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Old 01-13-2009, 12:18 PM   #1
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Children's Indian Music

I was asked recently by public educators, "what Native American music resources I would recommend for grades K-5?"
This came as a response to a parent who complained that the music that is currently being taught is insulting and inappropriate to real Native people. The music in public schools that was cited is written by non-natives using Native themes and comparable to "1little, 2little, 3little Indians."

This bothers me.

So I ask you for your advice on what would be appropriate and guidelines for age appropriate music.

Should this music be in English and Native themed?

Should it be authentic tribal music?

Should public schools even be teaching "Native" music in the first place?

Should we be teaching our own before we teach others?

When teaching should we use percussion instruments, as an aid?

What music resources are out there for young students?
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:27 PM   #2
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they should either not teach Native music (themed or otherwise) or they should have some native community members (like yourself perhaps) come in and teach it for them. We often have people in our communities do such things. We stick to social songs. we don't teach the children to drum or sing them but we teach them a social dance to do while the other community members sing.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:20 PM   #3
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You need Blacklodge's Kids Pow-Wow songs CD. Been around for ages. I'll bet every powwowing family has one.

I'd still play if I had! LOL
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe's Dad View Post
You need Blacklodge's Kids Pow-Wow songs CD. Been around for ages. I'll bet every powwowing family has one.

I'd still play if I had! LOL

I never thought of that. You're right. Most powwow people know about their children's music.

Should public schools even be teaching about Indian music if there is no Natives to facilitate?
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:39 PM   #5
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I was thinking it would be difficult to teach music to a general audience (K-5) on specific drumming styles/music. All kids identify or know the characters in that CD. It would bridge the gap between cultures.

Does anyone know of other children's powwow music?
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:05 AM   #6
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I can only speak from my own experience.

I recently was asked to come and talk to the 5th-graders at my daughters' school when they were studying NDN culture back before Christmas break. We actually hooked up the teacher's laptop to a bigscreen and played some videos from PowWow TV showing some of the different dance styles and giving the kids a chance to hear powwow singing. Not "children's" music, per se, but an opportunity for them to hear the music in the context of its use. They seemed to enjoy and appreciate it.

I like JD's idea about using the Black Lodge CD's, too. This would be especially appealing to the younger grades I would think.
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:08 PM   #7
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Joanne Shenandoah had a CD called All Spirits Sing and it's a story of a young girl who gets lost in the woods cause she's embarrased at her singing voice... mostly original music, age appropriate for k-5, includes the friendship song which is a social song.

Then there is a compilation CD called, Under a Green Corn Moon but that's more a collection of different tribal "lullabyes".

I checked Zango and it brought up these... Search

you could check out SOAR as well and see what thye come up with.
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe's Dad View Post
I was thinking it would be difficult to teach music to a general audience (K-5) on specific drumming styles/music. All kids identify or know the characters in that CD. It would bridge the gap between cultures.

Does anyone know of other children's powwow music?
Check with your tribe. There's cds you can buy with songs like "the itsy bitsy spider, The Farmer in the Dell", etc. etc. in tribal languages.
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:58 PM   #9
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Yeah Blacklodge kids songs are so cool. Remember when you could hear one of those songs sung almost every week somewhere? Now adays you hear a song that doesnt even have cartoon words in it. Thats so boring for the little kids.

To your Questions,

Should this music be in English and Native themed?

I dont knoe but if you use Blacklodge kids songs you get a two for one spechal thing.

Should it be authentic tribal music?

I dont knoe but if you use Blacklodge kids songs you get a two birds in the hands kinda thing.

Should public schools even be teaching "Native" music in the first place?

No, its probably better for us all if they dont and people keep thinking all the Indians are gone. That way they wont look down on how untradishional we are compared to their ideals and romantisisms of us.

Should we be teaching our own before we teach others?

Yes. That way we dont have to learn from boyscouts who come to teach our old songs back to us onbeat when they find out we still exist (mickey mouse minny mouse sounds like he** when sung on beat!)!

When teaching should we use percussion instruments, as an aid?

I'm not sure what you mean by that.

What music resources are out there for young students?

Black Lodge Powwow kid songs. But only use the second cd, the first ones too tradishinal.

But sinse a few of us answered i would like to knoe what you think?

Last edited by BigChef; 12-14-2009 at 10:03 PM.. Reason: mispelled a word!
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:08 AM   #10
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Personally, I think teaching Native music should be done in the schools. But, it should be taught as an exercise in music appreciation. And it should include modern pieces that mix influences.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
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But sinse a few of us answered i would like to knoe what you think?
Big,

I would actually like to see a collaboration of Native musicians and Native music educators put out a cd or dvd that can be included in a music unit in grades K-5.

I would like to see authentic Native music that mixes different genre's (kinds) of music and explains the composition and occasions this music is sung.

From my experience of doing school programs across the US and abroad (over 1000 schools) the need is definitely there.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post
Big,

I would actually like to see a collaboration of Native musicians and Native music educators put out a cd or dvd that can be included in a music unit in grades K-5.

I would like to see authentic Native music that mixes different genre's (kinds) of music and explains the composition and occasions this music is sung.

From my experience of doing school programs across the US and abroad (over 1000 schools) the need is definitely there.
Sounds good, but this will sure tick off all the non Indian folks who dress like mountain men and pocahontas to get paid "teaching" about Indian culture to schools (predominantly in the month of November nowadays). Someone's cozy mountain home is gonna have a few less mandellas
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigChef View Post
Sounds good, but this will sure tick off all the non Indian folks who dress like mountain men and pocahontas to get paid "teaching" about Indian culture to schools (predominantly in the month of November nowadays). Someone's cozy mountain home is gonna have a few less mandellas


*LOL @ mandelas! Don't get me started on an off topic...

Well, I've been giving this issue some thought. There is a definite need for this.

I am proactive. So I have set up a feasibility meeting at 11 am today to discuss this as becoming a bonified project for consideration.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:30 PM   #14
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i know one thing for sure. kids love drums and if u put some down its in their nature to be curious about it. wanna see some eyes light up and brainwaves start flying everywhere.. jus hit it for them. haha u might jus change their life. facilitating after that should be pretty ez.
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Old 04-08-2011, 04:58 PM   #15
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i know one thing for sure. kids love drums and if u put some down its in their nature to be curious about it. wanna see some eyes light up and brainwaves start flying everywhere.. jus hit it for them. haha u might jus change their life. facilitating after that should be pretty ez.

This is an old thread but I am just now seeing the responses.

injun,

So would it be okay for male and female kids to beat on drums? What if a female teacher wanted to continue this and purchases her own drum(s) for the kids to beat on?

Anyone have thoughts on this?
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
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This is an old thread but I am just now seeing the responses.

injun,

So would it be okay for male and female kids to beat on drums? What if a female teacher wanted to continue this and purchases her own drum(s) for the kids to beat on?

Anyone have thoughts on this?
Then they should use an okanogan (and or other applicationable tribes) drum, and sing their kind of songs. Their women beat the tom toms, from what i understand.
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