Music from Across America

In this unit, students listen to a variety of popular, traditional and ethnic American music, from the evocative sounds of Native American drumming to the lively sounds of zydeco music from Louisiana. To develop their listening skills, students use worksheets to record their impressions about the music they hear. In addition to learning about musical instruments and the geographic and cultural context of music, children are encouraged to think about and express their personal responses to music.

The learning activities presented in this unit are appropriate for students in Kindergarten through grade 5. A range of ideas are provided to help extend this lesson for students in higher grade levels or who are more advanced.

Guiding Questions

What can we learn from listening to music?

What does music tell us about the instruments and people who create it?

How does music make us feel?

Learning Objectives

Identify the "families" of musical instruments and the typical sounds of each.

Recognize several styles and genres of American music.

Begin to comprehend the rich diversity of American music and how music reflects community and culture.

Understand how emotions are expressed through music, and how music evokes emotion in the listener.