American folk music encompasses numerous genres, many of which are known as roots music. Roots music includes bluegrass, country music, gospel, old time music, jug bands, Appalachian folk, blues, Cajun and Native American music. As the name ‘roots’ suggests, this music laid the foundation for that which was to come, namely, blues, jazz, rock and hip hop. By under- standing what came before, students will be better prepared to create and absorb the music of today. The skills and techniques taught include the playing of instruments (guitar, mando- lin, fiddle, piano, percussion, etc.) as well as singing. Learning songs by rote and by traditional notation, rehearsing with others and performing are an integral part of the classroom experience. The conceptual understandings will focus on the messages and meanings of songs in hopes of giving students deeper insights into the music makers of the past. This music seminar will focus on the re-creation of music and collaboration with others through performance.
student produced class video, May 2011