Stephen Foster


My deepest thanks to the staff of the Stephen Foster Memorial, Center for American Music at the University of Pittsburgh for their assistance with the research for the Stephen Foster letter.

 

For All Ages

Music

Here's a list of YouTube Videos by various artists for the songs in the Songs of Stephen Foster booklet in the free download for the Stephen Foster letter.  Please note that some of Foster's lyrics have been changed over the years so the lyrics in these songs may not match exactly with the lyrics in the booklet.

Beautiful Dreamer by the Irish Tenors


Oh! Susanna by Hilary Klug


 Camptown Races from The album "Keeping The Old Songs Alive" 

 Old Folks at Home/Swanee River with Bing Crosby

 My Old Kentucky Home by The Local Honeys

 Hard Times Come Around No More by Mavis Staples

 Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair by Thomas Hampson

 Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

 Album Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster

Click "More" under the video description to see the list of songs & artists with links to their place in the video.


Visit

Preschool

Books

Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow
Listen to the song Puff the Magic Dragon while looking at this book of lovely illustrations that bring to life Puff, Jackie Paper, and the land of Honalee.

Over the Rainbow featuring Judy Collins musical CD
Sing along with Judy Collins singing "Over the Rainbow" with this beautifully illustrated book.

When You Wish Upon A Star featuring Judy Collins musical CD
Wish upon a star with Judy Collins while enjoying this wonderfully illustrated book.

What a Wonderful World featuring Louis Armstrong musical CD
Listen to Louis Armstrong's classic rendition of "What A Wonderful World" while enjoying this brightly illustrated book.

Activities

  • Make a Rainstick Musical Sensory Bottle
    Fill a water bottle with sticks or twigs and beads, rice, or beans to create a see-through rainstick.  Check out the Rhythms of Play blog for more details.

  • Make a Musical Sensory Bottle
    Fill an empty water bottle with small jiggle bells, beads, buttons, and more to create a unique instrument.

  • Make music!
    Start your budding musicians out with an instrument set of their own featuring items such as tambourines, rhythm sticks, shakers, a xylophone. and more.

    Elementary

    Books

    The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White illustrated by Fred Marcellino
    The song "Beautiful Dreamer" is featured in E. B. White's  The Trumpet of the Swan. Louis the Swan belts out its poetry on his trumpet at dawn, declaring his love in the Philadelphia Zoo to the beautiful swan Serena.

    Meet the Orchestra by Ann Hayes
    This lyrical romp through the orchestra begins with animal musicians slowly gathering for the evening performance. Poetic descriptions suggest the sounds of the instruments, and lively watercolor illustrations capture the playful essence of each musician and musical instrument.

    Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music! by Robert Levine
    An introduction to each instrument of the orchestra from the cello to the timpani, stories of famous composers from Bach to Stravinsky, and an explanation of different musical styles from Baroque to Modern.

     

    Activities

    • Learn Music Theory
      Learn the names of the notes on the staff, the types of notes, and other musical terms.
    • Enroll in Music Lessons
      Consider enrolling your child in music lessons.  This is an excellent age to learn to play an instrument.

    • Attend an Instrument Petting Zoo
      Check with your local music schools, symphonies, etc. to see if they are planning an instrument petting zoo soon.  Children will have the opportunity to see and play musical instruments, ask questions, and meet musicians.

    • Join a Homeschool Band
      Many areas offer homeschool bands where your child can learn to play an instrument and meet other homeschoolers as well.

      Middle & High School

      Books

      • Read about famous musicians & composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and more with the Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers series by Mike Venezia

      Activities

      • Enroll in Music Lessons
        Consider enrolling your child in music lessons.  This is an excellent age to learn to play an instrument.
      • Join a Homeschool Band
        Many areas offer homeschool bands where your child can learn to play an instrument and meet other homeschoolers as well.
      • Build a ukele with this awesome kit from UkeMusic!

      • Already play an instrument?  Learn to play one of Stephen Foster's songs
        Capotastomusic offers free sheet music of some of Foster's songs for various instruments.

      • Give a Concert.
        Gather up all of your friends who play an instrument or sing and put on a concert of your own.

       

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