The rich history and musical traditions of Southwest Virginia will be examined in a new Virginia Highlands Community College course designed to give K-12 teachers the materials and methods they need to incorporate “The Crooked Road” into their lesson plans.
“This course presents a forum to encourage teachers to highlight the rich traditions of Southwest Virginia in the classroom,” said Jonathan Romeo, program manager for The Crooked Road’s Traditional Music Education Program. “Through techniques like storytelling, demonstration, audio and visual presentations and fieldtrips, teachers will develop a better understanding of the region’s history and how it can become a valuable learning tool.”
Teaching on the Crooked Road will be offered on Thursday evenings this fall, and will be taught by David Winship, a retired public school teacher and former Curator/Education Director for Bristol’s Birthplace of Country Music Alliance (BCMA). Winship developed the Living Legacies program of the BCMA for the Library of Congress Folklife Collection and has provided the Smithsonian Institution with traditional music materials. He currently serves on The Crooked Road’s Education Committee.
The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail was incorporated in 2005 to support tourism and economic development in Southwest Virginia by celebrating and preserving this Appalachian region's unique musical and cultural heritage. The Trail itself covers 330 miles and connects Rocky Mount in Franklin County to Breaks Interstate Park in Dickenson County.
The Crooked Road’s Traditional Music Education Program (TMEP) is a broad educational initiative designed to provide support to public schools, colleges, universities, and communities for the development and implementation of traditional music programs, coursework, and instructor training in Southwest Virginia.
Enrollment currently is under way for the three-credit class, which is offered through VHCC’s Workforce Training and Continuing Education Division. The class will meet on the VHCC campus Thursday evenings, August 30-December 18, from 5-8 p.m. The cost is $381.
Music instruction is not a core element of the class and it is not necessary to play an instrument to participate. Additional information is available by calling (276) 739-2430 or at www.vhcc.edu/teachingonthecrookedroad.