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Got the remote learning blues? Woodland music teacher turned feelings into an original song

Brent LiaBraaten created the song Google Classroom Blues for fun, and to give a lift to his colleagues.

WOODLAND, Wash. — Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s an extra tough year to be a teacher or school staff member. So one music teacher turned those frustrations into a song.

Brent LiaBraaten teaches choir and guitar at the middle and high schools in Woodland. He was inspired to write the song while practicing a blues track on his guitar. Then the words came to a tune entitled Google Classroom Blues.

“One of my outlets is to make music, so that led to me getting lost in the lyrics and playing and having fun, and then I decided that staff would get a kick out of it so I recorded it,” said LiaBraaten, who has taught at Woodland Public Schools for 13 years.

Liabratten’s song starts with an introduction to his colleagues, saying, “Alright ladies and gentlemen I bet you’re feeling a little bit like I am right now: overwhelmed with all that’s going on. So I thought I could lift your spirits with this original composition. So here we go from the Woodland High School stage, this is the Google Classroom Blues.

The song has several verses that give a sense of what it’s like to teach students remotely.

This is the first verse:

“I show up to work, got coffee in hand, gonna have to sit but I’d rather stand. I got Google classroom blues, yes Google classroom blues. My web camera's on, my mic is hot. Let's log on and meet the kids, I'm gonna give it a shot.”

The music teacher didn’t intend to share his song widely but his colleagues loved and related to it so much that they shared it for him. Now it’s up on YouTube for anyone to watch.

“With what’s been going on the last six months we’ve got plenty to be upset about,” said LiaBraaten. “So a lot of those frustrations and feelings kind of pent up inside and especially with the start of the new school year I was feeling some of those things. And I thought laughter is the best medicine, so for me to get it out there then to share it with others, that was the goal.” 

And although the song was written with his coworkers in mind, LiaBraaten knows students are challenged by the times as well. So if his song makes them smile too, that’s even better.

“They need that emotional outlet too and they’re not getting it in a lot of ways, so we’re trying to provide that for them to be creative and be with their friends, even though it’s all through a screen.”