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Dust Bowl

The Story Behind The Song: This Land is Your Land
Folk singer Woody Guthrie wrote this song to celebrate America’s bounty and to protest that not all Americans were getting their fair share
America, Folklore, Geography, History, Music

Fort McHenry, Baltimore

The Story Behind The Song: The Star-Spangled Banner
In this story, find out how a captured poet penned the song that became the country’s national anthem
History, Europe, Geography, Military, Music, America

We Shall Overcome mural

The Story Behind The Song: We Shall Overcome
In this story, find out how a song helped steel the courage of African Americans as they struggled for civil rights
America, History, Music, Presidents

Spirit of '76

The Story Behind The Song: Yankee Doodle
“Yankee Doodle” may be a popular kids’ tune today, but it got its start as a song of war.
America, History, Europe, Music, Military

Soup Kitchen

The Story Behind The Song: Brother Can You Spare a Dime?
When Americans were humbled by the Great Depression, this song gave voice to their fears and feelings of loss
History, Music, America

Union Soldiers

The Story Behind The Song: The Battle Hymn of the Republic
Discover how Julia Howe’s hymn helped inspire the North in its fight to reunite the country and free African-American slaves
History, Music, America, Military

Aaron Copland

The Story Behind The Song: Fanfare for the Common Man
After the U.S. entered World War II, this brass and percussion piece sounded the call to service and sacrifice.
America, History, Orchestra, Music

USMC Memorial

The Story Behind The Song: The Marines' Hymn
This article gives you the stories behind the words—“From the Halls of Montezuma, To the shores of Tripoli”
History, Military, Music, America, Geography

American Flag

The Story Behind The Song: God Bless America
In 1938, composer Irving Berlin dusted off an old piece of music to create a new national hit
America, History, Music

Atlanta Opera's production of Cosi Fan Tutte

Article: Cozying up to Così
A guide to Mozart's hilarious romantic comedy
Opera, Music, Theater, Comedy, Composers

La Traviata

Article: Boy Meets Girl, Girl Meets Tragic End
You haven't experienced stage romance until you've experienced opera. Here's a look at opera in love
Opera, Tragedy, Europe, Music, Theater

Article: Music as Dance’s Muse
Music is a muse for four different American choreographers
Choreographers, Music, Dance, Ballet

Bessie Smith

Article: Hear With Your Eyes: Jazz and Art
Romare Bearden makes music with his art. Learn how to “hear” a painting
Blues, Jazz, Music, Music Legends, Visual Arts

Singer

Article: The Real Life of a Singer
A mini-course in starting a singing career
Music, Young Artists, Musicals, Jobs in the Arts, Opera, Rock & Roll

Singer

Article: What It Takes to Become a Professional Singer
So, you want to be a singer. What's next? A beginner's guide to starting a vocal career
Young Artists, Music, Jobs in the Arts, Opera, Musicals, Broadway

Singing Audition

Article: The Ins and Outs of Trying Out
Pointers for your next singing audition
Musicals, Opera, Music, Young Artists, Jobs in the Arts

Singing at Piano

Article: No Singer is an Island
Some thoughts on being a musical teamplayer
Music, Young Artists, Jobs in the Arts, Musicals, Broadway, Rock & Roll, Opera

sad lady

Your Brain On Music: Tearjerkers
Putting the "sad" in sad songs
Composers, Music

Great white shark

Your Brain On Music: Chills and Thrills: Music That Goes Bump in the Night
Creators of spooky tunes know exactly what they are doing to send shivers down the spines of listeners
Science, Music

brain with earbuds

Your Brain On Music: The Sound System Between Your Ears
The amazing sound system in the human brain helps explain why people everywhere fill their lives with music
Science, Music

Earworm

Your Brain On Music: Earworms
When songs get stuck... get stuck... get stuck... in our brains
Music, Science, Composers

Kathryn Bostic

Article: Q&A with Kathryn Bostic
Kathryn Bostic, music arranger for Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963, shares her thoughts on sharing stories through music and music’s central role in the Civil Rights Movement.
America, Backstage, Composers, History, Musicals, Controversial

brain with earbuds

Series: Your Brain on Music
Music, emotions, and imagination have gone together ever since the first cave dweller banged on a rock. Modern brain research is helping us understand why.
Composers, Music, Science

