Andrew Sweet

The Foote School
New Haven, CT

Project Description:

Sweet’s creative teaching idea, “Hip-Hop Hexameter”, is a unique Latin poetry project that is designed to connect ancient poetry to modern hip-hop music.  The program makes Latin poetry accessible to modern students by connecting the rhythm of ancient poetry to music they like and is part of their daily lives. Students will memorize and recite a piece of Latin poetry over a beat that they create themselves using Apple’s GarageBand software. Because Latin poetry alternates long and short syllables, it has much more in common with hip-hop music versus modern languages. Through this program, students will be able to recognize the patterns of long and short syllables that characterize Latin dactylic hexameter, the meter of Virgil’s Aeneid and other great works of Latin literature. For those students who have trouble memorizing and reciting poetry, the approach of learning by creating their own music will assist in the process. Sweet, who lives in New Haven, wants to share his innovative approach to teaching ancient meter with other teachers throughout the country and world and wherever people recite Latin poetry.