Top Menu

School Visits

“ONE OF THE MOST CURRICULUM-CONNECTED RESIDENCIES I’VE EXPERIENCED.”

~MS. THAYER, 5th GRADE TEACHER

All of my programs are geared toward grades K-8, though high school concerts can be arranged. My programs are flexible, depending on the needs of the school.

Songs of the Civil War Era

Maine curriculum standards state that the essential understanding that 5th grade students should take away from their Civil War studies is:

“The Civil War united a divided country.”

This concept is easily heard in the music of the time. Throughout the period of the Civil War, songs played an important role, both reflecting and informing attitudes toward slavery, economics, and other key issues of the war.

I offer multi- or single-day residencies, and concerts in which students learn about and sing the songs of the battlefield, the cotton fields, and the home front. A songwriting component may be added to engage the students on a more personal level while exercising language and writing skills.

Read blog posts about previous Songs of the Civil War Era school visits.

Students gained a deeper understanding of the importance of music during the Civil War era. They heard how the songs might have sounded as the soldiers gathered around the campfire. They experienced writing variations to the songs based on their own experiences. They sang together! ~Mr. Sullivan, 5th grade teacher

Songs of the Civil Rights Movement

In Martin Luther King, Jr.’s book Why We Can’t Wait, he wrote:

“The freedom songs are the soul of the movement.”

In this workshop, students learn songs that inspired, motivated, and spurred on the Civil Rights Movement. We’ll learn about the impact that young people had on the movement. We’ll also look at the way “old” songs from the 1940’s labor movement and slave songs from the late 1800’s were embraced, changed, and given new life during the black freedom struggle. A songwriting component may be added to engage the students on a personal level while exercising language and writing skills.

Josephine Cameron brought a wonderful energy and a better understanding of Dr. King to all in attendance at our annual Children’s Celebration of MLK.  We didn’t want her music to end, and hope to have her join us again! ~Judy Montgomery, Associate Librarian and Organizer of Bowdoin College Library’s Annual Children’s Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.

American Songs Workshop

In American Songs workshops, students learn traditional American folk songs like “Red River Valley,” “I See the Moon,” and “Oh Susanna.” We will discuss the history of the songs, why the songwriters may have written them, what these traditional songs mean for us today, and why it is important for us to remember them.

Traditional folk music has often been changed over the years when new generations add verses that are relevant to them. In this workshop, students will join in this tradition by choosing a song and creating a verse of their own—becoming part of history themselves.

I am happy to tailor programs to a specific era of history to enhance classroom studies. I enjoy creating programs that are directly applicable to history and social studies lessons.

Songwriting for Kids Workshop

In the Songwriting for Kids Workshop, students learn how a song is created from start to finish. Depending on the length of the program, topics may include collaboration, rhythm, rhyme, melody, harmony, and arranging. The students will work together as a group to write a song as a class.

Concert or School Assembly

I am happy to perform for your school. A general performance will include traditional American folk songs such as “This Land Is Your Land,” “Red River Valley,” “Rock Island Line,” and the New Orlean’s favorite “Oh When the Saints Go Marching In” as well as some original material. Concerts on specific historical eras (Civil War, Civil Rights Movement) are available as well. During a concert, I will teach the students some of the songs and ask them to engage in writing some “on the fly” lyrics with me. In-school concerts (during school hours) are 45-min in length, but timing may be adjusted to be shorter or longer to meet a school’s needs. If you prefer to have a longer, community-wide concert in the evening with the opportunity to sell tickets to benefit the school, please contact me to negotiate terms.

For song samples and parent, student, and teacher reviews, please visit www.songwritingforkids.com.

2016-17 RATES
In-state rate: $700/day
Out-of-state rate: $1000/day plus reimbursement for travel and lodging
Maximum number of presentations per day: 3 classroom visits, or a negotiable combination of classroom visits and school concerts.

Contact me to schedule a visit

RECENT VISITS & GRANTS
Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School
Bowdoin College
Pejepscot Historical Society
Senter Fund Grant
Arts Are Elementary Grant