The Dunoon School dads’ band rocking out their times table songs.
The Dunoon School dads’ band rocking out their times table songs. Andy Parks

Count on these school of rock dads

BRUCE Springsteen once sang "we learned more from a three-minute record than we ever learned in school".

Now a bunch of dads from Dunoon Public School have taken a cue from The Boss; using rock'n'roll as a way to help teach kids their times tables.

Music academic at SCU, Dr Matt Hill and his daughters Gabriella and Cassandra wrote some songs together to help kids remember their three, four, five and six times tables.

Dr Hill then assembled some of the other musical dads at the school and put together a band to play them in front of the whole school.

"Heather Laverick (the Year 3&4 teacher) had the idea that kids learn better if they've got a melody. Gabriella and Cassandra really ran with that idea and we came up with some songs that have different musical attributes that relate to the times tables. So the three times table song is in three four time and uses intervals of a third... So we weaved in some musical theory stuff as well to create a cross-curriculum learning idea and also something that's about having fun with the kids."

The dad band's debut performance coincided with a day at the school where the dads were running the canteen as part of an ongoing program to engage and involve dads in all aspects of school life.

"Maybe there's not so many dads who are good with woodwork in this community, but half of us seem to play an instrument," Dr Hill said.

School principal Genevieve Slocombe said they have been working with Ken Bright from the Men and Family Centre in Lismore and always looking for new ways to get the dads involved.

"We're so lucky at this school because the parents are so involved, both mums and dads. There are lots of things to engage and encourage dads to be involved in all facets of the school; from the classroom and curriculum to fundraising," she said.

The kids sat and tried to sing along to the times table songs, but got up and danced when they did a version of Wild Thing and an encore of Stand By Me.


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