Singing on Stage

Series: So You Want to be a Singer?
What does it really take to become a professional singer?
Young Artists, Music, Jobs in the Arts, Musicals

Composers

Series: The Story Behind The Song
Through the history of popular songs, discover how history is full of surprising stories of people doing amazing things
History, Music, America, Composers, Military

henry fonda in the grapes of wrath

Series: The Grapes of Wrath: Voice and Vision
This collection of suggested lessons and activities aim at helping students build a framework, from various perspectives of the 1930s, in which to embed a close study of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath
America, History, Geography, Science, Nature, Presidents, Literature, Music, Movies & Movie Stars, Opera

Connection

Series: Connections
Music shares some surprising connections to mathematics, language, and science. Learn about them in this series adapted from concerts performed at the Kennedy Center.
Music, Language, Math, Geometry, Science

Martha Graham

Series: Master + Work
Meet the masters...the talented artists who have created some of the most outstanding achievements of the twentieth century
Ballet, Choreographers, Composers, Dance Legends, Music Legends

Hip-Hop artists

Series: Hip-Hop: A Culture of Vision and Voice
Hip-hop is global, lapping on every shore and landing at every airport. But what does Hip-Hop mean?
Hip-Hop, Young Artists, Dance, Dance Legends, Choreographers, Innovators & Pioneers, Musical Instruments, Music, Poetry, Visual Arts

Science and Music

Connections: Science and Music
The music you listen to? It's scientific! Learn some of the surprising ways science and music connect.
Science, Music

Casio Melody 80

Connections: Math and Music
Math ideas help organize everything from the beat (rhythm) to the tune (melody) of music. Explore some of the surprising and essential connections between math and music.
Geometry, Math, Music

Music and Language

Connections: Language and Music
Communication isn’t just limited to language—music also does the trick. Discover some surprising features language and music have in common
Language, Music

Ear buds in love

Article: Perfect Harmony: Singing the Love
Nothing sings romance like a love song. And people have been singing them for thousands of years.
Music, Literature, History

Chorus Singing

Article: Surviving School Chorus
You've been assigned to a chorus. Now what? Some helpful hints for the young singer
Music, Young Artists

Conducting choir

Article: Understanding Different Voice Types
Ever wonder what makes one voice sound different from the next? Check out this look at (and listen to) vocal types and the various colors and textures of the human voice
Young Artists, Music, Opera

Young Female Singer

Article: Advice on Taking Care of Your Voice
Debunk myths about singing and learn the ABC's of how your voice works
Young Artists, Broadway, Jazz, Musicals, Opera, Rock & Roll

Children Singing

Article: Singing in an Ensemble
Learn how to sing with a group of friends, family, or classmates
Music, Young Artists

Peruvian woman

Collection: Latin America
Travel through the diverse cultures of Latin America, as represented by artists from Ecuador, Cuba, Bolivia, El Salvador, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Texas and California. Enjoy art rich in both tradition and innovation.
Folklore, Geography, Latin America, Music, Dance, World Cultures, Young Artists

Kennedy Center

Collection: A Few of Our Favorite Things...
From musical theater to music in space, our media collections reflect the breadth and depth of the performing arts in America and around the world. These are some of our staff favorites--we'd love to hear yours!
Backstage, Dance, Education, Jazz, Music, Theater, Visual Arts, World Cultures

Native American flute player

Collection: Native American Cultures
Experience traditional Native American culture through dance, music and visual arts. Watch Native Pride the eagle and hoop dances, trace the life of a Navajo weaver, learn how Keith Bear makes a flute, make a listening doll, and meet fancy dancers Larry and Jessup Yazzie.
America, Geography, Folklore, Dance, Musical Instruments, Music, World Cultures

India

Collection: India
Explore India and its multiple cultures and the art they produce. Listen to experienced musicians perform tabla beats, learn about the Bharatanatyam dance, and catch a movie produced by Bollywood, one of the largest centers of film production in the world.
Asia, Dance, Music, World Cultures

