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This course presents a wonderful journey towards a beginning foundation of America’s musical heritage through folk music. Many students become inspired by this course to learn to play the fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, and/or other acoustic instruments.

Studies have proven that playing a musical instrument is one of the best ways to increase brain activity.

“Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.” John Hopkins Medicine

Course Notes & Syllabus

  1. Introduction to the rich and diverse tradition of American folk songs
  2. Students are provided a cultural, historical, geographic context of folk music demonstrating the multi-cultural aspects of American society and history
  3. Introduction and practices for basic music fundamentals in preparation of future musical training for interested students

a) Solfege (pitch)
b) Meter
c) Rhythm
d) Singing
e) Percussive step-dance (clogging)

  1. Introduction to numerous folk instruments
  2. Ear training – an important instruction for all other music education

Video Lesson 1: American Fiddle Tune, “Old Joe Clark” – Introduction to Folksongs

Running Time: 8:13

  • Understanding Pitch

  • Learning to Count (Musical) Beats

  • Putting It Together; Singing, Tapping & Counting

Workbook Lesson 1a: Study/Exam Prep

Study Time: 20 minutes

Lesson 1 Quiz

Video Lesson 2: “Old Joe Clark” – Learning to Count & Percussion

Running Time: 10:00

  • The Jaw Harp

  • Introduction to Percussion: Playing Your First Instrument “Spoons”

  • Counting Inside a Measure Part II

  • Learning to Count Eighth Notes

Workbook Lesson 2a: Study/Exam Prep

Study Time: 20 minutes

Lesson 2 Quiz

Video Lesson 3: Meet Limber Jack – The Clogging Master

Running Time: 6:57

  • Limber Jack Performance

  • What is Clogging

  • Learning to Clog (Dance)

  • Your Turn to Practice

Workbook Lesson 3a: Study/Exam Prep & Video Prep

Study Time: 20 minutes

Lesson 3 Quiz

Workbook Lesson 3b: Producing Your First gridED Video

Production Time: 30 minutes

  • Video Production

  • Uploading Your First Video

Video Lesson 4: Meet the Dulcimer & the Banjo

Running Time: 3:32

  • Captivating Sound of the Dulcimer

  • The 5-String American Banjo – a History

Workbook Lesson 4a: Study/Exam Prep

Study Time: 10 minutes

Lesson 4 Quiz