• Duo uses songs to teach ocean literacy
By Michael de Moura
Special to the Tribune
What happens when a science educator and a music teacher write songs together? The result is “another angle on learning” taken by Good Dog to educate children about marine life.
On Friday, Good Dog is performing “original nature songs aimed at teaching basic ocean literacy” said co-founder Jim Pfeiffenberger.
Good Dog uses scientific accuracy, “one guitar and two voices” to illustrate the adaptations of maritime mammals, birds, and fish.
Trained vocalist Liesl Davenport-Wheeler and Jim Pfeiffenberger formed Good Dog over a dozen years ago in Seward.
Jim currently works at the Ocean Alaska Science and Learning Center. Now a choir teacher at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Liesl continues to sing as part of Good Dog at events such as Whale Fest Kodiak, the Seattle Folk Festival, and school assemblies around Alaska.
In 2002, they released eleven original songs entitled Tunes from the Tides. The CD prominently features a variety of percussionists, tuba and the naturalistic duo.
At 7 p.m. Friday, Good Dog will make their third appearance in the Shorebird Festival, performing at the Homer Council on the Arts gallery. Inspired by previous festivals, the song “You Could be a Shorebird Too,” imparts knowledge about migratory birds.
“They pair skilled vocals with educational content that’s fun,” said the Anchorage Press. Jim hopes their music “helps to foster stewardship to nature” in the audience’s future.
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