Blues in the Schools – Keeping the Blues Alive

Northwest Blues In The Schools

The Rhapsody Project Community Leaders

           In conjunction with the Washington Blues Society

While blues exists today throughout America and beyond, it originated in the response of Black Americans to the conditions of the Jim Crow South. This means that, here in the Pacific Northwest, we have a different relationship to the tradition than our Southern kin. The Rhapsody Project and Washington Blues Society NW Blues in the Schools program exists to both acknowledge and address this important distinction and serve as a resource for Americans who do not possess the lived experience or personal heritage of this essential dimension of American culture.

Not all schools possess the same resources, and so The Rhapsody Project and Washington Blues Society are steadily raising funds to ensure that the entire program outlined below is available to any school that can carve out the time needed to implement this program in their school and community.

Ideally, the accompanying curriculum packet will serve as the first of a four-part program designed to give students a deeper understanding and awareness of blues music and culture as it relates to each person’s identity as an individual, and as an American. Programs # 2 – 4 below can be adapted for virtual presentations by our instructors.

Please reach out to us at the email address below if your school does not currently have funding to implement all four dimensions of the program – we will collaborate with you to make this affordable for your community:

  1. Teachers throughout your school district download and use the information attached to prepare their students for the options below.
  2. Teaching artists supplied by The Rhapsody Project join students in school (or after-school, if needed) for a 1 – 3-day residency program. For instance: Students may write blues couplets reflecting their own experiences or map a tour route for a band or musician. There are a range of activities we can develop collaboratively with your district’s teachers.
  3. Living bearers of blues tradition perform a 45 – 60 minute, educational concert in school.
  4. The Rhapsody Songsters perform live with tRp teaching artists in a local community center or all ages music venue, inviting students to deliver their own blues lyrics onstage (or offering to sing the lyrics themselves for students that are present).


While students will gain the most from experiencing all four of these program elements, any one element will enrich your school and community.

Please let us know if you have any questions or ideas about how you would like to implement this program in your school, community center or other organization.


The Rhapsody Project Community Leaders

In conjunction with the Washington Blues Society

The NW Blues in the Schools Curiculm guide


Download a PDF of the curriculum Here :  NW BitS – final 12-21-21