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A Shape-Note Singing Lesson

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Language Arts And English +5 Age Levels Primary (5 to 8 years old), Intermediate (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (12 to 15 years old)

Shape-note singing is a tradition that began in the American South as a simple way to teach the reading of music to congregations. Each note head has a distinctive, easy-to-remember shape. What a great way, then, to introduce the reading of music to children!

In this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom, "A Shape-Note Singing Lesson," you'll find a lesson plan and a background essay. Click the PDF icon to see the issue. Click the last box for audio samples of shape-note hymns from the Smithsonian Folkways archives.