Music educators: How might you imagine using our resources?

This post was originally written by John Fenn of the American Folklife Center (AFC) for Folklife Today.

Photograph of Ledward Kaapana playing ukulele during a 2017 appearance in Coolidge Auditorium for a Homegrown concert. Kaapana is a 2011 NEA Heritage Fellow from Hawaii. Photo by Steve Winick.

Ledward Kaapana, Hawaiian slack key guitar and ukulele master, performs in the Coolidge Auditorium for the 2017 Homegrown concert series. Kaapana was a 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellow. Photo by Steve Winick.

Back in December 2017, a colleague of ours here at the Library published a short piece in the Music Educator’s Journal highlighting the many video recordings of musical performances at the Library of Congress hosted on the Library’s YouTube channel. Focusing on videos documenting the American Folklife Center’s Homegrown concert series, Lee Ann Potter (Director, Educational Outreach) noted that these resources offer great value to teachers and students. What is that value, and how can we here at the AFC help realize it?

Following up on her invitation in that article, we are asking for input and suggestions. We’d love to hear from readers—especially music educators—about the ways you imagine using such video resources in classrooms or other education settings. Going one step further, we’d love to hear about ways that educators have actually used videos of Homegrown concerts!

One of our goals with AFC video resources hosted online is to ensure that they are accessible to educators. While these videos are available, either through the Library’s webcast page or on its YouTube channel, we want to enable discoverability for videos that support teaching and learning. We are experimenting with creating playlists on YouTube, but what other approaches should we take? What would help you get a hold of materials efficiently? What entry points into our growing collection of concert videos can we build? How can we best guide students and teachers alike to dynamic audiovisual documentation of the rich musical and dance traditions we present in performance at the Library?

Please share thoughts, suggestions, or examples of actual use in comments on this post. AFC staff are excited to draw on your input in order to best serve your needs!

Teaching with the Library of Congress  has featured a number of folklife materials in our posts. Take a peek at these posts for some ideas on how to use folk music and other folk resources in your classroom.

Do let the staff at the American Folklife Center know how they can support you. And let us know in the comments how you incorporate music and folklore in your classroom!

One Comment

  1. Dr. Rob Lyda
    May 1, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    The National Council for General Music Education (part of NAfME) is currently working on a series of lesson plans utilizing resources from the LOC for Music in Our Schools Month 2019.

    Personally, one of my research areas is Southern folk materials. I present workshops on folk materials at state Music Educator Associations. The use of folk materials in classrooms are endless and can address many areas in standards based instruction.

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