The Library of Virginia
Suggested Activities for Teachers

The following activities support the Library of Virginia's exhibition Virginia Roots Music: Creating and Conserving Tradition.

Listen to examples of country, blues, and gospel music. Discuss similarities and differences in style. Research and discuss the evolution of each style of music.

Define and discuss the terms "old-time" artist and "race" artist. Discuss the role of these terms in respect to marketing.

Define folk music. Discuss the terms "roots" and "traditional."

Discuss the use of shape-notes in music and explore singing as a group using shape notes.

Investigate the influence of vaudeville and minstrel portrayals on traditional music.

Discuss the types of instruments used to create folk music. Trace the origin of the banjo.

Using a map of Virginia, locate the Appalachian Mountains, Bristol, Tidewater, Richmond, and other towns and cities that contributed to Virginia's musical heritage.

Using the standard formula for creating blues, write a blues tune.