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Old Music for New Ears

This KET-produced instructional series introduces children to a broad range of music — folk, blues, Cajun, traditional — and cultures — Native American, African-American, and Appalachian, among others. All lyrics are in the teacher’s guide, inviting children to sing along. The series also introduces a variety of traditional instruments, such as the hammer dulcimer, the lap dulcimer, and the jaw harp.

Grade Levels: P-8
Resource Types: 22 Videos, 2 PDFs

Malcolm Dalglish

Dalglish plays the hammer dulcimer and performs “Cooper’s Caper,” “Bushy Tail,” “One Day, One Foot,” “Wide Mouth Frog,” and “Woody Know Nothin’.”

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Jean Ritchie

Kentucky native Jean Ritchie plays the dulcimer and banjo and sings such traditional songs as “Shady Grove,” “Bandyrowe,” “Lazy John,” and “Goin’ to Boston.”

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John McCutcheon

Banjoist and hammer dulcimer player McCutcheon introduces polyrhythmic songs such as “The Rainstorm” and “No More Pie” and sings the Russian folk song “May There Always Be Sunshine.”

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Sparky and Rhonda Rucker

Features “The Gospel Train,” one of the many code-word songs that were used in the Underground Railroad, as well as “Oh Susannah” and “Freight Train.”

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Mike Seeger

Using the gourd banjo, jaw harp, banjo, harmonica, fiddle, and guitar, Mike Seeger presents traditional favorites about animals: “Cluck Old Hen,” “I Had a Rooster,” “Foo Boo Woo Boo John,” “Molly Hare,” and “Derby Ram.”

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The blues and folk legend performs “Give Me Your Hand,” “Keep On Movin’ On,” and “I’m a Child of God.”

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Gray Eagle Band

Features string band music as it was heard in the South in the 1930s and clawhammer-style banjo playing that preceded the three-finger (bluegrass) style. Songs include “The Hound Dog Song,” “Rabbit in a Log,” “Breathitt County Hill Farm,” “Oh Groundhog,” and “Christmas Calico/Sally Goodin.”

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Jean Ritchie - Part II

Eastern Kentucky folksinger Ritchie sings “Love Somebody, Yes I Do,” “The Blue Bird Song,” “Skin and Bones,” and “What’ll I Do with the Baby-O?”

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Tom Bledsoe, Joy D'Elia, and Rich Kirby

Three performers from Appalshop’s Roadside Theater present “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” “Skip to My Lou,” “The Cuckoo,” “The Devil and the Farmer’s Wife,” and “Five Little Ducks Out on a Limb.”

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Bob and Susie Hutchison

The husband-and-wife duo play lap dulcimer and sing “She’ll Be Comin’ Around the Mountain,” “Did You Feed My Cow?,” “Taddle-Diddle-Dink-Dink,” “The Old Woman and the Little Pig,” and “Sandy River Belle/Whiskey Before Breakfast.”

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Odetta - Part II

Songs: “I’m a Rambler, I’m a Gambler,” “Home on the Range,” “Chilly Winds/Shenandoah.”

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The Metro Blues Trio

The Central Kentucky-based blues band performs “Chicken à la Blues,” “Mother the Queen of My Heart,” and “She Caught the Katy.”

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The Reel World String Band

Kentucky’s all-female Reel World String Band presents “Last Old Train,” “Go Rabbit,” and “Stay All Night.”

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Mike Seeger - Part II

Songs: “Quill Ditty,” “All Around the Kitchen,” “When First to This Country,” “Skip to My Lou,” and “Susan Girl.”

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John McCutcheon - Part II

Songs: “John Henry,” “Hambone,” and “The Awful Hilly Daddy-Willie Trip.”

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Malcolm Dalglish - Part II

Songs: “Danville Klude,” “Spoons Story,” “Bones Lesson/Fine Lady and the Saxophone Pig,” “I Had a Bird,” and “Throw the Window Open.”

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Taj Mahal

Songs: “Fishin’ Blues,” “Shake Sugaree,” and “Light Rain.”

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The Doucet Family

Songs from Cajun culture: “Poor Johnnie (Johnny Peux Pas Danser),” “The Fifty Cent Song (La Chanson de Cinquante Sous),” and “P’tit Galop pour Mamou.”

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Dennis Banks

Banks presents songs reflecting his Native American heritage: “The Flip Side,” “A Forty Niner Song,” and “An Honor Song.”

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Paula Larke

Songs: “Rosebud,” “Chicken and the Rooster,” and “Zudio.”

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The Doucet Family - Part II

More Cajun songs: “La Cravate a’ Zig et Zag,” “Le Hoogie Boogie,” “L’Arc en Ciel,” and “Deux Cocodries.”

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Taj Mahal - Part II

Songs: “Funky Bluesy ABC,” “African Blues,” “Stagger Lee,” and “You Don’t Have To Go.”

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K-12The Arts