In the next few class sessions, our music classes at [name of school] will be exploring American musical styles through a program titled The Mississippi: River of Song, which is a Smithsonian series for public television and radio airing this January on PBS and PRI stations. As part of our work with this program, your child will be asking you something about your family’s background and musical tastes and traditions. I hope that you will try to take part in this element of your child’s education by opening a family discussion about music. You may even find that you have--or can develop--some musical tastes in common.
You may also want to watch the programs yourself, perhaps taping them so that your family can watch them together. They are showing on PBS four consecutive Wednesdays, starting January 6, at 10:00 pm. (Please check your local listings, as the time on our local PBS station may vary.) I think that you will be pleased at the breadth of musical styles presented.
Finally, you will find the educational materials we are using on the World Wide Web as part of the PBS website, www.pbs.org/riverofsong. Feel free to drop by the site--some of the activities presented there should be fun for you to try at home!