I have some ideas of essential elements or objectives that need to be taught. One element is obviously video since video did play such an essential part to their commercial success and did grab so many fans’ attention. It is a part of Duran that has existed from the first single to current times. Another element that needs to talked about, I think, is their commitment to the complete package. Duran isn’t just music or video. They are a complete package from artwork to fashion. The images they created from their album covers to their merchandise are long lasting and captured our attention. I would, obviously, include all of those fabulous photographs of the band members, themselves. Then, of course, we have the proof of their success. This objective would include information about album sales, awards received, and media attention. While the fans could be a part of this object, I think we deserve an objective all by ourselves. While we had direct impact on their commercial success, especially “back in the day”, we are still an essential part of the story by continuing to follow them, buy their products, and more. I also think there needs to be an objective on Duran’s philosophy. While Duran has never clearly come out to state a “philosophy” or “mission”, I think that there is one. After all, this is the band that declared that they wanted to be playing when the bomb dropped in their first interview. It is also the band that states frequently at shows that they are the band “designed to make you party”. Clearly, the band isn’t about politics!
Now, that we have the goal of proving Duran is great and our objectives of their musical spectrum and quality, video, packaging, commercial success, fans, and philosophy, we have to decide how to present them. In education, this could be called the procedure. One way, we could present the material would be through the differing musical styles. Thus, we would pick songs that both represent a certain style of music and represents one of the remaining objectives. For example, Save a Prayer might be used to showcase their ability to write and play ballads while also showing the use of video. Another way, we could present the objectives could be through the band’s story. Their story now spans over thirty years and I’m willing to bet that each major piece to their history could be explained through their music. Thus, lesson one might be on forming the band. I could then explain how the different members came to join the band. I could play the song, Late Bar, to showcase this time in their history and also lead the students to questions regarding their philosophy through analyzing the lyrics. Hopefully, they would get that an all-night party means that they wanted for everyone to have a good time! A later lesson could be how the critics did not appreciate them despite or because of their commercial success, which would be accompanied by the song Notorious.
In case you are all wondering, I have put together a list of songs that best represent Duran’s history and those essential elements that make up who Duran is. I could share it, if people are interested. What I would like to know is how you would teach Duran Duran. Would you just focus on the music? If so, what songs would you include? Would you focus on those other elements that I referred to as objectives? Maybe you would talk about some of those elements but not all of them. Perhaps, I forgot something essential to understanding Duran. Would you then organize the lessons like I would, through Duran’s history and music? If not, how would you do it? Then, I would also love to know if anyone has tried to actually teach someone about Duran. How did you do it and how did it go?