NOTE: These projects are FREE to schools but we ask one favor … please don’t share the link to this download center. Any teacher can use it, no problem … so long as they REGISTER first. It is important that we can track, study and report where and how the project is being used. Comments and Suggestions welcome: email Teachers@WoodSongs.com
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I want to use: ____ WOODSONGS CLASSROOM ___ WOODSONGS MUSIC COFFEEHOUSE ___ WALDEN PLAY
Below you can select a show to stream in class and download the associated lesson plans. Each stream is AUDIO & VIDEO and about 25 minutes long each. The lesson plans are grade specific: Middle, High and College.
NOTE: GRADE 3-6 can modify the MIDDLE SCHOOL lesson plans
DOWNLOAD the WoodSongs Classroom-Teacher Guide letter here.
TEACHERS: the video stream is labeled as WS1-A (first half 25 minutes) or B (second half 25 minutes), etc, click on the stream to view. Click on the associated LESSON plan as per your student grade level to download the printable PDF. Elementary schools who want to use this page can modify the MIDDLE school lesson plan. The LESSON PLANS make connections with several subjects with COMMON CORE standards in mind. THIS SECTION IS READY FOR USE – Available Video Streams and Lesson Plans are in BLUE
WS1 TOMMY EMMANUEL
Michael Johnathon opens the show with a banjo rendition of the Porgy & Bess aria “Summertime.” Then turns the entire broadcast over to one of the most energetic, brilliant and entertaining guitar masters on planet earth. Tommy Emmanuel started his music career with his family band in Australia. His guitar hero was Chet Atkins, who called Tommy “… the greatest guitar player he ever met.” On this broadcast students will be exploring the magical, musical and percussive flavors of the acoustic guitar. A highlight of this show is 13 year old Parker Hastings playing toe-to-toe with his guitar hero, Tommy Emmanuel.
WS2 MUSIC of APPALACHIA
ACCESS LESSON PLANS AND PROGRAM
The Music of Appalachia is the cornerstone of folk, bluegrass … even pop and rock music. From the hills and hollers of the mountains, the families and communities that played on their front porches, and then around the world … this music is both beautiful, powerful and haunting. Performances by the students of the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music at Morehead State University.
WS3 JEAN RITCHIE
Jean Ritchie was the Princess of Appalachia, the Mother of Folk Music. Over the course of her career she performed with and inspired the great folk artists of the 20th century like Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Leadbelly and many others. Born in the hollers of East Kentucky she traveled the world with her mountain lap dulcimer. On this broadcast, her life, music and career is presented by several artists who knew and love her, including her son.
WS4 PETE SEEGER
Pete Seeger was our our wood chopping, maple syrup making, protest singing, banjo playing, ship building, song writing, book authoring, album making, concert performing, boat sailing and community involvement friend. He was America’s connection to its own musical legacy. He traveled with Woody Guthrie, archived America’s music with John Lomax, helped introduce Dylan and Joan Baez to the world and introduced Martin Luther King to a reworded old song called “We Shall Overcome.” He sang in Madison Square Garden, concert halls around the world and grammar schools. He would think of nothing, even at 94 years old, to grab his banjo and stand on a cold street corner with protesters for any cause he agreed with. This is a show giving students a chance to hear the musical legacy of Pete Seeger as presented by several of his friends who knew and worked with him.
WS5 THE AMERICAN BANJO: BELA FLECK AND ABIGAIL WASHBURN
The American Banjo. Bela Fleck is a 16x Grammy winning banjo musician. Abigail Washburn is the banjo playing founding member of Uncle Earle. Together they are America’s first couple of the Banjo and on this show they explore the many flavors of this often misunderstood instrument. Students will hear some of the finest musicianship in the world.
