Mount Vernon's Education Department Lesson Plans
American Colonist Protest Song
Students write a protest song
George Washington in Song
Students investigate the significance of “Yankee Doodle.”
About Early American Music
From the Colonial Music Institute
Juba and Djembe: Music Helps Interpret Slavery
From Colonial Williamsburg
Music during George Washington's Life
Songs and music played during George Washington's lifetime
The Music of George Washington's Time
Overview of music in Early America
Songs of the Revolution
Lesson plans and activities
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Watch video clips from previous programs.
April 14, 2010 · Grades 6-9 · 45 minutes
For thousands of years, music has provided history’s soundtrack. From ballads of love, songs of protest, dance tunes, and hymns of praise to operas, concertos, and rousing marches, music reflects the times and cultures in which it is created. Throughout time, the youngest children and the oldest adults have connected to music and the feelings it inspires. Music reveals history.
History Notes: The Music of Washington’s World explores the soundtrack of George Washington’s 18th century world. It was a time of amazing change—a time that saw the creation of a new nation through a revolution based on the foundation of independence in government and ideas. These ideas were highlighted and revealed through song.
Your students will discover the music of Pre-Revolutionary America that reflects the Colonists’ growing revolt against the tyranny of England as well as the traditional songs of African slaves. They will hear music written about George Washington as well as learn the music that George Washington would have heard on the battlefields and in the ballroom.
Join our student hosts as they travel to such 18th century sites as Gadsby’s Tavern for an 18th century ball and a conversation with General Washington; Pohick Church to hear 18th century hymns sung by the West Potomac High School Colonial Singers; and Mount Vernon where the United States Army Old Guard introduces you to music as a form of communication on the battlefields of the American Revolution. Also, the Virginia Chamber Orchestra performs concert music popular in Washington's time. Historians David Hildebrand and Larry Earl introduce students to a new understanding of 18th century America revealed through music.
The song "War and Washington".
The student will identify similarities and differences in dance styles from various cultures and historical periods
The student will research the role of social and folk dance forms in American history
The student will identify dance as a form of expression, communication, ceremony, and entertainment
The student will investigate musical sounds, forms, styles, and genres through listening, discussing, writing, and performing
The student will investigate the role of music in society
National Standards For
Dance Content Standard 5
Demonstrating and understanding dance in various cultures and historical periods
Music Content Standard 6
Students analyze the uses of elements of music in aural examples representing diverse genres and cultures
Music Content Standard 8
Students describe historical and social events and movements chronicled in or influenced by musical works
Virginia History and Social Science Standards of Learning
The student will demonstrate knowledge of the factors that shaped colonial America.
The student will demonstrate knowledge of the causes and results of the American Revolution.
National Social Studies and History Standards
Era 3: Standard 1A
The student understands the causes of the American Revolution.
Era 3: Standard 2C
The student understands the Revolution's effects on different social groups.