School Assemblies and Workshops
Alastair Moock is a 2013 GRAMMY Nominee, Parents’ Choice Gold Medal Winner, and three-time National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) Gold Medal Winner. Twenty years into his performing career, he has managed to carve out a unique niche for himself: He is a songwriter committed to celebrating the roots of American music while knocking down the walls between different audiences, genres and musical traditions. His audiences range from adults to preschoolers, and he plays everything from nightclubs to theaters to schoolrooms. Like his boyhood hero, Woody Guthrie, Moock believes in the power of music to reach all people — young and old, far and wide, for all occasions. The Boston Globe calls him “One of Boston’s best and most adventurous songwriters.”
Music and Social Change (Grades 4-12)
Alastair Moock introduces students to the music that shaped and connected three of America’s most important movements for social change: the Labor Rights Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Anti-War Movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Through Alastair’s narrative storytelling and musical talents, students learn about the impact of music and the arts during these critical time periods and make connections between American history and the world we live in today. Students will walk away with a greater understanding of this country and its culture.
Language of Song (Grades 3-4)
Alastair brings his guitar and his passion for American folk music to teach students language arts skills in this lively, interactive workshop. Working with upbeat songs from the likes of Woody Guthrie and Mississippi John Hurt, as well as gems from Alastair’s own catalog, students learn to identify key concepts such as: subject, mood, setting, point of view, rhyme and alliteration. After some singing and discussion, kids put what they’ve learned to work by helping to craft new verses for one of Alastair’s original songs. Students will leave feeling empowered to work with words and inspired to express themselves through their writing.
Playing with Tradition: Voices of American Folk (Grades PreK-2)
American folk music, like all folk music, is rooted in tradition. But the form is constantly evolving, with songwriters reworking older songs to tell new stories. In this lively, upbeat performance full of participatory singing and dancing, Alastair introduces young students to a vastly diverse group of American musicians who have used folk music to teach lessons, chronicle history, inspire courage, champion causes, celebrate victories and simply make people happy. Students will meet Woody Guthrie, Mississippi John Hurt, Pete Seeger and other heroes of American folk. Alastair also sings some of his own playful compositions, to show how a contemporary folk singer incorporates the folk tradition into his life and work.
Alastair’s writing workshops are intended for smaller classroom settings of 10-25 kids. They are available separately and as a package with his assembly programs.
Songwriting 101 (Grades 3-12)
Alastair teaches students effective writing techniques and literacy skills through fun, small-group songwriting games that challenge students to build on the lyrics of classic American songs.
Alastair’s residency program begins with a “Language of Song” assembly program, followed by a negotiable number of classes focused on writing, practicing, and performing.
Build a School Song (Grades 3-12)
Every school needs its own song, or so Alastair Moock believes. Writing an original song from scratch is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn important language arts skills while also engaging in a powerful community-building exercise. Over the course of several sessions, Alastair works with an entire grade to brainstorm ideas, then write and perform a song that reflects unique qualities of the school and student body. At the end of the residency, students will have a finished and recorded song, a new appreciation for writing, and an experience they will never forget.
“We hired Alastair to perform an assembly for kids at the Haggerty School. His spirit and dedication to his music were so compelling that students couldn’t help but be drawn in… He is a master at engaging kids.”
– Betsy Siggins, Director, New England Folk Music Archives
“Our seventh and eighth graders were captivated by Mr. Moock’s warm presence, cool singing style, and great guitar playing. Students and teachers were buzzing about his program for the rest of the day!”
– Laurie Katz, Theater Teacher, Weston Middle School
“The kids are still talking about your amazing presentation on Tuesday. I know that this was one of those times that our students will take with them for the rest of their lives.”
– Brian Gellerstein, Music Teacher, Tobin School
“Here’s the thing about Alastair: He is really genuine, and it comes across. He cares about this music and kids, and he conveys his passion for it in an accessible and enjoyable way.”
– Shelley Sommers, Library Director, Inly School
For bookings outside of Massachusetts, please contact Stephanie Rothschild by email or at 212-421-0592.