Educational CyberPlayGround ®


Folk music lessons and plans at the Educational CyberPlayGround.
Learn about folk music history and find lyrics to popular folk music songs


Started before there was a music industry when the role of music was about your life - about the life and times that most of us don't experience anymore and originally folk music was sung because it helped the people get through life and tell stories about their life and work.

Definition of Folk Process

The origin of the phrase "folk process" has been attributed to musician Pete Seeger.

"In ancient days, all the men knew the same hunting songs, and all the women knew the same lullaby. Then, when agriculture was invented, then class society developed and you have priesthood and aristocracy that owned the land, and now they could afford to have, for example, [story telling] music made for them. And this was the beginning of high art.




Find folk music lessons, folk music lyrics, folk music history, folk music songs, at the Educational CyberPlayGround.

Teacher Planbook:
Integrating Folk Music, Folklore and Traditional Culture Instruction
Into K-12 Education

WHO COLLECTS AND PRESERVES IT? YOU DO !! National Childrens Folksong Repository


High School Curriculum for Traditional Music

40's - 60's


  • American Folksong History aligned to state standards
  • Bone playing 'rhythm bones', 'rattling bones' and 'bone playing'
  • 1941 The Helene Stratman-Thomas Collection of ethnic music recordings is especially rich in the songs of French-Canadian, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Cornish, and German immigrants. It also contains the music of Native American groups (in particular the Ho Chunk); occupational songs by lumberjacks, sailors, miners, railroadmen, and cranberry pickers; and Appalachian music performed by Kentuckians who settled in northern Wisconsin . Music Database
  • Ibiblio Folk Music Index
  • Mance Lipscomb
  • A Guide to the Ethnomusicology LP Collection in the Oberlin College Conservatory - Main Library Collection
  • Folk Songs, Airs, Anthems, Ballads, Canons, Ditties,Hymns
  • Wisconsin Folksong Collection 1937-1946
  • D.K. Wilgus Folksong Collection
  • Free Sheet Music
  • Duke Historic American Sheet Music Collection
  • American Memory collections (which also include field recordings
  • Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, we have over 3100 recordings available find a catalog listing or, contact the archivists, Jeff Place 202-275-1150 Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage number, or Dan Sheehy 202/275-1153 Director and Curator Smithsonian Folkways Recordings 750 Ninth Street, NW Suite 4100 Washington, DC 20560-0953
  • Stories of Mountain Folk, Stories of Mountain Folk is an all-sound oral history collection produced by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, a western North Carolina not-for-profit. The archived files were created from a series of radio interviews that aired weekly on a local radio station. Over 150 half-hour radio programs capture “local memory” detailing traditions, events, and life stories of mountain people. A wide range of interviewees include down-home gardeners, herbalists, and farmers, as well as musicians, artists, local writers, and more. Significant aspects of the American story. Stories of Mountain Folk is the library's first sound collection. Hunter Library's Digital Collections
  • Folklife Sourcebook: A Directory of Folklife Resources in the United States, revised and expanded, 1997, is available online. Chapters include directories for archives, graduate programs, public agencies and organizations, serial publications, and more.
  • Save Our Sounds project of the American Folklife Center - Mickey Hart is Rex Foundation board member, trustee of the American Folklife Center and Save Our Sounds Leadership Committee member
  • American Memory Collection
    Captain Pearl R. Nye Life on the Ohio and Erie Canal.
  • Digital Sheet Music Collection: University of Colorado over 150,000 pieces complete archive of digitized songs by title or theme.
  • Free Sheet Music
  • Library's collection of 6000 cylinder recordings for online access. From the first recordings made on tinfoil in 1877 to the last produced on celluloid in 1929, cylinders spanned a half-century of technological development in sound recording. As documents of American cultural history and musical style, cylinders serve as an audible witness to the sounds and songs through which typical audiences first encountered the recorded human voice. And for those living at the turn of the 20th century, the most likely source of recorded sound on cylinders would have been Thomas Alva Edison's crowning achievement, the phonograph.
  • Canadian Historical Sound Recordings the Library and Archives of Canada multimedia database devoted to the earliest days of recorded music in Canada.
  • The James Madison Carpenter Collection is a major collection of traditional song and drama, plus some items of traditional instrumental music, dance, custom, narrative and children's folklore, from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the USA, documented in the period 1927-55.
  • Richard Robinson's Tunebook
    Downloadable printed folk melodies from Europe
  • The Copper Family Documentry The traditions started with everybody singing in the pub, probably led by the Copper Family because they knew the songs and were the great singers in the village, but it was more of a communal experience - a sing-song and a pint. That then moved to people going to see them, but the important thing to them is singing; they are not that bothered about people watching it.
  • The Max Hunter FolkSong Collection is an archive of almost 1600 Ozark Mountain folksongs, recorded between 1956 and 1976. A traveling salesman from Springfield, Missouri, Hunter took his reel-to-reel tape recorder into the hills and backwoods of the Ozarks, preserving the heritage of the region by recording the songs and stories of many generations of Ozark history. As important as the songs themselves are the voices of the Missouri and Arkansas folks who shared their talents and recollections with Hunter. Designed to give increased public access to this unique and invaluable resource, this site is a joint project of the Southwest Missouri State University Department of Music and the Springfield-Greene County Library in Springfield, Missouri,where the permanent collection is housed.
    The Library Center
    4653 S. Campbell
    Springfield, MO 65810-1723
    (417) 874-8110 phone
    (417) 874-8120 fax
  • Mary Celestia Parler Folksong Collection
    Special Collections- University of Arkansas Libraries
    365 N. Ozark Ave. Fayetteville, AR 72701-4002
    (479) 575-5577 phone
    (479) 575-3472 fax
  • Wolf Ozark Folksong Collection ALSO see song list
    Lyon College Regional Studies Center
    Attn: Judy Blackwell
    2300 Highland Rd. Batesville, AR 72501
    (870) 698-4330
  • Ozark Folk Center Archives
    Ozark Folk Center State Park
    Attn: Archive P.O. Box 500
    Mountain View, AR 72560
    (870) 269-3851
  • The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection interested in Ozark Folklore and song form 1952-1970
  • Lesley Nelson
  • Musipedia - searchable, editable, and expandable collection of tunes, melodies, and musical themes. Visitors can also whistle or sing a melody through their computer's microphone in order that they might search the site and find out more about that individual song or melody.
  • Mudcat Folk Music Index- Find references "DT" -- that's the Digital Tradition 9000 song database, a forum where a lot of additional material is discussed.
  • Macscouter - Songs for Scouts and Scouters, short songs, silly songs, and chants.
  • 2006 -Using Folksongs as a metephore - Folksongs for the Five Points The Lower East Side Tenement Museum invited digital artists to create works that explore contemporary immigrant experiences in New York City. With the kind assistance of the Institute for Museum and Library Services (along with the J.M. Kaplan Fund), this rather remarkable multimedia collection allows visitors to explore this very vibrant and diverse community through sounds, text, and language. Upon entering the site, visitors are presented with a visual representation of the Lower East Side, overlaid with a series of dots. Each dot represents a different audio sample recorded at that particular location, such as the sound of steam coming up through a manhole cover or a seafood salesman at work. Visitors can toggle these sounds on and off as they see fit, and even create their own mix of sounds, if they so desire. In terms of both understanding the culture of urban neighborhoods and interrogating notions of immigration and belonging, this website is a tremendous success and may serve as a model for others who wish to follow in this direction.
  • The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library
    Indexes to the collections of some of the best-known folk music collectors of the twentieth century is owned and maintained by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS)


