Integrate literature into the music class with these lesson plans for Build a House by Rhiannon Giddens and illustrated by Monica Mikai. This book is based on the song of the same name and is the story of what happened to enslaved Africans after the Emancipation Proclamation.
With her poetry of words, Amanda Gorman’s “Change Sings” uses a story full of music vocabulary to invite children to be the change in the world with acts of kindness. Here are songs that fit into that theme.
Written for younger singers, this song reinforces the act of kindness themes in Amanda Gorman’s book, “Change Sings.” With lots of repetition and sequencing, this easy-to-learn song is a perfect concert selection. The resource includes suggested movements and opportunities to create your own movement.
I Dream A World by Andre Thomas
This gorgeous melody set to Langston Hughes’ words is in 2-parts which could easily be adapted to a single melody line. In “Change Sings” Gorman writes, “I scream with the skies of red and blue streamers. I dream with the cries of tried-and-true dreamers.” Hughes writes, “”I dream a world where man, no other man will scorn. Where love will bless the earth and peace its paths adorn.”
A composed song about important black leaders and the power of one.
Musician & Song Database-Searchable
I’ve tried to use songs written by Black artists that are accessible to children. There is a multitude of current songs (or within the past 10 years) that could be used as well that I haven’t added to the list. Also, there are SO MANY amazing Black performers who weren’t composers that you can highlight as well.
a physical timeline showing origins and connections for black music genres
LOTS of music links on every page that play Apple music snippets, just enough to be perfect for the classroom
beautiful images of musicians and historical events on every page
African Drumming & Dance
In this series, dancer Rujeko Dumbutshena and drummer Farai Malianga show you how to dance traditional African dances and drums and their place in African history. This is a YT playlist from the Kennedy Center.
Music History, Is Black History
This resource page by Reverb has lots of information about Black musicians who were innovators and had groundbreaking achievements.
Teaching Idea: Let students choose a musician to research, putting all the research together into a timeline of Black music history.
The final student product could be online or hard-copy. ONLINE-a Google slide, Flipgrid video presentation HARD-COPY-poster board, report on 8.5 x 11, info on record-shaped album
Preservation Hall Lesson Plans
What an amazing resource! Just to name a few lesson plans: Learn the song Blue Monday, Bourbon Street Parade, Brass Bandbook, Congo Square, El Manciero, and TONS more.
Namibia Culture-Bearer, Garth Prince
Prince is a musician, vocalist, drummer, and educator who has knowledge of traditional folk songs of Namibia.
Black Stringband Music
This resource, by musician Jake Blount, has some essential and relevant information about Stringband music but other information about Black music and musicians. Mr. Blount has such thoroughly researched information.
A History of We Shall Overcome
A fascinating and thorough search of the evolution of this famous song. After watching, I definitely subscribed to Genie Deez’s channel because he is amazing!
His YT playlist on Culture & History includes great information on Funk, Civil Rights, syncopation, and so much more.
Black Diamond Queens: African American Women and Rock and Roll.
“In Black Diamond Queens, Maureen Mahon draws on recordings, press coverage, archival materials, and interviews to document the history of African American women in rock and roll between the 1950s and the 1980s.”
AMAZING video. I highly recommend watching for teachers and upper middle school/high school students.
The United Parish in Brookline introduced a unique program to help carry on the legacy of this music in Roxbury, and they’re hoping to be a model for others.
“There was growing discomfort around how to use Negro spirituals, appropriately and respectfully,” said the congregation’s minister of music Susan DeSelms.
Black Music of the African Diaspora
This blog post is from two educators who created a new seminar that looks at American history through Black American music. The greatest thing is that they have shared their playlist on Spotify!