The Odyssey of American Music

Started in 1974, the Odyssey program sends professional folk musicians to Delaware Valley public, private, and parochial schools that request the program to enhance the teaching of our culture and history through music. Working with teachers, artists present programs that enrich and complement classroom studies. Musicians present age-appropriate songs written during various periods of American history or about historic and cultural events.

The Odyssey program helps students to further experience the benefits of cultural enrichment by enhancing their appreciation for the music and integrating sight and sound for a greater level of appreciation. Students learn to understand how songwriters and traditional singers incorporated stories of actual events into songs that have been passed on through the generations.  

In May 2014, our Odyssey program sent the folk duo “Two of a Kind” to Ellswood School to perform for the student body, and they loved it! Thanks to a wonderful performance, the students were able to dance, sing along, and interact with the band through guessing games, hand movements, and trying out instruments up on stage. Students were big fans of the tunes, “Charlotte’s Web,” “Going to the Library,” and “Tree Huggers.”

Two of a Kind is David & Jenny Heitler-Klevans, a husband & wife duo who have been making music for kids and families for over 28 years.

Check out some of the feedback we received from 2nd grade Room 109!

It was:

  • “tremendous”
  • “outstanding”
  • “super friendly”
  • “cool”
  • “the bomb”
  • “amazing!”

The class especially enjoyed:

  • “When Jen was dressed up like an ant…while Dave pretended to be a little boy who squished Jen.”
  • “getting to go up on stage and try the drums!”
  • “when we were standing and singing along with the music!”
  • “when we got to guess the characters!”
  • “watching my friends dance in a silly way!”

And from the teacher, Mrs. Driscoll:

“Thank you for coming to Ellwood School. Your folk concert was truly delightful!  I especially enjoyed the song about Charlotte’s Web. My other favorite part was when Dave put on a baseball hat and called it his costume. Your concert was so enjoyable and I hope you come back soon.”

Folksinger Irish Mythen played for the Odyssey Program

Community Service Programs

Sometimes organizations do not have enough budget for entertainment. The Folksong Society likes to bridge that gap to bring Folk music to people through its Community Service program. Folk performers provide free entertainment to hospitals, senior care facilities, nursing homes, homeless shelters, seniors clubs, and other organizations and institutions throughout the area. Entertainment includes ethnic music, storytellers, children’s performers, instrumentalists, and singer/songwriters.