For students, teachers and parents wanting to begin playing the banjo, you can visit the Deering Banjo Company for information on how to start: CLICK HERE
WS6 MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL
This is not a political show nor is it “anti” energy. It does, however, take an honest, musical and critical look at the Mountain Top Removal process of extracting coal, the environmental changes, the lost communities and more. The program opens with a powerful music video of Michael Johnathon’s song “Appalachian Road” that details exactly what MTR is and how it affects the regional communities. During the show, with the help of Emmylou Harris, Darrel Scott and several others, the issue of Mountain Top Removal is discussed and sung about. What is Mountain Top Removal? How are the communities affected? What happens to the waterways and streams? Often moving, certainly shocking, students will be in for a very powerful lesson with this class project. Take special note of the opening music video as facts and pictures of mountain top removal are displayed.
From the biblical days of Nebuchadnezzar to the mountains of Appalachia, the dulcimer has played a huge role in the musical legacy of mankind through thousands of years. The name “dulcimer” comes from the Latin and Greek works dulce and melos, which together mean “sweet tune.” And no musical instrument is more breathtakingly beautiful … and easy to play … than the Hammered Dulcimer. On this show students will get to explore an instrument so old it is brand new to many of them and be excited with the possibilities in the hands of national level champion players Joshua Messick, Ted Yoder and Andy Young.
BRYAN SUTTON is a multi-award winning IBMA Guitar Player of the Year and one of the most revered bluegrass guitarists in the world. DOM FLEMONS is a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and a premier advocate of folk music in America. Students will have a powerful lesson on the kind of music born on front porches across the country. It’s history, music, art, poetry, race culture and social studies all wrapped up into this amazing broadcast.\
WS9 American Jazz with the PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND
The PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND is a true American music original, a multi-award winning ensemble of New orleans jazz greats who come together purely out of the love of music, community and education. Beginning in a small venue in New Orleans in 1961 with the legendary Sweet Emma Barrett, students will take a journey through genuine American music history. A highlight of this program aside from interviews with Ben Jaffe, son of the Preservation Hall founders, is a performance by 17 year old sax student Isaac Stevens, who gets to perform with the band at the end.
WS10 Celebration of the CELLO
The CELLO is one of the most revered, romantic instruments used in the classical, popular and folk music worlds. This lesson takes the traditional cello and demonstrates how flexible and unique the instrument is. BEN SOLLEE is one of the premier cellists in the nation who uses the cello as a percussive and songwriting instrument. The PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT takes surprising and unique song selections, twists arrangements around and leaves a breathless trail behind for cello lovers to follow. Students will have a unique and a renewed viewpoint of a very old, very beloved instrument.
WS11 First family of Country Music THE CARTER FAMILY
The CARTER Family is most influential group in country music history and the first true “stars” of the genre. Comprised of a gaunt, shy gospel quartet member named A. P. Carter and two reserved country girls — his wife, Sara, and their sister-in-law, Maybelle — the Carter Family sang a pure, simple harmony that influenced not only the numerous other family groups of the ’30s and the ’40s, but folk, bluegrass, and rock musicians like Woody Guthrie, Bill Monroe, the Kingston Trio, Doc Watson, Bob Dylan, and Emmylou Harris, to mention just a few. This show includes JOHN CARTER CASH, son of Johnny Cash and June Carter, plus Dale Jett.
WS12: Songs of Freedom with SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK
SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK is among the most important and revered women’s groups in music history. At their inception they were strong voices of equality, civil rights, freedom and fairness. This broadcast will give students insight on using music for community good, for social messages and concerns.
WS13 Songwriter JEWEL: The power of Song, Heart and Dreams
JEWEL is among the most passionate songwriters in American music and her story, with massive hits like “Who Will Save Your Soul” and “You Were Meant for Me” … what she overcame to stay true to herself from poverty to abuse and rejection is an inspiring, heart-wrenching, encouraging and brilliant story which she tells in this incredible classroom broadcast. It is a journey of heart and empowerment.
WS14 The Power of BARBER SHOP QUARTETS and the Human Voice
BARBER SHOP QUARTET singing is an American legacy artform, popular since the turn of the century but rarely heard today. Students will be mesmerized by these singing groups with no musical backing at all. From kid quartets to a super group from Europe, students will leave your classroom ready to start their own harmonizing ensembles.
