Overview

TeachRock is proud to present The Music that Shaped America, a lesson collection that draws on the rich archive of Alan Lomax’s Association for Cultural Equity, enlivening American history of the 18th through early 20th centuries with the sounds of regional folk musics and the personal stories of its performers.

A musicologist, writer, producer, singer, and talent scout, Alan Lomax was above all else an advocate for working class people. Feeling that it is “the voiceless people of the planet who really have in their memories the 90,000 years of human life and wisdom,” Lomax dedicated his life to recording, preserving, and broadcasting traditional musicians from around the world, giving voice to those that the commercial music industry had long ignored.

The Music that Shaped America is standards-aligned and compatible with AP History and other curriculums. Students will explore U.S. social history and events through the words and music of ex-slaves, Appalachian mine workers, Cajun farmers, Mississippi sharecroppers and more.

Lessons

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Mining and Union Songs in the Early 20th Century

Grades: AP/Honors/101
Subjects: Social Studies/History
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The Banjo, Slavery, and the Abolition Debate

Grades: AP/Honors/101
Subjects: Social Studies/History
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Singing Democracy During the Second Great Awakening

Grades: AP/Honors/101
Subjects: Social Studies/History
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The Musical History of the Cajuns

Grades: AP/Honors/101
Subjects: ELA, Social Studies/History
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Almost Emancipated: The Civil War and the Port Royal Experiment

Grades: AP/Honors/101
Subjects: Social Studies/History