The International Bluegrass Music Association has been deeply involved in efforts to bring bluegrass music programs into schools. Their Bluegrass In The Schools programs have been developed collaboratively over many years, and offer musicians and teachers resources they can use in creating a program for their school or school system. A DVD overview of bluegrass music can be ordered, a free manual can be downloaded from the site, and they host teacher workshops at various sites throughout the year. Small matching fund grants are also available for eligible programs.
They have just announced the first annual IBMA Bluegrass Lesson Plan Competition as a part of this mission to help more young people discover bluegrass music, with four cash prizes of $300 to be awarded to the winning entries. As many as six honorable mention awards of $100 will also be given, and the winning entry will be posted on a new page on the IBMA web site, designed especially for use by teachers and home school parents all over the world. Plans for grades K-12 are sought.
A few additional notes from the IBMA press release:
” Both single class lesson plans and multi-class units of study will be welcome for submission.
” K-12 lesson plans may include classes in the following five content areas: Music (instruction or appreciation), Science & Math, Language Arts, Technology and Social Studies.
” Plans will be judged for suitability and relevance, accuracy of information, degree of actively engaging and stimulating students, organization, evaluation measures, and to what degree they address state educational standards. (A guideline list of sample educational standards utilized in most states will be available to teachers.)
” Rather than recognizing specific exceptional individual bluegrass programs, this competition will be evaluated on how well the lesson plans might transfer easily to other teachers and other school systems.
” Lesson plans from home schooling parents and also university students studying to be teachers will be welcome.
Lesson plans should be sent to IBMA before November 30 to be considered, and are welcome now. Nancy Cardwell is the contact for this competition, and she asks that teachers reach her by phone (888-438-4262) or email to receive an application. Entries will be judged by a team of experienced teachers who are familiar with the music. Winners will be announced on February 1, 2007, and in addition to cash prizes, the teachers who submit winning entries will also be honored at a special luncheon event at the 2007 IBMA convention.