City Lore’s music residencies offer opportunities for students to learn and expand their knowledge of Western musical forms and terminology as well as folk, traditional and classical forms from the Americas, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Instruction is designed to foster understanding of the musical form as well to place it in its cultural, historical, and social context.

Teaching artists offer instruction in performance, composition, improvisation, instrument making, songwriting and soundscape recording. Each residency includes exercises in focused listening and applied music. In select residencies, students may also have access to the use of technical tools, such as recording studio. City Lore currently offers four music instruction programs:

City Lore currently offers music instruction through four programs: Music Makers (instrumental music and instrument making), Young Songwriters (songwriting and vocal music), World Beat (world music and dance traditions), and Artful Stories (telling stories through multiple art forms, including music).

Music Makers: instrumental music & instrument making

Students learn instrumental music performance and instrument-making through the traditional music of the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Activities include exercises in focused listening, making and playing simple percussion or wind instruments, and even exploring the sound qualities of our City.

World Beat: world music & dance traditions

Students learn and perform global music and dance. Projects investigate the historical

and geographical influences on the development of music and dance, the relationship of these arts to each other, their social contexts, and the vocabulary of the forms. Past World Beat projects have introduced students to music and dance traditions including Capoeira & Maculele of Brazil, and Puerto Rican Bomba & Plena.

Young Songwriters: songwriting & vocal music

In this residency, students write and perform songs inspired by their observations of their neighborhood, interviews with family or community guests, or research into historical events or social issues. Young students write lyrics to familiar melodies while older students may compose melodies and lyrics in a style of music appropriate to their topic, such as Mexican corridos for songs about the Mexican Revolution.

Artful Stories: multi-arts

Students learn the key elements of stories and the characteristics of the particular genre of stories they are studying: traditional, historical, family, or personal. They begin by analyzing stories, then learn to interpret and retell them through the vocabulary of telling stories through multiple art forms, including music.