Here is a straight up lesson on the Progressive Era and its music. You may work on these in class. The project has two due dates: a blog post analysis of a song/sheet music by Friday 1.June.2012; and the creative work is due Monday 4.June.2012.
1. Using the Interactive Timeline from Digital History scan the decades between 1870 and 1930. Look for clues about how industrialization first affected Americans. Note any unrest, environmental issues, injustice for workers and the rise of reform movements.
Keep the First Amendment in mind while you think about how we Americans express ourselves.
2. Examine all of these images of sheet music from the late 1800s and early 1900s. (They are in a couple formats; all are multi-paged.)
Out in the Snow: a drunkard's child
The Alcoholic Blues (some blues)
Can You Tame Wild Wimmen
The Argentines, the Portuguese and the Greeks
The Battle of the Sewing Machines
Tammany: a pale face pow wow
3. Choose one song to study in detail. Inspect its cover, lyrics, music, etc., and, by June 1, write a blog post including the following, in any order.
a. Describe any important, interesting or surprising details of the cover and sheet music. Look for anything unfamiliar, identifiable (names, geography), play the music if you can.
b. Reflect on the purpose(s) of the audiences and authors. Whom do you think the publishers intended to play the piece? Why?
c. Identify the reform movement touched by the song. If you wrote a song with a similar purpose for a similar audience/purpose today, how would it be different?
c. Ask at least four questions you have about these works that are not answered by the texts (the sheet music) themselves.
5. Read about the 1970 Kent State massacre. Listen to the Neil Young's Ohio written days after the massacre, performed by Crosby, Still, Nash and Young. (The comments demonstrate how heated this event remains today.)
6. Remind yourself about the Occupy Movement and its goals.
7. Write a song, at least one verse and a chorus, that speaks to either a Progressive Era reform or Occupy.