School District 43 teachers and staff have taken up singer Jon Bon Jovi’s challenge to write a verse about their lives under COVID-19 with a harmonic Bon Jovi tune posted to Youtube.
The song, known as Do What You Can, is entwined with Bon Jovi’s plea to write a verse and share it. More than a dozen teachers took part singing, strumming acoustic and electric guitars, banging drums and even riffing on a harmonica.
Teacher Rob Heinrichs introduces the song, encouraging people to help out during these trying times because if they can’t do what they do, they should “do what you can.”
Jon Bon Jovi appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on March 30 from his home studio in New Jersey.
Bon Jovi gave an update on his family, and said he got "thousands of submissions" from fans after asking them for help finishing the song.
Now SD43 teachers are hoping to add to his collection of verses.
In their version, the teachers note that people are staying indoors, the border has shut down and teachers won’t give up: “We’ll do our best to teach kids online,” they sing.
The song was posted yesterday, April 14, and already been viewed more than 3,000 times.
Here’s what teacher Rob Heinrichs had to say about the process.
“To create the song, I wrote the lyrics to the second verse and recorded myself singing and playing ukulele over top of Jon Bon Jovi’s song. At the same time, I connected with educators in our district through email and social media, asking them if they wanted to join me. Those that did, recorded their videos while listening to the mp3. This was the key to creating tracks in the same key and with the same timing.
The audio from all the teacher tracks were put into GarageBand and mixed. The finished audio, along with all the videos, were put into a video editor and synced up. It took a little time to line up all the tracks, and I learned a lot in the process.
The purpose of the video is simple, to send a message of hope and unity to our community. Our hope is that it puts a smile on peoples’ faces during this time of uncertainty and isolation. As an added bonus, it was fun to work on a collaborative and creative project.
The educators involved in the project were: Dave Grender, Mike Balser, Sean Robinson, Elaan Bauder, Simon Kwok, Andrew Graham (with his daughter Kristin), Jackie Hamnett, Michelle Lueck, Camy Ng, Rob Heinrichs, Larry Ryan, Jody Pope, Dario Demetlika, James Gill, Lorne Lambert and Lori Odberg.
It was a real team effort, and that is what I love most about the video. It’s 18 people (19 if you count Jon) working together to bring a few minutes of joy to people in our community.”