We thank our colleague Melissa Capozio Jones from the Performing Arts Division at the Library of Congress for this post, which was originally published on the Library’s In the Muse blog.
With the sudden move to online teaching for a large portion of K-12 music and performing arts education programs, several of our staff have noticed a call for web resources that may be shared to assist educators in continuing their classroom teaching virtually. The Music Division and the Library as a whole have a wealth of beneficial resources that can help fill this current gap in online instruction and can be used effectively in the classroom when programs move back to full time in-person teaching in the future.
At this time, while the resources do exist, several educators have expressed that they are unsure of what resources are currently available to them, how to access them, or where to even begin when looking for these materials. With suggestions from educators in the field and collaboration from a number of Library staff, we have compiled a basic resource guide of Library of Congress materials that may supplement online performing arts learning.
The guide contains general resources provided by the Library regarding primary resource use in classroom learning as well as music specific resources shared from the Music Division, the American Folklife Center, and the National Audio Visual Conservation Center (NAVCC). It also includes close to a hundred digital collections accessible on the Library website that focus on or are connected to the performing arts. These collections come from all across the Library and cover a vast range of time periods, topics, and cultures. The collections list includes category identifiers indicating whether a collection is music or dance focused, and either United States specific or internationally focused. These identifiers have been added to allow users a way to find collections that align with specific curriculum standards, saving them time and energy. Other resources that have been linked on the guide include Library hosted podcasts, hundreds of online concerts and lectures, and online exhibits, all of which can be integrated into virtual lesson plans.
This guide, while in its early stages, will be added to and updated as more materials become available. We believe it will be a valuable resource to performing arts educators, and with a permanent place on the Performing Arts Reading Room website, will continue to be readily accessible long after this crisis ends and in-person classroom instruction resumes. We are constantly striving to make our materials and collections more accessible to teachers and students, and we hope that this resource guide and other Library materials make your work just a bit easier in this difficult time.