As part of a new educational program, elementary school students will learn to embrace and understand the music, art, and rich history of what has long been considered America’s instrument: THE BANJO! From its African roots to mainstream popularity during the Roaring 20s, to the Bluegrass explosion of the recent past, the music and story of the banjo are inextricably woven into America’s history. Now the AMERICAN BANJO MUSEUM offers an educational program that allows students to visit the museum, attend an interactive performance and even create their own banjos!
Hosted by local TV personality and five-time EMMY© award-winning broadcaster and regional children’s entertainer LUCAS ROSS, students will participate in a memorable learning experience which includes a live showcase of different banjo playing styles, sing-alongs, and hands-on activities that complement the curriculum. After a video history of the banjo – featuring none other than the world’s most famous amphibian, Kermit The Frog along with a host of important figures in American music history, students will have a chance to build and decorate a mock banjo of their own.
“I love any opportunity to share music, the banjo, and education with kids,” said Lucas Ross, ABM’s Outreach and Promotions Coordinator. “The colorful history of the banjo grew along with America - and both stories continue to evolve and intersect…it’s exciting to share this story.”
“As a follow-up to our Learning Lounge educational and research facility, the new BANJO ROOTS program represents our first opportunity to introduce the banjo in a meaningful way to school groups,” comments ABM Executive Director, Johnny Baier, adding “We couldn’t be more proud of this exciting new educational opportunity.”
While Kermit The Frog has been on display at the museum as part of the current Jim Henson – Life and Legacy exhibit, having him participate in the telling of banjo history is something of a dream come true for Lucas Ross. “Kermit was my introduction to the banjo and I’m sure countless others remember him strumming those opening chords of The Rainbow Connection while embracing their own fond banjo memories. Now - to appear with him on screen - is literally the highlight of my career…I mean, how many people get to work with their hero?”
Kermit the Frog’s appearance and inclusion in telling the banjo’s story was made possible by Muppets Studio/Disney and The Jim Henson Legacy. Karen Falk, Vice President of The Jim Henson Legacy, explains “Jim Henson loved banjo music and expressed that through his characters. The American Banjo Museum is the ideal place to demonstrate that appreciation, providing a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Jim’s creative expression. Young audiences served by the museum will no doubt find inspiration from his example.”
To schedule groups for “BANJO ROOTS,” schools may call the museum 405-604-2793 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pricing based on a minimum of twenty students, maximum of 44, prices are $5.00 per student, no charge for chaperones. For grades Pre-K through grade 5, complimentary 1 adult per 5 students. Grades 6 through 12, complimentary 1 adult per 10 students.
EXTENDED EXHIBIT- Do to the success of Jim Henson – Life and Legacy, the exhibit will extend through May of 2020. This exhibit recently won Oklahoma Museum Association’s Award for Outstanding Exhibit. For more information about upcoming events, or to become a member of the American Banjo Museum, visit americanbanjomuseum.com or call (405) 604-2793.