We’re coming off a great week working with Lake Eden Arts Festival’s (LEAF) “Schools & Streets.” We taught six fourth grade classes at Estes Elementary in Asheville, filled with about 25 students each, through a number of sessions over multiple days.

Obviously, our sessions were about music. We taught the students two songs, Doc Watson’s “Crawdad Song” and Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train,” and Eleanor created a mashup of both songs for the children to perform. It’s tricky, but the kids were eager and quick learners. We focused on the importance of music, discussing our musical influences, how music passes down through generations, and the way musicians get influence from different genres.

The core curriculum for fourth grade classes in North Carolina focuses on state history and geography, among other subjects. So, on the second day, we got more specific and discussed famous NC musicians and the students used atlases to find artist’s hometowns. On the third day, we looked at the lives of Elizabeth Cotton and Doc Watson.

On the final day we performed for the whole school, the students sang the two songs they learned and the chorus of “They Got My Back.” It just seemed natural to invite them to sing that line with us and the school staff commented on what a great message the song was for the children. It was an emotional experience to hear 150 kids sing along with Salley’s song.

Music brings people together and helps people make connections, and looking back, those are big reasons for working with LEAF’s “Schools & Streets.” It was an honor to be able to share our passion with students, and we hope our sessions sparked the interests of some budding musicians in the group.

Thanks to Heather Wessel for the photos!

Tonight, we’re rocking the Barn stage at LEAF with our crew from the “Something Real” Album Release Celebration—what a great way to cap off a wonderful week! Coming up Monday, we’re putting the finishing touches on our new song, “One Time A Year,” and we will be releasing it in the coming weeks. By the way, if you are in Georgia and Florida, get ready to come out and join us next week. We’re making stops in Macon, St Simon’s Island and Jacksonville.

As always, thank you for your never-ending support of our music and we look forward to seeing you on the road!