21-year-old guitarist Christone “Kingfish” Ingram from Clarksdale, Mississippi talks about the Blues and the importance of passing down musical traditions. | PBS NewsHour Extra
The Importance of Preserving Community Through Musical Traditions
The blues is a quintessentially American art form, yet one whose early masters have mostly passed away. The genre relies on each succeeding generation to renew and reinvigorate it. In Clarksdale, Mississippi, 21-year-old guitarist Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is taking up that mantle. Read the summary, watch the video below, and answer the discussion questions. To read a transcript of the video, click here.
- Ingram mentions that his friends would make fun of him for being interested in older musical styles, but he wanted to explore his history and culture.
- Ingram is one of many young performance artists trying to build a career at a time when many music venues are closed or limiting capacity.
Discussion Questions Passing Down Musical Traditions
Warm up questions: Have your students identify the 5Ws and an H:
- Who is this story about?
- What musical traditions he is carrying on?
- Where and for how long has this artist been performing?
- Why has this year been especially challenging for performing musicians?
- How has this artist helped preserve an art form, according to this piece?
Then have students share with the class or through a Learning Management System (LMS).
Focus Questions: Musical Traditions and Preservation
- Can you think of music or art made by past generations that inspires you? If so, what is it?
- How do you think the pandemic has changed performance art or other arts, and do you think some of those changes will be permanent?
Media Literacy: Why do you think the journalist decided to focus on this one young artist?
- Use this lesson to explore how art can help overcome trauma, including the mental health toll of isolation during the pandemic.
- This story covers ways the music industry is trying to adapt to closures and entertainment venue restrictions.
Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Extra.