Archbold Elementary School students learn about Bluegrass music

In an effort to expand the study of Ohio’s Bluegrass Region beyond the classroom into the music room, third and fourth grade students at Archbold Elementary School participated in a live bluegrass music program, April 24. The multidisciplinary project was led by history teachers Jeff Benecke and Zach Gericke, and Courtney Froehlich, AES music teacher.

Students normally study the geography, agriculture and wildlife of the region. This year, teachers used materials from the Foundation for Bluegrass Music’s “Bluegrass in the Schools” program to introduce the historic and cultural origins of bluegrass music, which created a more well-rounded curriculum.

New Outlook, a Wapakoneta, Ohio, based bluegrass band, presented an instrument demonstration and live concert for the students. The five traditional bluegrass instruments and instructional materials were donated to the school music education program by the Black Swamp Arts Council and Guitar Center.

In the fall, bluegrass musicians will present mini-workshops on each instrument. The event culminated with a free evening concert open to the public featuring Fossil Creek, New Outlook and Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers. The bluegrass program was sponsored by the The Ohio Arts Council, the Black Swamp Arts Council, the Archbold Music Commission and The Foundation for Bluegrass Music.