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"Roots of American Music"

A 6-week Song Writing Class for High School Students

American has many styles of music — one of the greatest melting pots of styles and influences, as diverse as the people that live in this country.

Roots of American Music is a 6-week class which focuses on one style of music each week, using both live and recorded examples, with traditional instruments.

  • Blues
  • Country / Bluegrass
  • Jazzs
  • Rock & Roll
  • Showtunes

The emphasis is to give the student an understanding of the lements, instruments, and musical traits that comprise a distinct style of music. What is its contribution to our history, its influence on other styles, and how was it present at the genesis of a new style. In the words of Muddy Waters: "The blues had a baby and they called it Rock & Roll."

The second part of each class is devoted to songwriting in the style of that week's particular focus. Students learn how to compose and perform their own songs using whatever instruments they play. Emphasis is placed on working in a collaborative environment, to create a supportive process where students edvvelop confidence in their ability to create.

(Note: Presenter can do special topics or additional styles, such as rap music or reggae.)