Educational Outreach Programs

Folk Music Programs for Children

As a member of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, the Society is proud to sponsor an educational outreach program for school children. The program, which is customized for children ranging from 1st grade through high school, is designed to present a fundamental understanding of traditional American folk music. Representatives from the Society work with the music teaching staff to integrate the folk music program into the music education curriculum. Upon making the appropriate arrangements with school administrators and teaching staff, Society artists travel to the school, either during or after normal school hours, to perform a nominally 1-hour musical education program. The session is interactive, involving the children in both song as well as playing instruments.

The content includes - what is folk music, the origins and musical characteristics of common American folk instruments, voice and harmonies in singing folk music and singing along, and a brief history of some of the great American-born folk singers and their songs, such as "This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie.

We Need Volunteers:

The interactive in-school program is on hold pending acceptance of new volunteers. If you are interested in helping us or taking a lead in the in-school programs, please contact us.

Past Activities

Below are examples of past educational programs and concerts that the Society has provided for children.

Interactive Programs:

  • Calypso Elementary School, Bethlehem
  • Clearview Elementary School, Bethlehem
  • Hillside School, Allentown
  • Saucon Valley Elementary School, Hellertown
  • Discovery Days (Folk Music and Instrument Building), Mayfair Festival, Allentown
  • Girl Scout Worldwide Weekend (teaching sing-a-long), Poconos
  • Artists in Action (instrument building and song), Mayfair Festival, Allentown

Past Performances Strictly for Elementary School Children:

  • Children's Crayola Factory Sing-a-Longs, Easton
  • Children's Guild Show, Bethlehem Ice House
  • Children's Concert at Rose Garden Festival, Bethlehem
  • Mayfair, Children's Concert, Allentown
  • Morning Call Children's Christmas Concert, Allentown
  • Musikfest Children's Concert, Banana Island, Bethlehem
  • Girl Scout Sing-a-Long, Coopersburg GSA Camp
  • Music and Stories for Children Series, Ice House, Bethlehem
  • Saturday's Child Series, Bethlehem

Future Educational Programs

For a more comprehensive educational program, the Folk Society is currently developing an instructional folk music short course which can be offered to elementary, high school or college students interactively over multiple class sessions. "Folk Music Americana" by the Lehigh Valley Folk Music Society will comprise a history of the evolution of common folk music styles and folk music instruments in the United States from the Revolutionary War Period through the Folk Revival Period of the 1960s. The music performances will also be available on-line in a video format, and a hard copy of the program detail will be made available in book form accompanied by audio clips.

The course will include the following segments of American folk music history:
  • Revolutionary War Period
  • Antebellum Period and Deep Southern Influences
  • Songs of the Civil War
  • Growing America with Song during the Industrial Revolution
  • Music of the Pioneers and Moving West
  • Evolution of Southern Appalachian Mountain Music
  • Roots of Country and Bluegrass Music
  • Dust Bowl and Depression Era Songs featuring Woody Guthrie
  • Evolution of Folk Music During the Folk Revival Period of the 1950s and early 1960s.
Instrument instruction will include the origin, playing styles, evolution and demonstrations of the the banjo, the acoustic guitar, the Appalachian dulcimer, common folk music percussion, the Autoharp, the slide guitar and the ukelele.

CONTACT US

For more information on how to get the Folk Music Society into your school's music programs, please contact Bob Miller or Karen Dunstan:

BoB: Phone: 484-553-0674 E-mail: millsy@ptd.net
Karen: Phone: 610-432-8014 E-mail: lchris20@msn.com