Appalachian Songs of Resistance and Resilience
Appalachian Songs of Resistance and Resilience with Grace Rogers
In this class, we will study the connection between Appalachian socio-cultural movements and mountain music. Each week will follow a different cultural or social movement such as the rise and fall of coal, union organizing, the war on poverty, the folk revival, the Great Migration, and religious revival movements. Each week will focus on multiple songs that relate to and enrich the theme. We’ll study the work of singers Sarah Ogan Gunning, Addie Graham, and Brother Claude Ely among others.
This course is a singing class in which the instructor will accompany on guitar and banjo when appropriate and allow students to do the same from time to time, but the primary focus of the class will be singing styles, repertoire, and socio-cultural history rather than accompaniment.
Students will learn:
Traditional Appalachian singing styles in socio-cultural context.
Major singers from the Mountain South and their vocal style, signature ornamentation, and song variations.
Broad overview of Appalachian culture and social movements and the role of music in organizing and sustaining people in the mountains.
Basic group harmony singing.
Basic transposition (with or without accompaniment).
Creativity and ingenuity in the arrangement of traditional songs.
Deep listening and key research resources to continue learning outside of/beyond the class.
Students should be comfortable with basic singing skills. Experience preferred, but not required.
For students 13 and up.
Recommended practice time and frequency:
Allow for 15-20 minutes of daily, focused practice. Attempt to weave singing into your everyday routines.
Students are strongly encouraged to attend all eight classes in the semester and to arrive on time each week.
It is recommended you bring a notebook, folder, and pencil for note-taking, and a recording device to class as a tool to help you practice at home.