For Educators

Introduction to Song of America For Educators

Song of America For Educators is designed to support K-12 and college-level educators with Song of America classroom materials for incorporating classic songpoetry set to musicinto subjects that they already teach. From lesson plans and classroom activities that you can implement right now to books and resources for further exploration, we want to help you integrate song in your English, language arts, history, civics, music or performing arts classroom, using classic song as the gateway for a richer knowledge of the cultures, languages, peoples, and events that have shaped American life.

Want to learn more about how you can use Song of America in your own life, and with your students? Check out our video Song of America: Telling the Story of American Culture (below)!

Song of America: Telling the Story of American Culture is a production of The Hampsong Foundation. It was produced by Miriam Lewin of Lavine Production Group, with camera and editing by Randi Cecchine. Our thanks to singers Catherine Swindle, Nita Baxani, and Justin Austin; pianist and composer Richard Pearson Thomas; the Stephen Gaynor School in New York City; and the staff at Teachers College, Columbia University.

What Teachers have to say about Song of America:

"With the paucity of opportunities for music and arts in the public school curricula these days, those of us who teach music privately have a lot of ground to cover to make students musically literate.  Voice teachers have the greater opportunity to teach texts from all of the history of mankind and a perfectly legitimate excuse to request the students know the background of these words as well as the background and milieu that caused them to be written." ~ Lenita McCallum Witherspoon, private voice teacher

 “Song, after all, is nothing more or less than a diary of human experience. It is the expression of the imagination that connects the dots of our existence, that helps us understand and articulate who we are, why we do what we do, and how we fit within the larger context.” – Thomas Hampson, Founder and Artistic Director of the Hampsong Foundation

About the Song of America Curriculum Initiative

In the 2015-2016 academic year, the Hampsong Foundation announced a new educational initiative based on Song of America, our multi-faceted project exploring the history of American culture through classic song—poetry set to music. Song of America offers high-quality online resources, including a 13-part radio series and the Song of America database (, a catalogue of information and supplementary materials on American composers, poets, and songs, all free of cost.

In the 2015-16 school year, the Hampsong Foundation lead Song of America Educator Workshops in Ann Arbor, New York City, and Los Angeles, as well as special events in Chicago and San Francisco.  Stay tuned for announcements about special events in the 2016-17 year!

This 'For Educators' section on Song of America was launched in spring of 2016.

For more information and updates on this exciting initiative, join our mailing list. You can sign up here:

You can also email us at [email protected] with specific questions, suggestions, or to post your own Song of America materials here.

Song of America Photos from the 2015-16 Academic Year

The core Song of America team (clockwise from right): Dan Tolly, Susan Key, Mark Clague, and Thomas Hampson

Small group discussion and creative work (New York, NY)

On our feet for Dan Tolly’s presentation on Langston Hughes (Ann Arbor, MI)

Composer Richard Pearson Thomas leads some activities (New York, NY)

Thomas Hampson on his passion for teaching the humanities through song (Ann Arbor, MI)

A distance learning master class with students from the University of Michigan and Manhattan School of Music (Ann Arbor, MI)

Hands-on activities combining poetry and music (Ann Arbor, MI)

Engaging the body to engage the mind (New York, NY)

Thomas Hampson in conversation with K-12 educators (New York, NY)