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johnfitz.com defining the folk experience (19) defining the folk experience 05 Jan 04


I am an 8th grade English teacher in MA. Today I sang The House Carpenter to my class as a way to introduce Sandra Cisneros--a modernist Mexican American writer. I was trying (and I think I was successful) to get the kids to make a leap: Instead of the story being forced on them I wanted them to force themselves into the story;In a sense I was telling them they were going to have to work to like this stuff, but if they did they might find it very powerful and moving. I was amazed how much they liked The House Carpenter. They had a blast filling in the unspoken implications of the song. My question is this: What do people think are the important trends and aspects that define the folk experience? I guess,in short, what would your syllabus look like if you were trying to teach an appreciation for the whole of folk music, from the early ballads to Ani DiFranco? I am new to the mudcat forum and have found it very informative and interesting. Thanks


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