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Rock Out Your Family History and Capture a Generation's Attention

How do you rock out your family history? Take a popular song of today, change the song lyrics to convey your family history story, shoot it in a music video format and you just captured the attention of a younger generation.

I came across these fantastic videos this week and I really needed to share them with you. A group of  history teachers wanted to reach their students and make learning history fun. They took a popular song of today Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance’ and voila it became “Revolution in France.”





I immediately could see how a family historian could apply this same creative thinking to their family history story.

Choose a song and basically tell your family history story to a tune the younger generation can relate to. I think it’s a fantastic idea. A little bit of work but it would go along way in embracing the next generation.

Of course, be sure to obtain a licensing agreement to use the song, it depends on how you intend to distribute it but it certainly is doable. There are several sites on line that license music for just this purpose. Don't quote me, I believe if it is only for a family and friends gathering no licensing is required. If a song is used for a face-to-face not-for-profit teaching situation a license is not required. However do your homework, at the very least a small fee may be required.

It just so happens I have a cousin who directs music videos, I’m going to enlist his help to create a family history music video for our next family reunion, however I’m sure anyone with a little creative thinking and a video camera could pull this off.

Taking it one step further, I’ll include a cross section of family members to help produce and act in the video. Perhaps even distribute copies to family members as a keepsake. Take it another step further and employ the creative help of the teenagers in your family to produce, direct and act in your family history music video. A great way for them to take ownership of the project and their family history.

You can find more examples from these  history teachers here if your looking for further inspiration.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of my family history video. In the meantime, if you decide to make your own family history music video, please drop me a line would love to see it.

Have you made a family history music video? Would love to hear about it in comments below.

2 comments:

  1. A creative idea to engage teens. As a tv producer, I can say that this video represents scores of hours of work. It's not a weekend project. Now with I movie ( which I've never used) & technology it's easier than ever but still Lots of work. I encourage anyone considering a video to start very small. Organize all material ahead. Write the words first. That's what you'll edit to. But don't write the words until you're sure you have the visuals to cover them. So everyhing has to be assembled ahead. Don't write in Uncle Martin unless you have some visual to match what.you write. Just some basics. Have fun and plan plan plan.

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  2. Thanks Linda, for your advice. I'm planning mine now for a reunion 2 1/2 years from now and enlisting the help of family with the skills do the job. Much like writing a family history book, a lot of work but I think it could be an amazing opportunity to share one's family history.

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