Beethoven graffiti

Collection: Great Composers
Get inside the mind of a composer-- from a popular song, to a Broadway musical, to a symphony, how does a composer write music?
Composers, Jazz, Innovators & Pioneers, Musical Instruments, Music, Music Legends, Opera, Orchestra, Popular Culture

Japanese Noh theater

Collection: Japan
Larger-than-life calligraphy, giant bamboo weaving, and robots both real and toy... experience the vibrant diversity of the arts across Japan.
Japan, Asia, Backstage, Cartoons, Comics, & Animation, Fashion, Innovators & Pioneers, Musical Instruments, Inventions, Language, Music, Popular Culture, Visual Arts, World Cultures

Hip-Hop

Collection: Hip-Hop Culture
Hip-Hop has blended and transcended its artistic elements to become a means for seeing, celebrating, experiencing, understanding, confronting, and commenting on life and the world. Hip-Hop, in other words, is a way of living—a culture.
Hip-Hop, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Fashion, Innovators & Pioneers, Language, Music, Poetry, Popular Culture, Theater, Young Artists

Martha Graham

Collection: Women in the Arts
From providing historical inspiration to preserving cultural traditions to pushing the boundaries of creativity, explore the contributions women have made and continue to make to the arts.
Dance, Dance Legends, Music Legends, Musicals, Literature, Poetry, Theater

spooky moon

Collection: Things That Go Bump in the Night
Welcome, foolish mortals. Haunted music and monsters are just the beginning--this Halloween, look here for more spooky resources.
Folklore, Music, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Theater

Antennae galaxies

Collection: Space
Music and mobiles take flight in these resources that explore the relationship between artist, art, and the cosmos, including the special meaning behind the stars and early African-American spirituals.
Space, Science, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Innovators & Pioneers, Inventions, Music

Media Arts

Collection: Media Arts Resources
Audio, video, animation, photography, and technology. From Depression-era images that captured the attention of a nation, to student-produced videos on local artists, to how to make your own blood and guts special effects, explore the ever-changing world of media arts.
Rock & Roll, Technology, Television, Popular Culture, Movies & Movie Stars, Music

Jazz trumpet

Collection: Jazz & Blues Resources
Foot thumping rhythms, crooning voices, soulful melodies – jazz is a music with a history as rich as its sound. Follow the great migration that lead African Americans to Harlem, meet jazz icons such as Bessie Smith and Charlie Parker, and stop by the Cotton Club and Apollo Theater on a journey through the past of this American art form.
America, Blues, History, Jazz, Music

comedy and tragedy masks

Collection: Theater Resources
Take a peek behind the red curtain and discover the artistry and history behind the world of theater. Explore the playwriting process first-hand, learn about the cultural impact of performance, and read and perform some of the most influential works of the 20th century.
America, Art Venues, Backstage, Broadway, Musicals, Playwrights & Plays, Theater

Drum hands

Collection: World Music Resources
Explore the rich tapestry created by musicians around the world -- from the music of the Arab World and Ancient Greece, to the diverse cultural sounds of China, to the songs that helped spur the Mexican Revolution.
Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Folklore, Greece, India, Japan, Music, Native America, World Cultures, Latin America

Violin hands

Collection: Classical Music Resources
Booming orchestras, teeming concert halls, obsessive composers, and prodigal musicians – classical music is anything but boring. Learn how Beethoven continued to pen symphonies while going deaf, discover the science behind the instrument and the math behind the music, and explore the ways in which music and emotion go hand-in-hand.
Composers, Europe, Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra

Guitar hands

Collection: Popular Music Resources
What can lyrics tell us about the time period they were written in? How has music been used to communicate and rally in war? How have people used song to spark revolution and shake up society? Discover the ways in which people perform, listen to, and interact with music in their everyday lives.
America, History, Music

It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings!

