Call for Humanities Teachers: “Voices Across Time” National Focus Group

The Center for American Music at the University of Pittsburgh has received funding to plan for the expansion of “Voices Across Time: Teaching American History Through Music.”  Originally started in 1995, the project has produced a Teacher’s Resource Guide and companion website, five National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institutes for Teachers, and a variety of workshops and seminars at school districts and conferences throughout the United States. The purpose of the project is to assist educators across the K-12 spectrum to use the social and historical messages within music, and especially song, in their curricula, addressing standards for learning in American history and the social studies, English/language arts, and music.

The planning project will benefit from the input of professional educators from a variety of humanities disciplines, with emphasis on the 4th-12th grade levels. The project specifically aims to expand content in the following areas:

  • Music that incorporates additional societal issues and brings the materials to the current day.
  • Increase materials in all units that address historical themes and perspectives of African American, Latino/a, Asian-American, and Native-American (ALANA) populations, including those sought by students and their educators who identify with one or more ALANA communities.
  • Enhancements in pedagogical techniques based on the most recent best practices and pedagogical initiatives for meeting well-established national standards in history and the social studies, English and language arts, music and fine arts, as well as the Common Core.
  • Advice concerning updated technological capabilities, usability, and access in the classroom, including the use of computers, handhelds, smartboards, audio/visual equipment, or other devices available to teachers.

Our intent is to create a focus group of teachers who will assist us in these aims, helping us address multi-cultural perspectives, current educational approaches, and technical delivery. Focus group members will include teachers who represent varied regions, school settings, and instructional approaches to a range of subject areas and grade levels germane to the focus of the Guide. No particular background in music is required, though an interest in teaching with music is expected.

We anticipate a total time commitment of 15 hours will be required, including a one-hour conference call (to be scheduled during the last week of September or the first week of October). Prior to the call, each focus group member should be prepared to examine the current Guide and related resources, and provide professional feedback in an online survey, a one-hour conference call (costs covered by the Center), and possibly, brief written responses delivered via email attachments.  Compensation will include 1) a copy of the Teacher’s Resource Guide (provided at no cost, a $250.00 value) and 2) a $200 honorarium.

TO APPLY: Please download and complete the Microsoft Word application form available HERE (when you click the link, it will automatically start to download).  Submit your application by Friday, July 12 via email (word file or PDF) to  Please contact Mariana Whitmer, Project Director (, if you have additional questions or would like to obtain an application to participate.



Copyright 2013 Center for American Music, University of Pittsburgh Library System