I can’t bring the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan with me to your school but I can bring the experiences of having worked on it, in port, for the summer. You can see a colleague of mine on the main top ‘calling the course’ to make sure the yards (spars) are trimmed to 90 degrees. I stood there a few times. too.
The Shanteyman will sing, teach, recite, display, demonstrate and have fun teaching your students all about music of the sea. I’ll bring along a few tools of the trade, e.g., block and tackle, ditty bag, concertina, pots and pans (for our fufu band) and a whole lot of experience in singing with kids!
This is a photo of B.J. climbing the rigging on the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaling ship in the world at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT.
B.J. Whitehouse is a music teacher with 32 years of experience in the general music classroom. He recently retired from :the Little Compton Schools where he had taught for 26 years. Prior to that he taught at the Block Island (RI) School as well as public schools in Elyria and Oberlin, Ohio.
He has been the music director for the Jamestown Community Chorus since 1989 where he has prepared over 70 music choral music programs. At present, he works part-time at Mystic Seaport and in the East Greenwich (RI) public schools.
He has written eight middle-school level musicals, three of which are available for purchase at www.bjwhitehouse.com
In 2010, Mr. Whitehouse was cited by the RI Commissioner of Education as one of eight outstanding educators in the state in her ‘State-of-Education’ speech to the Rhode Island General Assembly.
B.J. has presented workshops at the local, regional and national level on the subject of sea shanties. This type of work song melds nicely with any number of percussion techniques and can be used as the basis for deep rhythmic education with children, especially with Orff-Schulwerk.
Also, it is a natural fit for those of us who live in the “Ocean State!”
The Shanteyman is B.J. Whitehouse. Mr. Whitehouse taught music in the public schools for 32 years and has written articles about sea shanties and sung the music of the sea for long time! In addition to teaching., B.J. has directed a number of choirs throughout the years and has recently worked at Mystic Seaport as a member of the demonstration squad. He has worked aloft on the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaling ship in the world as well performing other tasks throughout the seaport.
Invite Mr. Whitehouse into your school and let him share his knowledge of love of this music with your students, in either an assembly or classroom setting.