If you could choose one song to add to the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry, what would it be? Why?
What characteristics do you think would make a song, album or other recording worthy of being included in the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry?
What do you think would be the best way for the Library of Congress to share its National Recording Registry with the public?
Why do you think recordings must be at least 10 years old to be eligible for consideration into the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry?
- Have students brainstorm a list of songs that have been written about summer. Challenge students to identify common themes they hear in the music and lyrics.
- Instruct students to think about what summer means to them. Is it a happy, upbeat season? Is it something they dread? Give students five minutes to create a list of words and phrases that expresses their views about summer.
- Encourage students to use the ideas they recorded to write a song about summer.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
Visit the webpage of Folkways Recordings to explore, research, order and download recordings from the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian. The site includes music from the United States and around the world. Visitors can search by album, artist, country or genre.
Explore this online exhibition from the National Museum of African Art to learn about African musical instruments that are also works of art.
In this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, students learn about the jazz-inspired life and art of Piet Mondrian. Then they create their own Mondrian-style paintings.
This online exhibit from the National Museum of American History shows how the need for louder guitars led to the invention and proliferation of the electric guitar. It also explains how the emergence and popularity of rock and roll led to the guitar’s commercial success and more innovative designs.
This website from the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage traces the history and diversity of women in music through text, video recordings and audio recordings.
These lessons from the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access introduce students to the rhythms of poetry. The focus is on two poetic forms that originated as forms of song: the ballad stanza, found throughout British and American literature, and the blues stanzas of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes.
Celia Cruz was an influential and legendary musical figure, both in her native country of Cuba and in the United States. Invite students to connect to her story through immigration, history, geography, music theory, music history and art on this National Museum of American History online exhibit.
When we think of jazz musicians, it’s usually first and foremost of performers who take the stage and improvise on songs or instrumentals. But it is composers who work offstage and behind the scenes to create a repertory for performers to play. Invite students to visit this National Museum of American History website to learn about two of the greatest jazz composers.