School Assemblies and WorkshopsAlastair Moock is a 2013 GRAMMY Nominee, two-time Parents’ Choice Gold Medal Winner and, most recently, the recipient of the 2015 Joe Raposo Children’s Music Award from the ASCAP Foundation. 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.
Voices of American Folk: Playing with Tradition (Grades PreK-3)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, award-winning songwriter Alastair Moock introduces young students to a 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, and learn how Dr. King and others used the American song tradition to help inspire change during the Civil Rights movement. 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.
The Language of Song / The Song of Language (Grades 3-5)
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.
Music and Social Change (Grades 4-12)
Alastair 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.
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.
ResidenciesAlastair’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.
Testimonials“Alastair presented possibly the best multimedia program (spoken word, pictures, singing, and FINE guitar playing) that I have ever seen in an assembly in my 35 years of teaching. He had the students singing and clapping with him at the end. A superb performance, and great teaching, too!”
– Bill Rogers, Middle School History Teacher, Buckingham Browne & Nichols (Cambridge, MA)
“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 (Boston, MA)
“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 (Weston, MA)
“The kids are still talking about Alastair’s 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 Elementary School (Cambridge, MA)
“Alastair! We can’t thank you enough for the fantastic work you did with our students. You did an unbelievable job from start to finish! They all learned so much and have their very own song to take away from the whole experience. Thank you thank you thank you!!!”
– Randi Goodwin, PTO member, Glover Elementary School (Marblehead, MA)
“Alastair’s time with our students was extremely productive. He comes well-planned and his inclusion of literacy components brings this experience to a whole new level.”
– Mena Ciarlone, Principal, Cunniff Elementary School (Watertown, MA)
“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 (Scituate, MA)
BookingFor school bookings in Massachusetts, please visit Alastair’s artist page at Young Audiences of Massachusetts or contact them directly by email or at 617-629-9262.
For bookings outside of Massachusetts, please contact Stephanie Rothschild by email or at 212-421-0592.
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