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Pretty much everybody in the world loves music. We use music to celebrate, express ourselves, dance, reflect, connect, work, worship, protest, and deal with joy and sadness. Music is also a great way to make sense of the world around us. Using the vast catalog of Smithsonian Folkways and other resources from the Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Folkways Learning Pathways offer in-depth and engaging journeys for K-12 learners by exploring a broad range of relevant cultural and social themes: musically, historically, and creatively. Each pathway consists of twelve lessons supported by PowerPoint with various learning activities and outcomes, which can be used as a whole or individually, “as is” or customized to optimally align with the specific needs of teachers and students. Learn more about Smithsonian Folkways Learning Pathways.

  • Music of the Chicano Movement
    Migration | Grades 4–8

    Students will explore music from the Smithsonian Folkways collection while learning about the ways people stood up for their rights and fought for equality and justice during the Chicano Movement.

  • Sounds of the Civil Rights Movement
    Activist | Grades 9–12
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  • Puerto Rican Jibara Music
    Other | Grades 6–8
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  • Women in the Blues
    Other | Grades 4–8
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  • Music of the Asian Royal Courts
    Other | Grades 4–8
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  • Cajun and Zydeco Music
    Other | Grades 4–8
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