Arts in Education
Reggie Harris has a passion for education. He has been affiliated with the John F Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program as a teaching artist for over three decades.
Using performances, classroom modeling, and experience based workshops, Reggie has expanded the knowledge base in the fields of music, history, and the social sciences through groundbreaking writing, research, fieldwork, and recordings. His significant work with students and teachers has aided in the expansion and enhancement of curriculum standards at all grade levels.
Reggie has helped teachers, students and community leaders to become more effective agents and advocates of student-based learning. His knowledge and understanding of arts integration goals and techniques makes him an effective resource for creating synergy and understanding for students and educators. Lectures and teacher in-service presentations developed in collaboration with the Kennedy Center Partners in Education program are part of his on going outreach.
Mentored early on by Dr. Charles Blockson (a foremost authority on the Underground Railroad) and with years spent researching connections to the leaders of the Modern Civil Rights Movement, Reggie is one of the premier interpreters of the use of music in historical movements for social change.
For students of all grade levels (pre-K and through College Honors/Convos):
Reggie Harris is a "must have" in your school. Whether as a master story teller and musician presenting to a large audience or as an artist encouraging a small group of students to dig deep and write songs and stories to be shared. Reggie is a staple at Hartshorn School. Yearly he comes to share his wealth of knowledge as an outstanding educator exploring the history of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement with students from kindergarten through fifth grade.
Reggie's knowledge and sensitivity to the subject make him perfect for middle school, high school and even college classes. Reggie Harris has a unique ability to bond with an audience and take them on a journey of deeper thinking and self-awareness.
I guarantee his performance in your school will generate the conversations that we as teachers hope for.
- Amy Blake, second grade teacher, Short Hills, NJ
Music and the Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad is one of the most important chapters in American History. This engaging, interactive concert of songs, stories and narratives about slavery and the quest for freedom reveals the hope, power and eventually, the triumph that was accomplished by shared by a network of multicultural allies. Through song, story, audience involvement and a multi-media presentation, Music and the Underground Railroad provides an understanding of the secrets and passion of this powerful era.
(Multimedia, K-6, 6-8)
I HAVE A DREAM: HOW MARTIN Climbed the Mountain
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream, but he did not dream alone. I Have A Dream is an interactive multi-media presentation that honors the artists, poets, educators, inventors, explorers, scientists and other important contributors to the life and culture of America and the world. Skillfully using stories and music, Reggie highlights how the contributions of Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Benjamin Banneker (inventor), Satchel Paige (sports star), and others helped young Martin become a man who changed the world and added to the fabric of our nation.
RACE AND SONG: A MUSICAL CONVERSATION AMONG TWO FRIENDS
What happens when two friends get together? Usually they talk about their lives, they get caught up on the news, maybe listen to each other’s points of view, and share what’s on their minds. And, if they’re musicians, they’re likely to pull out an instrument or two along the way…
In Race and Song: A Musical Conversation, Alastair Moock and Reggie Harris do just that. Only, in this case, these friends of different races, ages, and social backgrounds share how they’ve seen and experienced the world in different ways. They explore issues of race, class, gender and history with an intentionality and generosity of spirit that will draw in kids and adults alike. These aren’t always comfortable topics for discussion, but the discussion –– and the discomfort –– are keys to moving forward.
Together in musical conversation, and with the aid of historical and family photos, Alastair and Reggie open up to each other and frame their perspectives through music (which always helps the medicine go down!). Join these two veteran musicians and storytelling troubadours for a very special performance ––an exploration of the past, the present and the possible.
Additional Assembly Programs
- Freedom Songs and the Civil Rights Movement (adapts to K-12 and college)
- Seminars and Symposiums for College and High School
Professional Development for Educators
Sing to Freedom: Music & Stories of the Underground Railroad
This tested and proven in-service workshop developed in collaboration with the staff of the John F. Kennedy Center provides a “hands on – classroom ready” historical and musical workshop on the Underground Railroad. Teachers receive valuable tools for building the knowledge base of students through effective art based curriculum connected lessons designed to open classroom study to a more vibrant exploration of history, music and language arts. Copies of the highly praised CD “Steal Away,” and an extensive teaching guide are included.
(For Classroom and Music Teachers of Grades 3-8)
Everybody Sing Freedom: Music and Civil Rights
The music of African Americans directly influenced the course of history in the quest for freedom that was the modern Civil Rights Movement. By adapting spirituals, songs of faith, work songs, and popular songs heard on the radio, the leaders of the movement were able to mobilize communities to protest and organize in their effort to inspire social change. In this interactive workshop, we will explore the development of these songs of struggle in order to gain a deeper understanding of this pivotal period in history and the lessons it conveys for our students. Participants will discover ways to help students update traditional songs by composing verses that address topics of current interest.
(For Classroom and Music Teachers of Grades 4-8)