Teaching Roster

Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Contact Name: Rene Rodgers

Address:

101 Country Music Way
Bristol, VA
Bristol, Virginia 24201
United States

Email: Click to email

Phone: (423) 573-1927

Artistic Disciplines:
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The mountains of southern Appalachia have long been recognized for traditional music. In 1927 Ralph Peer – a record executive from Victor Talking Machine Company in Camden, New Jersey – traveled to Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia to find and record “hillbilly” music. He set up a portable recording studio in the Taylor-Christian Hat Company building on State Street, advertised for auditions, and waited for the music makers to come to him. Over the course of two weeks, Peer recorded 76 songs by 19 different acts, including Ernest Stoneman with various friends and family, The Carter Family, known as “The First Family of Country Music”, and “The Father of Country Music”, Jimmie Rodgers. It was with these recordings that the foundation of country music was laid and its soundtrack began.

These recordings met with commercial success and continue to influence musicians today and in 2002, the Library of Congress ranked the 1927 Bristol Sessions among the 50 most significant sound recording events of all time. Johnny Cash said that “these recordings in Bristol in 1927 are the single most important event in the history of country music.”

The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) was established to preserve and promote this story and the rich music heritage of our region. This grassroots organization was first formed through the cooperation of civic, educational, tourist, governmental, and music-related interests on April 7, 1994; it became a nonprofit in 1996. In 1998 the US Congress passed a bill that officially recognized Bristol as the Birthplace of Country Music.

The Birthplace of Country Music promotes and celebrates the role of Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia in the birth and development of early commercial country music through the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, Radio Bristol, and educational outreach and programming.

Artist Work Samples


Sample Programs Offered

Program Title: Pick Along Summer Camps

Program Type: Arts Curriculum

Program Description:

At The Birthplace of Country Music’s Pick Along Summer Camps, children ages 8 to 14 receive expert instruction on the same style of instruments that were used in the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings, learning fundamental skills in various music styles and how to play music. Campers also explore the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, learn about the music of Bristol and our region, receive instruction in singing and dancing, participate in a variety of activities with our working radio station, and learn about other concepts and disciplines that make up the rich tapestry of country music. At the end of the week, campers will even perform a brief concert for families to show off their skills! The week-long summer camp sessions are open to beginner and intermediate campers; music instruction focuses on the acoustic guitar, banjo, and fiddle. No previous musical experience is required for beginner level Pick Along Summer Camps, only an interest in music and a desire to learn and have fun! These camps are designed for different levels of experience and anyone interested in our music heritage.

Children ages 7-14 receive expert instruction on the same style of instruments that were used on the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings. They will learn to play music using fundamental skills in various music styles. Campers get to explore the museum, learn about the region’s music, and are introduced to other concepts & disciplines that make up the rich tapestry of country music.

Our camps are scheduled to resume June and July of 2021.

Children ages 7-14 receive expert instruction on the same style of instruments that were used on the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings. They will learn to play music using fundamental skills in various music styles. Campers get to explore the museum, learn about region’s music, and are introduced to other concepts & disciplines that make up the rich tapestry of country music.

Dates: June 17, 2019 – July 26, 2019

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: History of Listening Lesson

Program Type: Arts Integration

Program Description:

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum has created a lesson plan focused on the history and technology of “listening” using our content as a basis for this learning. Throughout history music has been experienced in a variety of ways, especially as advances in technology have developed over time. This lesson explores these technological changes and compares how listening to music has transitioned from being a mostly community-based activity, often through live performance, to listening either alone or together in person by using technology to the virtual environments of cyberspace. Concepts addressed include how music has been shared, the development and delivery of early recorded sound, the basic principles of how sound works (including STEAM-focused demonstrations), and a hands-on and inquiry-based exploration of different types of musical players and formats.

This lesson can be delivered virtually via Zoom, allowing interaction with the students. For the lesson’s touchables, the museum is able to lend 2—3 objects out so that these can be used in the classroom by the teacher during the lesson.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: Museum Learning Expeditions for School

Program Type: Arts Curriculum

Program Description:

School group visits to the museum typically include:

· A docent-led introduction to the story of the 1927 Bristol Sessions
· The Orientation Film “Bound to Bristol, which provides a deeper look into our history
· An age-appropriate scavenger hunt (usually then discussed after free exploration time) and free exploration time in the museum’s core exhibits including three other film experiences and various interactives (with docents on hand to answer questions or give more guidance to the content via various exhibit touch points).
· And/or an inquiry-based learning activity using historic images and objects

By request, a guided tour of the current special exhibit can also be included; schools can also plan their museum visit specifically around a special exhibit. We have new temporary and traveling exhibits in our Special Exhibits Gallery about 2—3 times per year; many of these can serve as educational resources across curricula. We are also currently developing some extra activities such as Banjo Bingo or badge-making that can be added on to the museum experience if requested by the teacher, along with coloring/activity sheets that can be taken back to the classroom. The museum’s content intersects with a variety of curricula needs from history and music to science and English. We recommend at least 1 ½–2 hours to fully experience the museum, and we can discuss with teachers the best way to include any of the above activities within their available time frame.

Student tours of the museum can be delivered virtually via Zoom, allowing interaction with the students. A virtual tour would include an exploration of the permanent exhibits and current special exhibit (if requested/available), music and film clips, and related activities (such as inquiry-based learning and Banjo Bingo).

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

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