Collection: Opera Resources
Get out your opera glasses and prepare to take a look at the history and evolution of an art form over four hundred years old. Learn how singers train and condition their voices, become familiar with some of the stage’s most tragic love affairs, and discover how theatre and music combined can tell epic stories in unforgettable ways.
Choreographers, Composers, Europe, Musicals, Orchestra, Opera, Tragedy, Theater

Red Poppy

Collection: Asia
Fish painting, lion dances, larger-than-life calligraphy and a tornado of fire... experience the vibrant diversity of the arts across Asia.
Asia, China, India, Japan, Dance, Folklore, Music, Theater, Visual Arts, World Cultures

Chinese lion dancer

Collection: China
An army of buried warriors, lion dances, dancing shadows and a tornado of fire... experience the vibrant diversity of the arts across China
Asia, China, Dance, Music, Visual Arts, World Cultures

Oscilloscope wave

Collection: Acoustics & Sound
How do composers "hear" outer space? How did Beethoven compose music when he couldn't hear? Browse lessons and multimedia that explore the art and science of the world of sound around us.
Innovators & Pioneers, Musical Instruments, Inventions, Math, Music, Science, Space

African-American Boy

Collection: African-American History
Learn about the African American experience through the arts — and discover the contributions of African Americans to the history and culture of the United States.
Africa, America, Folklore, Geography, History, Jazz, Music, Playwrights & Plays, Dance, Blues

African men

Collection: Africa
Discover the real story of the Lion King and the rich tapestry of sounds from North African cultures.
Africa, Animals, Dance, Folklore, Music, Puppets, World Cultures

Music Matters

Take Five: Music Matters
Incorporating music makes content lessons more exciting and memorable. And it's easy to do!
Education, Music

Twenty-First Century

Take Five: Arts in the 21st Century Classroom
The skills our students need can be readily integrated into arts lessons and vice versa
Theater, Music, Literature, Dance

Cultural Dancers

Take Five: Cultural Connections
Enliven and enrich your cultural heritage month observances through the arts
Music, Dance, Theater, Poetry, Literature, Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Native America, World Cultures, India

Art Teacher With Students

Article: Do Tell: Giving Feedback to Your Students
How can arts educators provide engaging and useful feedback? Here are seven suggestions to get you started
Education, Young Artists, Musical Instruments, Theater, Literature, Music, Poetry, Ballet, Dance

Story to Life

Tipsheet: Stories Brought to Life
Learn about ways to increase student participation and skill building during interactive read-alouds
Theater, Music, Language, Education, Dance

Students Dancing

Tipsheet: Shall We Dance?: Foolproof Ways to Bring Dance into Your Classroom
Try these five easy ways to use dance and movement in your classroom
Dance, Education, Family, Music, Young Artists

Footsteps

Tipsheet: Social Dances for Upper Elementary
Some fun social dances to try with your upper-elementary-level students
Dance, Education, Music, Physical Activity

Kids and Culture

Tipsheet: Beyond Food & Fiestas
Practical ideas for creating authentic cultural experiences for your students
Folklore, Language, Music, World Cultures

Kids Dancing

Tipsheet: Five Easy Social Dances for Early Elementary
Channel your students’ love of movement with these easy social dances
Dance, Education, Music, Physical Activity

Brunhilde

Article: Opera-tunity Knocks
A guide for all opera newbies, both young and old, with some hints as to how to calm the opera skeptic
Opera, Music

East High School Dancers

Article: Encouraging Your Students to Become Choreographers
Use these great ideas to get your students choreographing at your school
Broadway, Choreographers, Dance, Musicals, Theater, Young Artists

Band of 40th Veteran Reserve Corps

Article: When Music Goes Marching to War
Explore music’s important role in the American Civil War. Includes activities for the classroom
America, Composers, History, Musical Instruments, Music, Tragedy

Indian Musician

Article: Rhythm and Raga
Learn how to incorporate and teach Indian music in your classroom
India, Musical Instruments, Music, World Cultures

The Star Spangled Banner Sheet Music

Grades 6-8 Lesson: Set a Poem to Music
After exploring a “singable” picture book as a class, each student examines a personally selected poem for rhythm to determine its musical meter.
Music, Poetry, Young Artists

freedom-riders

Grades 6-8 Lesson: We Are The Freedom Riders
Students will learn about the courageous efforts of the Freedom Riders while embracing the bold theme, "We Will Overcome!" as a theme surrounding the civil rights movement.
America, Music

Man playing harmonica

Grades 6-8 Lesson: Twelve-Bar Blues
Learn about the history, key players and musical qualities of the blues
Jazz, Music, Music Legends

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