Blues in the Schools
With the exception of Native American music forms, the blues was created by African-Americans and is the first pure American music form to have originated in this country. Coming from the oral traditions of African-American folk music, the blues is the foundation for all other popular music forms students listen to today.
Lacking an educational system, these early country blues men and women created beautiful poetry that responded to the conditions of their world. Sometimes the lyrics expressed the anger they could not speak. Other times, they painted a vivid picture of African-American life in those fields. Through the blues, student listeners can learn the history of those times. Students can be shown the essential role these rural lyrics played in the African-American oral traditions.
The Piedmont Blues Preservation Society has been providing performances, exhibitions, and educational programs exploring the importance and history of the blues music genre in our schools for many years. Studies have shown that music education is beneficial by increasing reading comprehension, writing ability, mathematics problem solving, and on-task-performance in science classrooms.
Over the years the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society has occasionally been able to secure nationally known blues music performers, such as Cephas and Wiggins or most recently, Fruteland Jackson to supplement our local Blues in the Schools performers. As a matter of fact, Fruteland personally reached teaching 1 million students while in Greensboro as part of PBPS Blues in the Schools program in 2010. These artists have “lived the blues,” and are happy to share stories, experiences, and their music to educate and entertain our children.
Fruteland Jackson has graciously provided his permission to use his teaching materials for use with our program.
Donations are used to provide educational materials and to compensate musicians for their time and travel expenses while working with Blues in the Schools.