Designed especially for classes studying American history and government, CMP’s American History Through Music residency gets students and teachers singing, clapping, and stomping the folk music of the United States. 

Inspired by the communal folksinging of Pete Seeger and the ethnomusicology of Alan Lomax, classes sing along and study the connections between traditional American folksongs and their historical time periods. U.S. history, geography, biography, legends and myths, periods of cultural transition, and the arts are all learned through their reflections in song.

Topics within the American Music and History residency may include:

Native American culture through song and dance
Revolutionary War songs and fife and drum music
African-American slave songs and spirituals
Civil War-era folk songs
Westward expansion and pioneer songs
Industrial Revolution and train songs
Blues and the Great Migration
Jazz in New Orleans and Harlem
Immigration and the Melting Pot
Folk music, Woody Guthrie, and the labor movement
Pop and rock music as the melting pot of American culture

Muddy Watersphotograph courtesy the Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University