Folks in our community who love the Disney “High School Musical” franchise were no doubt thrilled to see Zac Efron in “Hairspray.”
In week three of our “For The Love of Musicals” course when we look at “Hairspray” we ask students to choose their favorite Zac song from:
“Ladies Choice” (Hairspray)
“Getcha Head in the Game” (HSM)
“Bet on It” (HSM2)
“Now or Never” (HSM3)
We use choice and forum activities in the course to encourage students to communicate with others who share their interests.
In the first week of our “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” course we talk about two of the main brands featuring superstars from the WWE: SmackDown and Raw. Superstars are assigned to one of the brands and appear on television shows on Monday (Raw) or Tuesday (SmackDown) nights.
Draft day – when the managers of each brand take turns choosing members – is a BIG deal in many households with people who have Down syndrome (including mine.)
Doctor Dennis McGuire, PhD, Director of Psychosocial services at the Adult Down Syndrome Center of Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois wrote an essay that is now famous in our community.
In “If People With Down Syndrome Ruled the World,” Dr. McGuire talks about The Center, and then describes a fictitious world where the imagination and creativity he’s found in his patients became the norm rather than the exception.
In a section titled “What About Self-Expression?” he lists some of his clients’ favorite television habits:
Classic TV hits would be very BIG and take up at least half the TV schedules.
“I Love Lucy,” “Happy Days,” “The Three Stooges,” etc. would be very BIG.
Wrestling would be very Big.
“Life Goes On” would also be very Big and replayed regularly
Our personal experience concurs with those observations and led to the creation of one of our first courses for self-advocates: “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble,” and eight week course about everything WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), including Monday Night Raw.
In our course “For The Love of Musicals,” we learn that “Rock of Ages” is an example of a jukebox musical – one that features music of a particular time period or artist.
One of the activities we offer is a chance to match the song from “Rock of Ages” to the original artist who made the song famous. In the film version of “Rock of Ages” – Harden My Heart is sung by Sherrie Christian played by Julianne Hough. The song was originally recorded by American rock group Quarterflash. This is one of 25 songs in the course activity.