunder much quicker and probably a whole lot safer too.

Shakespeare would have absolutely loved the courses we offer at Junior Jam as all through the year we are crafting interesting and contemporary content. Just like he did in his time. Whether that is the music in his pieces or our iCreate Level 1 Stop Motion Animation course (Which is like the theatre, only on the screen). Good old Will would have loved our photography courses in iCommunciate level 2 or maybe you would even spot him on a Junior Jam iPad on Puppet Pals 2 in the rCreate course for reception, where he actually appears as a character! Of course, I couldn’t get away without mentioning the MFL courses where Shakespearean English is basically now a new language and what better way to experience the beat and rhythm of iambic than in one of Junior Jams MANY musical courses from songwriting to Ukuleles (which Shakespeare would have called a lute). I think William Shakespeare would fit right at home teaching or being a pupil at Junior Jam! Next time you hear Shakespeare don’t immediately reach for the groan, instead think instead about his wide spread influences on the way we speak and words we use even to this day. 

But of course, I am a bit biased, I did dress up like him a few times before joining Junior Jam!


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