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COURSE DESCRIPTION

Folk music is a type of traditional generally rural music that originally was passed down through families and other small social groups. Typically, folk music, like folk literature, lives in oral tradition; it is learned through hearing rather than reading.

https://www.liveabout.com/the-history-of-american-folk-music-1322572 

American folk music (roots music) has no precise nameable origin because it organically grew out of a communal tradition more than for entertainment or profit. There are folk songs that date so far back they can be considered oral histories. Certainly, in America, songs by traditional American folk singers like Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie tell stories that often don’t even appear in history books.

From its origins, folk music has been the music of the working class. It is community-focused and has rarely enjoyed commercial success. By definition, it is something anyone can understand and in which everyone is welcome to participate. Folk songs range in subject matter
from war, work, civil rights and economic hardship to nonsense, satire and, of course, love songs.

From the onset of American history, folk music has shown up at times when the people needed it most. The earliest folk songs rose from slave fields as spirituals such as “Down by the Riverside” and “We Shall Overcome.” These are songs about struggle and hardship but are also
full of hope. They sprang from the need of the worker to go to a place in her brain where she knew there was more to the world than the hardships she was facing at the time.

Definition

A continuing elementary music education and training program to develop an appreciation for traditional and contemporary American Folk Music. Students explore the roots and progression of American and international folk music through audio/video, lyric/song sheets, solo and group play and sing along, with percussion and guitar(s) led by a seasoned musician and educator.

Purpose

  • Introduce and learn a variety folk songs from past history and cultures to develop a contextual understanding of the lyrics and musical style.
  • Develop music skills including percussion, voice, and guitar/ukelele in a group setting.
  • Write and perform an original folk song as a group.

Timeline and Cost
Weekly 50 minute group classes. Tuesday, 3:15-4:15 PM, beginning November 2019.

Activities

  • Group and Independent Music Listening
  • Group Discussion
  • Group Sing and Play Along
  • Song/Lyric Writing
  • Song/Melody Writing
  • Group performance

Conclusion

Students will be able to:

  • Learn a general understanding of the common tonality and foundation for popular music.
  • Understand the key differences between folk songs and other music genre.
  • Sing and/or play along to America’s most loved folk songs.
  • Have the opportunity to contribute to an original folk song and perform it as a group before an audience.

Folks Songs (in progress, alphabetical)

Traditional

  • Auld Lang Syne
  • Blow The Man Down
  • Buffalo Gals
  • Charlie is My Darling
  • Down in the Valley
  • For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow
  • Get Along Little Doggies
  • Goober Peas
  • Home on the Range
  • Hush Little Baby
  • I’ve Been Working on the Railroad
  • Jimmy Crack Corn
  • Lavender’s Blue
  • Muffin Man
  • My Country ‘Tis of Thee
  • My One and Only Love
  • O’ My Darling
  • Old Joe Clark
  • O’ Susana
  • Oh My Darling Clementine
  • Old MacDonald Had A Farm
  • Shenandoah
  • The Ants Go Marching
  • The Erie Canal
  • The Riddle Song (I Gave My Love a Cherry)
  • There’s A Hole in My Bucket
  • Rock-a-bye Baby
  • Shoo Fly Don’t Bother Me
  • Skip To My Lou
  • The Cowboy’s Lament (The Streets of Laredo)
  • This Train
  • Tom Dooley
  • When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
  • Wraggle Taggle Gypsies
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy

International

  • Aupres De Ma Blonde
  • Per Spelmann
  • Sakura (Cherry Blossoms)
  • Swiss Yodel Song
  • When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Contemporary

  • Alice’s Restaurant
  • Blowing in the Wind
  • Happy Trails
  • If I Had a Hammer
  • If I Were A Carpenter
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
  • Man of Constant Sorrow
  • Puff The Magic Dragon
  • So Long It’s Been Good to Know You
  • Sounds of Silence
  • The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
  • This Land is Your Land
  • Turn Turn Turn
  • Where Have All The Flowers Gone
  • You Are My Sunshine