Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Library of Congress, Song of America Radio - lazy late summer learning for languorous lads and ladies.

There are some things that are just simply true about me. 

1.  I would love to take voice lessons again sometime, but if I wait for it to be convenient I'll never learn anything.

Song of America
2. I have forgotten SOOOO much of what I was supposed to have learned in my undergraduate program. 

3.When I went to college, I knew how to get pretty good grades, but I didn't know how to learn,   so I didn't always take advantage of some of the opportunities that were presented to me.  Therefore I have found that I often have significant self inflicted holes in my musical body of knowledge.

4.  As a result of the fact that I teach in a vacuum called the K-5 general music classroom, I find that often the most useful professional development activities are those that allow me to go back and revisit or deepen the things that are deeply musical that have nothing to do with elementary school. 

5. I come from a family of learners.  So the other day when I was with my parents and brother enjoying the 4th of July it was typical that we started talking about the what we all have been reading and listening to.  As it turns out, in addition to all of the reading we do, we are also great consumers of audio books, lectures, podcasts and other digital media. 

Song of America Radio Broadcast Episodes
 6. As part of the table conversation, my mom brought up her enjoyment of the Library of Congress.  Apparently my mom goes there for fun to explore the cultural arts videos and recordings.    I was intrigued and somewhat miffed because I had never really had the chance to  take advantage of this resource.

7. There were not enough hours between then and now for me to compose a fully well rounded post about the gargantuan behemoth opportunity for personal study that is the Library of Congress! 

8.  There is however, enough time for me to explore long enough to stumble upon a website that I would like to recommend to you now. 

9.  Songs of America is a website that contains resources, recordings and timelines for those wishing to study American Art Songs.  I think that the study of American Art songs sounds like  a lovely and inspiring thing to do.  The radio program is just beautiful and the commentary weaves each piece together so that by the time the program is over you've learned something. I'm hoping that by the time school started I will have completed all of the episodes that are available. 

10.  I would love some accountability in my endeavor, so if you decide that these radio episodes are something you are interested in, please let me know and perhaps we can discuss them by way of Google Hangout sometime.


  1. Oh my! This looks like an amazing resource. My love of learning is deep and when I can find audio resources it truly excites me!
    As a home educator, one of our greatest "discoveries" was audio books. As a family, we have listened to literally hundreds of them. From The Boxcar Children to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, we drank up books that, at first "read", might have been too over whelming for the ages of my kids. Once we n=made our way through to first few chapters, the kids would beg for more.
    It was such a joy to have my then 7 year old son exclaim the " Tale of Two Cities" was {and still is} his fav book...ever :0).
    As far as music...we sang our way through history, learned skip counting to familiar tunes, and can also sing our way through all the states by region.
    Music is an awesome gift and our minds are wired in a way that holds onto tunes why not add some stats and info into them!
    GREAT post.
    Stopping by from UBC :).

  2. The Library of Congress is truly a great gift to all Americans. There is more than one person can ever grasp or attempt to enjoy. But, Oh, the wonderful things I have seen and heard have enriched my life. One of the truly wonderful resources on the internet.

  3. Oh, what a cool resource you found! I think that's great that you'll be spending your time learning in this way. I'm also a learner (and a teacher) and I love diving into topics that interest me. Enjoy!