Bawdy Ballads

Folk Music Business


Folk Alliance
International and US regional conferences where you network w/ performers, bookers and DJs. Learn the biz, get noticed, find gigs.

FolkBiz and FolkVenu mailing lists

A listing of music open mike nights in the US

Folklife Radio

Whole Wheat Radio is an internet webcast originating from Talkeetna, Alaska.

The Internet Folk Radio List
database of 532 listings about 75% of the programs focus exclusively on contemporary singer-songwriters. The next 20% are bluegrass, and the remaining 5% are traditional music.

American Radio Works

American Routes

Radio Ballads

Alabama Folkways Radio Series

Music from the Sunshine State

The Cumberland Trail

WUMB University of Massachusetts/Boston

Girl bluegrass bands by Joe Wilson Jul 26, 2006
Thanks to Willie for recalling Robert Coltman's fine 1978 JEMF article detailing the many women who performed in Appalachian string bands long before the advent of bluegrass. The Bowman Sisters from northeastern Tennessee were on vaudeville circuits with female groups, playing violin, mandolin, banjo and guitar, beginning in 1926. It seems that Coltman's research, like most other writing about early country music, is based upon a survey of recordings. Records are good and relatively durable artifacts, but offer a somewhat distorted view of this time when a front porch and parlor music was becoming popular entertainment. Live radio seems to have been a far more important and democratic medium of the time, one with a greater personal touch and reach, and many influential artists - women and men -- did well on radio but did not record. A very thoughtful veteran of both mediums, John Hopkins of The Hill Billies told me in an interview that the early success of radio, beginning in 1922, persuaded the well established recording industry to "stop being so uppity." Yet the record people still missed some stunning artists that left big tracks. I will mention just one of scores of possible examples: Kate O'Neill. A ballad singer and songwriting cousin of AP Carter, Kate was performing in a string band as early as 1914. A resident of Josephine, a tiny community near the coal-mining town of Norton, Virginia, Kate perfomed both solo and with all-women groups until the 1980s, and was on radio for over 50 years. Among her many compositions is a favorite hymn of the coal fields, A Deep Settled Peace. Also known as Kate Peters and Kate Sturgill due to marriages, she was among the first mountain singers on radio (1924) and she taught hundreds to play the guitar in Norton. Norton's Country Cabin, a center for jam sessions, dancing, and good times, is a grateful community's memorial to Kate, and an important place on the Crooked Road, Virginia's Heriage Music Trail. I know of no impressions that Kate left in shellac, but her loving spirit and boundless generosity left a huge impression in the hearts of the people of the coal fields. I never met her, yet I have felt her presence in Norton.

Joe Wilson

archie 1962


Archie Green June 29, 1917 - March 22, 2009

North America's most prominent scholar of labor-related folklore, has been an essential guiding force in the history of AFC. It was largely through his efforts that the Center was created. From 1969 to 1976, Green put his academic career on hold, to live in Washington, D.C. and lobby Congress for the passage of the American Folklife Preservation Act. This act, which created the AFC, was passed unanimously by Congress and signed by President Ford in 1976. As a scholar, Green was best known for his work on occupational folklore and on early hillbilly music recordings. Archie Green's excellent JAF article, Hillbilly Music: Source and Symbol contains the etymology of the word Hillbilly and Ralph S. Peer of Okeh records originated the terms 'Hillbilly' and 'Race' as applied to the record business. Music editor Abel Green the first writer, to combine hillbilly and music in print, but he went to the heart of show business's exploitation of the new product.