WS15 The legacy of MUDDY WATERS and American Blues Music
MUDDY WATERS is arguable a music icon who has influenced and entire generation of musicians and the BLUES is an American legacy artform. This broadcast and lesson not only explores who Muddy Waters was, how he affected the future of music but we have three master musicians who performed with him, John Primer, Bob Margolin and Paul Oscher.
WS16 Introducing JOHN JACOB NILES and the Human Voice
JOHN JACOB NILES is one of the most unique musicians and vocalists in American song history. Called the “Dean of American Balladeers,” Niles was an important influence on the American folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s, with Joan Baez, Burl Ives, and Peter, Paul and Mary, among others, recording his songs. His high falsetto voice, deemed unsettling by many listeners would soar from folk to operatic in the same song. This broadcast is anchored by professor and author RON PEN of the University of Kentucky, curator of the John Jacob Niles Center and author of a definitive biography of Niles career, life and work.
WS17 Violin and Strings with MARK O’CONNOR
MARK O’CONNOR is one of the preeminent violin masters of the 21st century. His collaborations with James Taylor, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Alison Krauss, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, and many others have led to performances on the most visible concert stages worldwide. Along with national flatpick guitar champion Joe Smart and Eastman School of Music graduate and current University of Miami DMA candidate Geoff Saunders, the O’Connor Band will be performing selections from their Grammy winning album.
WoodSongs Kid: Allie Hagan is a 17-year-old fiddle champion. She recently taught 75 students in Kenya to play the violin using the O’Connor Fiddle Method.
WS18 Folk Icon and Internet Pioneer ROGER McGUINN
ROGER McGUINN is one of the most influential and important artists of the 20th century. He is one of Rolling Stone Magazines Top 100 Guitarists of all time, founding member of The Byrds, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame … and an internet pioneer. On this broadcast students will not only learn about Roger’s unique guitar style but also his passion for traditional folk music. He was among the very first in the world to start a music website in the 1990’s and Folk Den is one of the biggest and most important folk song resources in the world. Special guest on this show is John Lomax III.
MOUSIE HiWAY is designed to get kids to love playing music and an introduction the bluegrass and instruments. “Mousie HiWay: The Adventures of Banjo Mouse in Appalachia” is picture book and story about a banjo playing mouse that travels across Appalachia, meeting new friends and forming a bluegrass band. This will book introduce young kids to the banjo, guitar, fiddle, dobro, mandolin and upright bass in a fun way and encourage them to pick up an instrument and play.
WS20 GUN: A Discussion of Guns, Violence and Peace
WS20 AUDIO: The Song “GUN”
GUN is designed as a class discussion, using the song “GUN” as a template for thought and argument. Do guns kill people? Should guns be banned? What about the second amendment? Will banning guns change peoples mind about violence and killing? America is the most armed nation on earth and the American citizen is the biggest, armed military force on the planet: does that make us safer?
WS21 Celebrating the “front porch” world of ROOTS Music
With representatives Folk Alliance International – IBMA – Blues Foundation
ROOTS is the organic musical world of the “front porch” … it is blues and bluegrass, folk and more. The directors of FOLK ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL, the IBMA and the BLUES FOUNDATION describe their amazing world of roots music and how they help artists … it’s even something called “SongFarmers.” Students will visit the amazing community or independent artists, acoustic performers and songwriters. We call this the “front porch” world of musicians, art that is from the heart and not “chart” or commercial bound.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Folk.org, Blues.org, SongFarmers.org, IBMA.org
We live in a divided time, with divided communities. A SONGFARMER is anyone who uses their music to make their families, their hometowns, their careers better. Students can explore the unifying spirit of music and art and how is can bring together their school, family and community.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: SongFarmers.org, SongFarmers.org/TV
S23 THE STATUE music video about racism and violence
We live in a divided time, with divided communities. Anger, distrust and violence is everywhere and … yes … it affects these kids. They want an honest conversation about what is really happening to their neighborhoods, hometowns and nation. This is a music video that begins during the Civil War and ends in modern times, using the SYMBOLS of hate and prejudice to guide a conversation about love and healing.
