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New Brunswick music teacher helps students produce COVID-19 music CD

Click to play video: 'Petitcodiac Regional School music teacher helps students produce a COVID-19 music CD' Petitcodiac Regional School music teacher helps students produce a COVID-19 music CD
WATCH: Students at the Petitcodiac Regional School in New Brunswick have poured their hearts out helping to write, produce and cut an album entitled “Distantly Close” all about life during COVID-19. Global’s Shelley Steeves reports. – Jun 4, 2021

Students at the Petitcodiac Regional School in New Brunswick have poured their hearts out helping to write, produce and cut an album all about life during COVID-19.

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“We talked about (how) we are all in this together,” said Christopher Mersereau, a music teacher at the school who helped to guide students through the process. He said they also talked about what things might be like when the pandemic is over.

Mersereau said students from kindergarten to Grade 12 had a hand in writing, producing, playing instruments and singing on the 15-track CD entitled Distantly Close.

Christopher Mersereau
Christopher Mersereau. Christopher Mersereau

Mersereau, who was a full-time musician before he became a teacher, played guitar, bass and percussion on the tracks. He also enlisted some professional musicians to help write and play the songs, including: Keith Mullins (guitar, voice, harmonica) Christian Kit Goguen (voice, guitar), Louise Vautour (violin), Jesse Mea (accordion, piano, B3, Wurlitzer), Iz Ouellet (voice).

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Read more: Nova Scotia siblings who recorded first album at home during COVID win national music award

“Some people that I used to play with and who are still good friends decided to help out. So where there was a void in the song we kind of filled it with the professionals,” he said.

He said the lyrics are a reflection of how the kids have been feeling amid the pandemic.

“It was a way of checking in with them so I feel like there was a therapeutic component as well,” he said.

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Thirteen-year-old Dawson Chase, who is in Grade 7, played his ukulele on some of the tracks and said it was like a dream come true working with professionals in the industry.

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“Music is my dream and what I have wanted to do and getting to do this and making our own song and having our own album it is pretty cool,” said Chase.

“I thought this was really cool because we got to write our own song and it is actually on a CD,” said 13-year-old Sadie Lewis.

Lewis also said that she connected with the words in the title track.

Despite being separated from friends and family, she said technology has helped her maintain a closeness with people amid the pandemic, “messaging and face timing every day.”

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Proceeds from the CD will be used to support the school’s music program.

The students are currently working on producing a music video for each song on the CD.

Mersereau hopes those who listen to the lyrics in the songs will find a common connection.

“We wanted a deeper reflection and something that would stand the test of time so when you listen to the record 10 years from now it is still pertinent”

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