Teachers use their usual textbook and materials. Why America Is Free lesson plans apply the skills and knowledge they are learning in this subject to discover things they want to know relating to what they are learning in Social Studies and other subjects.

Music not only delights but also provides profound and unique insights into lives and world views. Through wholly enjoyable experiential lessons and activities, students learn far more than the songs and music of 18th Century America, including ...

~ 18th Century dance was an important part of colonial life and the mastering of intricate dance steps and proper movement was a sign of social accomplishment. It developed BALANCE; STRENGTH; POISE; and surprisingly, MATHEMATICAL SKILLS ~

~ They discover the POWER OF MUSIC in the course of the nation's early history ~

John Adams: The Voice Heard 'Round the World in which the power of music illustrates and elevates the story ~ Why America Is Free is a total immersion in every subject into the foundational period of our nation.  Music is integral to this learning, and this  work opens the door for them to hear and feel the story of John Adams through powerful music by the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, brilliant writing by Marian Carlson, and David McCullough's exquisite narration.


To hear a sampling of this work, please click the arrow below.

If you wish to purchase the CD or companion book, please contact

Marian Carlson, schoolmasterpress.com

~ They explore relationships between MUSIC and OTHER SUBJECTS ~

Benjamin Franklin, among many discoveries and inventions, proved that lightning was electricity, invented the lightening rod, made "bottled fire" (a battery), but one of his favorite inventions was the glass armonica. Using glass, water and a treadle, Franklin ingeniously made an instrument for which Mozart and Beethoven wrote music.


As part of Why America Is Free, the students recreate Franklin's glass armonica in Music and his "bottled fire" in Science.

A woman playing a glass armonica today ~

Yankee Doodle ~


The fife and drum served as broadcast system for 18th century American militias and both American and British armies. The beats and tunes were used to signal information not just in battle but also in the daily life of a soldier—when to get up, when to go to bed, when to eat, gather, march, and what movements to follow on the battlefield. Soldiers sometimes used the instruments to play specific songs they would sing to build morale, energize, and to keep cadence during marches. Americans first heard one such song when the British soldiers occupying Boston sang it to ridicule Americans. That song was Yankee Doodle. Instead of just being angry, Patriots made the song their own at the Battle of  Lexington and Concord, and thereafter Yankee Doodle became a song of the Patriots, gathering verse after verse as the war for American independence progressed.


The students not only learn the story behind Yankee Doodle, but they will also learn the language of the fife and drum and will be able to create their own signals.

Yankee Doodle

Lesson plans in all subjects work together. Click on each subject to see how they relate to each other, expanding knowledge and heightening interest in the world-changing  period of the nation's founding.



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