Young Audiences of Massachusetts

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1 Educational Materials Please forward to teachers ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE Alastair Moock Playing With Tradition Grade levels: PreK-2 Alastair Moock introduces young students to a vastly diverse group of American musicians who have used folk music to teach lessons, chronicle history, inspire courage, champion causes, celebrate victories and simply make people happy. Students will meet Woody Guthrie, Mississippi John Hurt, Pete Seeger, and other heroes of American folk. Alastair also sings some of his own playful compositions, to show how a contemporary folk singer incorporates the folk tradition into his life and work. LEARNING GOALS: 1. To become familiar with some of America s most important folk musicians and folk styles 2. To learn the history of how folk music came to America from all over the world Europe, Africa, and elsewhere and became distinctly new American forms 3. To learn about the role that music has played in affecting social change throughout American history PRE-ACTIVITY SUMMARY: Students will be introduced to the concept of folk music by talking about and singing songs they already know POST-ACTIVITY SUMMARY: Students will briefly research the history of a folk song and learn how it changed over time

2 CURRICULUM LINKS: HISTORY Grade PreK-K, History and Geography Use correctly words and phrases related to chronology and time Grade PreK-K, Civics and Government Give examples that show the meaning of the following concepts: authority, fairness, justice, responsibility, and rules. Grade 1, Learning Standards After reading or listening to folktales, legends, and stories from America and from around the world, describe the main characters and their qualities Grade 1, Learning Standards After reading or listening to stories about famous Americans of different ethnic groups, faiths, and historical periods, describe their qualities or distinctive traits. Grade 2, History and Geography Read globes and maps and follow narrative accounts using them. Grade 2, Civics and Government Give examples of fictional characters or real people in the school or community who were good leaders and good citizens, and explain the qualities that made them admirable. Grade 2, Learning Standards Give examples of traditions or customs from other countries that can be found in America today. Grade 2, Learning Standards After reading or listening to a variety of true stories about individuals recognized for their achievements, describe and compare different ways people have achieved great distinction. MUSIC Standard 1: Singing in a group Standard 5:

3 Listen to and describe examples of music of various styles, genres, cultural and historical periods, identifying expressive qualities, instrumentation, and cultural and/or geographic context PRE-ACTIVITY LEARNING GOAL: To introduce students to folk music and the folk process MATERIALS/PREPARATION: none TIME: 15 mins STEP 1: Teachers ask students to name (and sing) songs that they ve learned from their parents or from other kids not from the radio. Examples might be: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Ms. Mary Mack, If You re Happy and You Know It, B- I-N-G-O. STEP 2: Explain that these are all folk songs songs that have been passed from person to person, in some cases for hundreds of years. With many of these songs, we have no idea who first made them up. STEP 3: Arrange students in a circle and play the game telephone. STEP 4: Explain to students that what happens to passed messages in the game telephone is exactly what happens to folk songs when they re passed from person to person over many years tunes and lyrics change over time. We call that the folk process. STEP 5: EXTENSIONS: 1) Discuss what the term folk music means. Where does it come from, where can you find it, who are the people who sing it? 2) Listen to some folk music from around the world. There are some good video

4 examples online at POST-ACTIVITY LEARNING GOAL: To build on what students have learned about the history of folk music in the assembly program MATERIALS/PREPARATION: Internet access TIME: 15 mins STEP 1: As a homework assignment, for 1 st and 2 nd graders, ask students to think of a favorite old song and then to look up the history of that song online with their parents. (Wikipedia is a fine default resource for this assignment, but students may also find more information on more dedicated folk music sites like STEP 2: As students to try to find out when (about) and where the song came from. STEP 3: Ask students to try to find one earlier version of lyrics to the song. STEP 4: Ask students to write 2-3 sentences on how and why they think the song has changed over time. STEP 5: As an alternative assignment, and/or for younger students, ask kids to come up with their own lyrics to a favorite folk song (it s ok to just change a few words). Remind them that, by changing the song, they are engaging in the folk process. EXTENSIONS: 1) Discuss the importance of stories in the world. Ask students why they think people tell stories, and always have whether through songs, poems, books, or other forms and what we can learn from them. 2)

5 RESOURCES: A Cow Says Moock by Alastair Moock [Moockshake Music] Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie" by Elizabeth Mitchell [Smithsonian Folkways Recordings]. Kids Music Corner: What is Folk Music at Explanation of folk music with video examples of music from around the world. ABOUT THE PERFORMERS: Alastair Moock is a 2014 GRAMMY Nominee, Parents' Choice Gold Medal Winner, and three-time National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) Gold Medal Winner. Twenty years into his performing career, he has managed to carve out a unique niche for himself: He is a songwriter committed to celebrating the roots of American music while knocking down the walls between different audiences, genres and musical traditions. His audiences range from adults to preschoolers, and he plays everything from nightclubs to theaters to schoolrooms. Like his boyhood hero, Woody Guthrie, Moock believes in the power of music to reach all people young and old, far and wide, for all occasions.

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