navigates students on journeys through Music History–from 3000 B.C. through modern day Country and Rock ‘n Roll. The musical guides on these journeys are two vivacious and entertaining musical educators.
An approved artist for the state of Maryland Artists in the Schools Program, she has written, designed and published teachers’ planners and drama instructional material (“Act Now!”). Theatrically, she has written and directed original plays and has performed in many leading roles for regional and community theaters as well as performing for PBS stations.
After studying piano and trumpet as a child, Dan Cunningham began his study of stringed instruments with the guitar. Subsequently, he studied the banjo, mandolin, harmonica, electrical bass, classical guitar and violin. Later in life, he learned to play the dobro, dulcimer, steel guitar and slide guitar. With a B.S. in Social Sciences and a M.A. in Theological Studies, Dan understands the many levels at which music can move an audience. He provides private instruction of classical guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, dobro and electric bass to students of all ages.
Dan has played as a studio musician for record companies in Los Angeles and Nashville, and he composes original Gospel, Country, Blues, Rock ‘n Roll, Bluegrass and New Age music.
PERFORMANCES (Gr. K-12)
“All STRUNG Out”: The History of String Instruments and their Effect on American Music Styles. Journey through music history with two vivacious and entertaining guides who introduce primitive stringed instruments and describe their evolution into current string instruments with a demonstration of their use today in various styles of American Music. The genres of music that are presented include the following: Classical, Ragtime, Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Dixieland, Swing, Bluegrass, Country, Folk, Rockabilly and Rock n’ Roll. Each moment of history is brought to life with costumes and props.
The instruments that are presented and upon which the duo perform, include the following: violin, string bass, acoustic guitar, banjo, electric guitar, dobro, mandolin, steel guitar, lap harp, harpsichord, piano, harmonica and various other “special effect” instruments, as well as harmonic vocals. This show involves many interdisciplinary associations: History & Social Studies, Language Arts, Theatre Arts, Science, Music Appreciation and Performance. Interactive participation, singing and performing with the artists is encouraged. Each program is carefully tailored to the age of the audience. Q&A session is included.
WORKSHOPS/MASTER CLASSES (Gr. 3-12)
Workshops expand this 50 minute program to allow students to explore music history in depth and the performers to demonstrate more instruments and how they are played. Workshops also allow students to learn the various stylizations of instruments during each period of music.
ARTISTS IN RESIDENCY (Gr. 3-12)
Up to four sessions each day during artists will provde a detailed histroy in story format and students will enjoy “hands-on” experience with more than 12 stringed instruments. Students will have the opportunity to build a stringed instrument which teaches them the physics involved in creating sound. They will also learn the fundamentals of music composition for various musical styles, involving lyrics, harmonies and melody after which they will actually compose a song to be performed at an evening concert.