Age range: high school
Estimated Time: This series of podcasts lasts about 90 minutes altogether.
Key Technology: You can use a computer or mp3 player with speakers (or headphones).
Subscribe to this audio series:
The Gulf Coast Highway knits together the rich diversity of music and cultures of communities across five states, from Houston, Texas, to Jacksonville, Florida. In this series of podcasts, high school students will learn how the diverse styles of blues, choral music, Cajun, zydeco, brass band, border music, and gospel meet and mingle in the Gulf Coast region. Students will hear anecdotes and insights from scholars and renowned musicians like Nanci Griffith, Grupo Fantasma, Clarence Fountain, and Marcia Ball.
Visit the websites of the musicians interviewed in this series to hear more of their music and learn more about them:
For the Educator
In a series of nine audio clips, Artsedge samples the musical diversity of the Gulf Coast. The podcast include not only a wonderful variety of music, but also conversations with musicians like Marcia Ball and Nanci Griffith and members of groups like Grupo Fantasma, Beausoleil, and the Blind Boys of Alabama.
While listening, have students create a graphic organizer that shows the information they learn. They might want to make a timeline, an illustrated map, or a flow chart showing how to become a musician.
Follow up with one or more of these activities:
- Listen again to allow students to fine-tune their graphic organizers, adding and correcting information. Then give some time to complete the graphics.
- Have students start an oral history project in their communities. What kind of music (or other art form) is unique to, or especially popular in, your community? What local bands are successful? Invite students to interview local legends and ask them how the community has shaped their music.
- Choose a simple, well-known song such as “The Alphabet Song” and try to arrange and perform it in one or more of the styles presented in the podcasts.
- Choose one of the locations along the Gulf Highway and research it thoroughly. Allow class presentations or have a celebration in the style of the place chosen.