Students at Sterling Elementary formed a jug band, May 2000
Old Time American Folk Music
Curriculum Materials, Elementary School Assemblies, Family Concerts, High School Assemblies, Middle School Assemblies, Workshops
Culture Studies, Folktales, Music, US History
Bruce Hutton has been performing old-time American folk music since 1973. He presents programs in more than 100 schools annually and has played for all ages at numerous festivals, concerts and community events. He is a member of the Double Decker String Band, Hesperus, and Roustabout. These groups have appeared across the U.S., in Europe and Asia. The Smithsonian, Kennedy Center, and Lincoln Center are some of the noteworthy places where Bruce has appeared.
Old Time American Folk Music (K-12) Bruce Hutton performs old-time American folk music in an engaging and interactive style. He introduces the audience to traditional music from the Appalachian mountains, the Piedmont and blues from the Mississippi Delta. He plays more than a dozen antique and hand-crafted instruments, including banjos, guitars, dulcimers, mandolins, ukuleles and more. Humor, dialogue with the audience, and songs featuring sing-along lyrics keep students involved throughout the program. Audience participation also includes inviting students onto the stage to play limberjacks (Appalachian clogging dolls) with a banjo tune and jug-band instruments (washboards, jugs, tub-bass, whistles, spoons) while Bruce leads a 1920s jazz song with ukulele and kazoo.
Word of Mouth Meets The Written Word (K-8) This program explores the relationship between the oral tradition and children's literature about folk songs and folk culture. For each song a related book will be discussed to encourage students to extend their involvement by reading about folklore, folksongs and folk. Programs are developed for different age groups. Some book titles that may be included are: Blue Ridge Billy, John Henry, The Drinking Gourd, Ty's One Man Band, Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Froggy Went A-Courtin', Hush Little Baby, The Blues Singers, Life in A Whaling Town (Picture the Past), and Woodie Guthrie, Poet of the People. In addition to recommending books, Bruce will suggest to students that they learn the stories and songs by ear to encourage their own versions and thus become a part of the oral tradition.