Teaching folk songs

January 5, 2009

This term, I will be starting each class with a folk song. We will sing, say, four verses; and with each repetition, I will expect the harmony to be richer and richer. I will give them pointers of how to learn to harmonize to any song. My fantasy is that by the end of the year, every student will have the courage to and knowledge of how to harmonize by ear.

This week we will be singing: “Skip to My Lou”, “Joshua”, “Tom Dooley”, and “Drunken Sailor”.

[Punctuation note: I have officially abandoned the homely American habit of having the comma or period inside the quote of song titles. To me, it just looks bad, and detracts from the integrity of the title. The title should be cited as “Skip to My Lou” and not “Skip to My Lou,”.]

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

thalkowski January 6, 2009 at 10:23 am

Have you seen the Brian Eno essay on this?
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97320958

cordially,

–trh

Roger Bourland January 7, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Thanks for that link. Terrific article and message. Looking forward to hearing the new CD.

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