Northwest Folk Music

Discover the connections between Woody Guthrie’s Northwest compositions, such as “Pastures of Plenty” and “Grand Coulee Dam,” with local logging, fishing and sawmill ballads composed by working people of the Pacific Northwest. Through singing and discussing these tunes together–and sharing the stories about where they were composed–students reflect upon the ways and which folk songs are tied to specific places.

Outcomes & Themes: Students learn about the history of industry in the Pacific Northwest while learning to sing or play the traditional songs that document that history. Emphasis can be shifted to either the industrial or the environmental aspects of this tradition. Older students are encouraged to reflect upon the role of the harvester as a protector of the resources they harvest. For schools where logging, fishing, or sawmill industries provide jobs, students learn to connect their own communities’ stories with a thriving tradition of Northwest folk songs. 

Ages: 10+

Duration: 60 - 90 minutes

Instructor: Joe Seamons

Attn: Rhapsody Project

Hillman City Collaboratory

5623 Rainier Ave S

Seattle, WA 98118​

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