Silver Beam Music


  • The Early Days of Radio
  • Country Classics
  • Best of the Swing Era
  • Down Home Barn Dance
  • Smorgasbord of Jewish Song
  • Torch Songs and Blues


  • Voice and Vocal Styles
  • Rhythm Guitar
  • Home-Made Rhythm
  • Harmony
  • Swing Dance
  • Clogging


  • Festivals
  • Schools
  • Community Centers
  • Elderhostels
  • Camps


    In this workshop teachers will examine a variety of rhythms in traditional American music and dance, and learn to incorporate them into the classroom.

    Teachers and students will explore the sounds of everyday American life in which students might recognize rhythm, ranging from sounds around the home to class-room sounds. Four basic rhythm patterns that exist in old-time music, will be introduced and discussed, and the class will learn simple songs that demonstrate different structures.

    Finally, teachers will discover ways to integrate the above rhythm patterns into songs, how to break students into groups to teach them to integrate rhythms themselves, and activities such as song-writing, movement, or rhythm parades that will reinforce and supplement the song and rhythm learning.

    This workshop will open up the world of old-time American music and rhythms. It will provide a hands-on lesson in how a simple percussion instrument works and how it helps support the rhythm of traditional American songs and movement.


  • Each student will build one rhythm instrument, sandpaper blocks or bottle-cap shakers, depending on the age group, for the first half of the session. During the process of building we will discuss three musical kinds of musical instruments found in all cultures: wind, stringed, and percussion instruments, that is, those that are blown, plucked, or struck.

  • In the second half of the session they will be divided into groups to learn some techniques of old-time American rhythm-making. I will demonstrate and teach four basic rhythm patterns and the simple techniques behind them, while encouraging innovation and experimentation. Next, students will learn two early American songs of the call-response variety, which they will then accompany on their home-made instruments.


  • Day One will be devoted to building two different rhythm (instruments, sandpaper blocks and bottle-cap shakers. Discussion of the three kinds of musical instruments found in all cultures will; be more in depth, with students listening to samples of rhythms from a number of different areas.

  • Day Two we will learn several call-response songs in the early American traditional style. We will then divide into groups and students will learn four rhythm patterns, experimenting with each in the context of the songs.

  • Day Three we will learn body and foot rhythms that stem from the African American and British Isles traditions, both of which contributed to our present traditional American music and dance forms. The culminating activity will incorporate rhythm-making, singing and dancing.