Folk Song & Musicianship


This curriculum teaches basic musical concepts through folk songs so that student can better enjoy music.

Key musical concepts include:

  • melody
  • harmony
  • rhythm
  • tempo
  • dynamics
  • form

Lessons involve participation and discussion on the part of the student (clapping, singing, playing, score analysis) to teach music skills through nursery rhymes, folk songs and simple classical pieces.

Additionally, as the lessons progress the student will become familiar with the language of music through the use and discussion of musical terms like pitch, rhythm, contour. Learning the language of music can help students better understand and enjoy listening to music.


Musical concepts are cycled through multiple times in  to build knowledge gradually. Each approximately three units could be completed in one academic year, but can also be begun at any time. Each unit mirrors the partner unit in the Music Appreciation curriculum (for example, each Unit 1 has similar objectives). Both curricula will use common terms and try to stay at similar levels of technical expertise and application.

Lesson Structure

Each lessons has a number of components:

  • Listen
  • Sing
  • Clap
  • Play (for beginning units)
  • Discuss

See Instructor’s Guide for how to conduct a lesson.

Though early lessons include piano playing, these do not replace instruction in piano or any other instrument; rather they focus on understanding the theory and structure of real music through vocal and piano performance.


Each unit can be accessed via the top menu. Each individual unit page has specific unit objectives, index of lessons, and resources.

Note: Additional units are under development and will be posted on a rolling basis.

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