Discover the Music in Poetry, K-12
Smithsonian Global Sound in Your Classroom focuses on two poetic forms: the ballad stanza, found throughout British and American literature, and the blues stanzas of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes. The exercises put poetry into terms of movement, physical space, and music. Students can listen to musical ballads and blues from the catalog of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. The ballads include early recordings of Bob Dylan and Suzanne Vega. The blues is heard in regional styles and as an element of early jazz. Students can follow the blues stanza in complete tracks of Langston Hughes readings and classic blues songs. The Music in Poetry section has background information and lesson plans that address the National Language Arts Standards, Grades K-12 and the National Standards for Music Education, Grades 5-8.