YOUTUBE LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0BgR-21gsw&feature=youtu.be
The APOLOGY SONG: A lesson about getting along
Schools, neighborhoods, families, communities … nations. These days it seems like we are surrounded by bullies. The APOLOGY SONG and lesson plans, uniquely designed for all ages including college. In an age of anger, bitter politics, bullying and war this is a lesson about peace, calm and how to defuse a problem.
The APOLOGY SONG PLAY THE SONG (TRT 1:58) click here for the MP3 stream
The APOLOGY SONG lyric sheet PDF click here
The DREAM: A Song about the Earth at Peace
The news is full of upsetting things … terrorism, violence, shootings. It can be deeply disturbing to students even if they don’t talk about it. Often, a song can be a gentle doorway to open up a young heart to express how they feel about the world around them. The DREAM is one of the most massive recording events in the history of folk music. It started as a simple folk song … but then, after considering how majestic the idea of world peace actually is … the production of the song grew with the vision. A full 61-piece symphony orchestra, children’s choirs in four languages English, French, Spanish and Russian and a band of Grammy winning musicians.
The DREAM PLAY THE SONG (TRT 6:22) click here for the MP3 stream
The DREAM lyric sheet PDF click here
The DREAM tri-fold brochure PDF click here
The DREAM CD cover JPG click here
Click here to REGISTER (All materials are FREE. Registration form is at the bottom of the page)
Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau
The Walden Play script, actors notes, director’s guide, poster art and the production audio MP3s. For those schools who do not have the ability to present a dramatic play, you can use the script as an in-class reading. If you have a digital projector or desk top, below you will find the two 25 minute classroom streaming video segments and lesson plans.
“Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau should be a requirement in American classrooms. Kids badly need this element in their lives that strongly encourages analysis and critical thinking.” – Mark S. Tucker, FAME reviewer
PERFORM THE PLAY: Walden Play script (2015 edit, 58 pages PDF) CLICK HERE
Walden poster (12×18″ can be resized) for the film/DVD showing CLICK HERE
Walden Play poster (12×18″ can be resized) for a theatre performance CLICK HERE
Walden Play Director’s notes (4 pages PDF) CLICK HERE
Walden Audio (if needed) CLICK HERE
Click here to REGISTER (All materials are FREE. Registration form is at the bottom of the page)
This is a great in-school student activity that costs nothing to produce, nurtures art, music, a sense of community and actual experience performing. We encourage every school, teacher and student family to become a member of the WoodSongs Front Porch Association, and for students to attend the Gathering with their families. The WFPA will have stages especially available for young performers.
COLLEGES, SCHOOLS and HOMESCHOOL FAMILIES: turn your living room into a concert hall!
Download the WoodSongs Coffeehouse-Teacher LETTER here
Download the WoodSongs Coffeehouse-School manual here
Download the WoodSongs Coffeehouse-School POSTER here
Download the WoodSongs Registered LOGO (Trademarked) here. You can use it as it relates to this project with our permission.
Download the WoodSongs COFFEEHOUSE Logo here
Click here to REGISTER (All materials are FREE. Registration form is at the bottom of the page)
Thanks to these friends who make the above possible:
The WoodSongs Lesson Plan Coordinator:
Our wonderful teachers that pour over each show with a fine toothed comb and create the best multi-level lesson plans possible. We are very grateful to them, the WoodSongs Front Porch Association and the Martin Guitar Company for making this educational project possible
April Duckworth M.Ed, BS is our Lesson Plan Coordinator. She has been teaching at Eastern Kentucky University for three years. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Education and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, along with a minor in Social Welfare. Says April: “Music inspires me. I believe in the power of art and all the ways it truly enriches our lives. It is my hope that we will inspire creativity in the classroom and also guide the students to an appreciation of music and artistic expression. I am incredibly thankful to be a part of the WoodSongs family.”