Sean McCollough

School Programs

Sean is available solo or with:

• Fiddler Greg Horne.

• Percussionist Jon Whitlock.

• A full old-time string band.

• The Lonetones (an Americana band that mixes traditional and contemporary styles).


This Is Our House: From Appalachia, Around The World, And Back

Format: Concert

Grade Levels: K-12

In this eclectic, interactive, educational, good-time show, Sean will have the students singing and clapping along in no time with a mix of folk and contemporary songs from Appalachia and other parts of the world.

Hear John Henry’s Hammer Ring – Appalachian Mountain Music

Format: Concert, workshop, residency or teacher in-service.

Grade Levels: K-12 

With banjo, mandolin, guitar, washtub bass, washboard, and spoons in hand, Sean blends history with fun in this program. Using ballads such as “John Henry” and “Froggie Went A CourtinΚΌ” as well as more modern mountain music, Sean explains the origin of instruments and songs from this region while providing ample opportunity for student participation.

From the Underground Railroad to the Civil Rights Movement

Format: Concert, workshop, residency or teacher in-service.

Grade Levels: K-12

This program explores the history of civil rights in the United States through music. Sean will have the students singing, clapping and stomping along to plantation era songs, then show how those gave birth to underground railroad songs such as “Drinking Gourd” and the civil rights songs such as “We Shall Overcome.”

Appalachian Folk Dancing and Play-Party Games

Format: workshop, residency or teacher in-service.

Grade Levels: K-12 

Drawing on the deep Appalachian history of folk dancing for children and adults, Sean will introduce the exciting world of play-party games (singing games), circle dances, square dances and contra dances.

Introduction to Songwriting

Format: workshop, residency or teacher in-service.

Grade Levels: K-12 

By having the students put new words into simple ballads and “zipper songs” (songs that you can simply “zip” words into), Sean will get the group started on the road to songwriting. He will then have the students write new, original verses to existing songs. Then, depending on age and time constraints, the students may write completely original songs and/or record what they have created (see below).

Cultural Heroes: Family and Local History Through Storytelling and Song

Format: residency

Grade Levels: K-12

This is a great program to go along with school projects that already involve exploring family or local history. Students will interview older family and community members to learn about their individual and community stories. Then each student will choose a story to write down and share with the class. The students may then compile their stories into one long ballad – each writing a verse – or write individual songs. Sean can record any original stories or songs that the children write (see below).

Local Music History

Format: residency

Grade Levels: K-12

Many smaller communities have interesting local music histories ranging from the back-porch pickers and square dances to locals who went on to be famous. For this program, Sean will do the research necessary to find out what that history is and bring it to life for the students.

Band in a Suitcase - Making Our Own Music

Format: workshop, residency

Grade Levels: K-12

Utilizing whatever instruments are at hand, Sean will turn any group of students into a band. He will bring a variety of rhythm instruments, utilize anything the school has available (e.g. xylophones), and even build instruments with the kids. They will learn to sing, play and create arrangements of songs. They may even record their final products (see below).

Sound Recording with Children

Format: workshop, residency, teacher in-service, or part of one of the above programs.

Grade Levels: 7-12 as a stand-alone program.Sean is an experienced recording engineer and can bring a portable recording studio to you. He can simply record the children performing – this works with any age group. Or he can actually teach about recording – this works best with middle or high school students.

Exploring American Musical Styles –
Rock ‘n Roll, Blues, Country and Western, or Bluegrass

Format: workshop, residency, teacher in-service. Grade Levels: 7-12
Choose from one of these musical styles and Sean will bring the history of the music to life.