BVR Academics: Will the real icon please stand up?

Icon Song Project

Class: Humanities
Grade: 6
Teacher: Jon Greenberg

In 6th grade Humanities, students were given a project called the Icon Song. After reading the graphic novel March by John Lewis, a civil rights icon, they focused on the concept of icons and their intersection with social movements. After looking at examples of songs about icons, students created their own song relating to one or more icons, highlighting their impact, influence, and accomplishments.

Below we talk about the project with Sam Singer ’28 and Lila Faye Mandelman ’28, who created an icon song based on the LGBTQ movement, highlighting multiple icons within the movement—all to the beat of “The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem.

“We chose the LGBTQ movement because we thought it would be cool to write about and we’re also a part of the movement here at Beaver.” – Lila Faye Mandelman ’28

Why did you choose to remake “The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem?
Lila really loved the song, and we wanted to do some rapping … and the beat was pretty sick.

How did you go about writing the song?
We looked up LGBTQ icons and settled on five, and then we looked up their information. We then went about writing the song using key things in their lives. We tried making it rhyme … ish! So it really was playing around with the lyrics and making it rhyme and figuring out what can be factual and what rhymes. For the chorus, we actually thought it went really well with the movement so we stuck to it with a little enhancement.

What did you learn throughout the process?
Besides learning about the LGBTQ movement, we also learned a lot about the process of songwriting and editing. It was lots of trial and error when it came to filming, editing, and adding the voiceover.

Songwriting is really hard—I can only imagine how hard it was for Eminem to write the original. – Sam Singer ’28

Watch their incredible performance below!

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