As I work through my first chapter of my graduate thesis (senior project sounds awfully dull comparatively), I will use this space to write my ‘extra thoughts’ that inspire me, but are not useful in the paper itself.  Beware!  Some ramble, but behind all writing is a very eager and enthusiastic heart!  Let the games begin of song collection, defining American folk songs, and Zoltan Kodaly (insert accents, as wordpress does not allow it)! 🙂

First of all, a definition: folklore—a story, rhyme, song or saying orally transferred through generations.  And my latest passion. .  Like the game telephone, folklore can change in subtle ways as it passes from person to person.

One gem of a resource that I discovered was From Sea to Shining Sea: A Treasury of American Folklore and Folk Songs by Amy L. Cohn (New York: Scholastic Inc, 1993).  This compilation of American folk music travels through our country’s history, followed by folklore, poetry and of course, songs.  All information is backed with amazing background information and beautiful illustrations that could be immediately used in the classroom.  To Ms. Cohn, I say a hearty, “thank you!”  As I was researching her material, I had an idea:

Music teachers could inspire further discussion in their classroom.  For example, as the class uses “From Sea to Shining Sea” in lessons and performances, students may inevitably become excited with such comments as, “My family has a song that I would like to share.”  Taking advantage of their students’ input, one teacher’s suggestion could be, “Perhaps we should create our own anthology.”  In addition, a project of collecting the school’s folksongs, rhymes and lullabies could tie with cross-curricular studies.  Such a community-building project would foster creativity and an appreciation for the culture that surrounds the school.

Watch out Clover Ridge, I may propose this idea in the fall! 🙂