Read about Tom's school programs below. To invite Tom to your school, click this link to visit Gateway to the Arts:
"Students do not have this type of experience in their lives. Bringing talented musicians (and others in the arts) to them in this manner is invaluable to a well-rounded life." – Megan Keller Wysoci, Teacher, McMurray Elementary School
School Assembly Programs:
Program: Western Pennsylvania: The Region That Built America
Description: Songwriter-recording artist Tom Breiding delivers unique musical stories of life in Pittsburgh and town in Western Pennsylvania over the last century. From the forgotten steel mills to the countless coaltowns and to points in between, Tom shares his original compositions and traditional folktales. Playing guitar, banjo, and harmonica, he captivates students while they learn about this region's key role in building and shaping America and about various musical genres, emphasizing the importance of American folk music.
View the teacher guide for Western Pennsylvania: The Region that built America click this link: http://www.gatewaytothearts.org/images/stories/Documents/Breiding%20Steeltown.pdf
"[Students] could see a connection between history - community and their own families." – Kay Tudor, Valley Senior High School
Miners' Traveling Museum Courtesy of Mrs. Orlanda Hahn, Schoolteacher at Shaler Elementary School, Pittsburgh, PA
Miners' Helmet, Canary Cage, Lantern, Flint Box, Miners Rescuer circa 1880's, Miners' Locker Basket, Lunch Bucket, Company Scrip, various coal samples and display accompany Tom to all of his school shows and speaking engagements. All items were generously donated by Mrs. Orlanda Hahn, a schoolteacher at Shaler Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA, for use at Tom's program Steeltowns, Coalfields, and the Unbroken Circle.
Program: Unbroken Circle: Songs of the WV Coalfields
Description: Songwriter-recording artist Tom Breiding's unique musical stories tell of life in the coalfields of West Virginia over the last century. Accompanying himself on multiple instruments, Tom engages students in the history of West Virginia's coal industry, including early life in the coalfields, the struggles of the miners to earn a fair wage. Various American musical genres, including Appalachian folk music, are featured. Students gain perspective on the significance of these events in shaping today's work climate throughout America.
To view the teachers' guide for The Unbroken Circle click this link: http://www.gatewaytothearts.org/images/stories/Documents/Breiding%20The%20Unbroken%20Circle.pdf
Workshop: Bringing History to Life with a Song
Description: Tom Breiding will help students to write their own historically accurate folk songs within the structure of verse, chorus, and bridge, tailoring historical connections for your school's specific needs. Pointing out several research strategies that he has used for his own work, Tom will asssign students to select an historical event or character about which they would like to write, list important facts from their research, and then assist them in constructing sound lyrics to be performed with traditional or original folk melodies. With his voice and instruments, he will give all students the opportunity to share their work, including those with little or no musical background. He can also engage students in open conversation about a wide range of industry topics that include: various approaches to the songwriting process, studio engineering, production, innovative recording techniques, tracking and editing on ProTools software, press and radio promotion, touring strategies, and performance techniques.