Black American Music


Black American Music is an umbrella term recently embraced by teachers and scholars referring to the musical genres born out of the unique experience of Black Americans. 

This program sends NHSO musicians to classrooms across CT, teaching students about the historic origins and cultural impact of Classical, Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Motown, and Hip Hop.

$190 for each visit
($750 for whole program)

Also available in a convenient online format!
$160 for each virtual visit (Zoom preferred)
($640 for whole program)

Ready to sign your classroom up? Have questions?

Black American Music logo


Black American composers fought against expectations, resulting in some of the most important contributions to classical music.

Students will learn about:

  • Florence Price
  • Jessie Montgomery
  • French composer Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George


Originating in the Southern United States in the mid-to-late 1800s, Blues music was influenced by Black American spirituals and work songs. It served as the foundation for other American music genres, and influenced many songs worldwide.

Students will learn about:

  • A-A-B Rhyming
  • Call-and-Response Patterns
  • Robert Johnson
  • The Diddley-Bow


Jazz got its start in New Orleans, an epicenter of diverse cultures in the American South. Since its start, it has evolved to become an extensive genre covering many different areas.

Students will learn about:

  • Ragtime and Improvisation
  • Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer
  • Artists Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and The Marsalis Family


Gospel is a type of Spiritual music. Songwriters combined secular rhythms from Blues and Jazz with the message of their Church’s teachings. It went on to become a beloved music genre, bridging secular and spiritual audiences.

Students will learn about

  • Spiritual vs Secular music
  • Arizona Dranes
  • The Golden State Quartet
  • Mahalia Jackson


Motown originated in Detroit, Michigan when Berry Gordy created record label Tamla Records (Later known as Motown Records). Home to some of the biggest chart toppers, the genre launched the careers of hundreds of singing superstars.

Students will learn about:

  • Berry Gordy
  • The Temptations
  • The Supremes
  • Jackson 5

Hip Hop

Hip Hop culture consists of Graffiti, Rapping, Breakdancing, and DJing. It emerged in the South Bronx of New York City in the 1970s, using old records, turntables, soulful lyrics, and neighborhood block parties to create the sound we know today. It has evolved into one of the most popular music genres worldwide.

Students will learn about:

  • Graffiti
  • Breakdancing
  • DJ Kool Herc
  • Sugarhill Gang

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