Song of America Educator Workshop | Teachers College Columbia University

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Hampsong Foundation’s Song of America Educator Workshop

April 23, 2016

April 23, 2016 - April 23, 2016

A Live Stream Broadcast!

Join us today, Saturday, April 23rd from 1:30pm to 3:00pm for Song in Dialogue: A Learning Performance and watch a live performance of songs related to the day's workshop. After performing, singers, pianist, Thomas Hampson, and participants will engage in a dialogue about the song, its place in the history of culture, and what it means to interpret the music and poetry of those artists. Watch the live stream.

9am – 4pm

Teachers College, Columbia University

Registration Fee:
General Attendee: $75
Discounted fee for TC or MSM Student: $25

The internationally renowned operatic baritone Thomas Hampson explores the power of classic American songs—poetry set to music—as the gateway for a richer knowledge of the cultures, languages, peoples, and events that have shaped American life.

The workshop will include a full complement of activities: sessions exploring both content and pedagogical strategies, a conversation with Hampson about his passion for telling the story of history and culture through classic song, and a special live performance featuring Manhattan School of Music and Teachers College graduate voice students focusing on songs related to the material covered in the workshop.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is ideal for Language Arts, History, Social Studies, and Performing Arts teachers.

Course Materials

The workshop will build on pre-existing resources (see below) developed by the Hampsong Foundation.

Consent and Release for Videotaping & Photographing

The Song of American Educator Workshop may be photographed and videotaped by The Hampsong Foundation. Don’t worry, you don’t need to wear fancy clothes or extra make-up! But your participation in the Workshop means you’re OK with being included in a video that will be seen online and at Foundation events. You might be identified by name, grade, subject, and/or school. You authorize the Foundation to use the materials any responsible way they see fit, from an old-fashioned medium like print to new ones yet to be invented.

Overall Goals of the Workshop

1. To make educators aware of the deep connections between music and a larger historical and cultural context, with an emphasis on the dialogue of the creative process between an individual and his/her environment;

2. To give educators experience with a variety of learning methods to approach this material, especially musical activities that are friendly to non-musicians;

3. To highlight the Song of America online resources, including the Song of America database ( and the Song of America radio series (, and to give educators specific examples of how these can be used in the classroom.

Learning Outcomes; educators will:

1. Learn significant information about the life and work of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Langston Hughes and its relevance to the humanities curriculum;

2. Deepen their understanding of poetry of Whitman, Dickinson, and Hughes through engagement with musical settings of selected poems;

3. Learn about K-12 resources (books and multi-media) relevant to the poets and composers covered in the workshop;

4. Gain techniques and strategies to engage students in poetry and music through participation in creative activities adaptable for classroom use.

Susan Key, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Star Spangled Music Foundation
Community and Collegiate Partnership Advisor, Pacific Symphony
Cultural Partnership Advisor, Chapman University

Mark Clague, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Musicology and Director of Entrepreneurship and Career Services, University of Michigan
Co-director, American Music Institute, University of Michigan

Dan Tolly
Music Educator, Ann Arbor Public Schools
Master Teacher, National Endowment for the Humanities Institute

Richard Pearson Thomas
Composer and pianist
Teachers College, Columbia University adjunct faculty member

Special Guest

Thomas Hampson, Founder and Director of the Hampsong Foundation, Internationally-renowned operatic baritone

For More Information

Contact Christie Finn, Managing Director, The Hampsong Foundation
(646) 233-0074

Requirements to Earn Continuing Education Unit

Pre-workshop assignment [2 hours]:

Song of America radio Program: Participants will have listened to at least one of the Song of America radio programs covered in the workshop—all programs are available to listen to for free on the Hampsong Foundation's Song of America website. They will then use the Song of America website to prepare a short pre-workshop assignment (created by Susan Key).

Song of America workshop [5 hours] (see detailed outline on next tab)

Post-workshop assignment [3 hours]: participants will submit a post-workshop assignment by May 31 outlining either:

· a lesson plan

· a significant (45 minute) classroom activity, or

· a summative reflection on a “critical incident” of the day

This assignment will incorporate the material covered in the workshop and will be evaluated by Dr. Susan Key. The assignment could include the target subject and grade level; learning objectives, standards (common core or state) covered; resources needed; time needed; and a clear, step-by-step outline of an activity.

[Potential post-workshop webinar: we envision a wrap-up webinar bringing together educators in Ann Arbor (from the first Song of America workshop in December 2015) and New York City, a few weeks following the Teachers College workshop, to reflect on using these curricular tools in the classroom.]

9-9:30 [15-30 min., accounting for registration & late arrivals] Timeline activity (Instructor: Susan Key): The room will be set up with a timeline of important dates in the lives of the poets and composers featured in the workshop. Educators will receive a card with a significant historical or cultural event that happened during the time period. Educators will find someone that they do not know, share their specific event, and discuss what impact their events might have had on the life and work of poets and composers as well as other connections they find among the artists. Then, they add the event to the timeline, which will serve as a reference tool throughout the workshop. [Learning Outcomes #1 and #3]

9:30-10:15 [45 min.] Our Songs, Our Selves: Classroom Engagement through Song and Biography (Instructor: Dan Tolly): educators will engage in an active learning session focused on Langston Hughes that incorporates user-friendly musical activities, biographical details, and important historical and cultural events that shaped that time. Several poem/musical setting examples will reflect use of Song of America website and will prepare participants for selections by live performers. [Learning Outcomes #1, #2, #3]

10:15-10:45 [30 min.] Song in the Humanities Classroom (Instructor: Mark Clague): this presentation considers the role of music in the humanities, and how educators can highlight that role for students. [Learning Outcome #1]

10:45-11:15 [30 min.] Listening Tools & Techniques for Any Classroom (Instructor: Richard Pearson Thomas): this will be an interactive, participatory session exploring imaginative listening and simple techniques that are applicable in classrooms for both music and non-music teachers. [Learning Outcome #4]

11:15-11:30 [Break / Room Change]

11:30-12:00 [30 min., BREAK OUT ROOMS] Going Deeper (Instructors: Susan Key, Mark Clague, Dan Tolly, Richard Pearson Thomas): educators will break off into smaller groups (potentially grade-level). Each group will receive a poetic lines from the Song in Dialogue repertoire. The group discusses poetic voice, meanings, interpretations, how the voice of the poet in that poem could be manifested musically (using non-technical language, such as loud, soft, fast, slow, style of articulation, musical instrument(s) used to accompany, etc.). Through this, they create an original expressive setting of their poetry setting of at least one line of the poem. [Learning Outcome #4]

12:00-12:30 [30 min.] Interactive Session with Thomas Hampson: educators will engage in a dialogue with Thomas Hampson on the topic of the teaching the humanities through art song. [Learning Outcome #2]

12:30-1:30 LUNCH [BIG ROOM]

1:30-3 [1 ½ hours] Song in Dialogue: A Learning Performance: educators will attend a live performance of songs related to the other activities of the day. After performing, singers, pianist, Thomas Hampson, and participants engage in a dialogue about the song, its place in the history of culture, and what it means to interpret the music and poetry of those artists. [Learning Outcome #2]

3-3:15 [Coffee Break / Room Change]

3:15-4:00 [45 minutes, BIG ROOM] Conclusion and Reflection: Dan and/or Richard have one or two more activities to get everyone back on their feet; Educators will share their poetic interpretations with each other and reflect about ways to translate the workshop resources and techniques into their own classrooms.. [Learning Outcome #1, #2, #3, #4]

Bibliographic and other resources

The Song of America website:
The Song of America radio series: