Music Heritage Project

Friends School Community Music Heritage Project

Purpose- To collect recordings of songs meaningful to the heritage, traditions, and hearts of members of the Friends School Community as sung by those members.

The Friends School Community Music Heritage Project is a field recording project using all members of the FSA Community as its “field.” As an oral history project, it will focus on the importance of music in the lives of community members. Contributors will “donate” one or two songs that have personal significance to them. These songs may be lullabies, camp songs, silly songs, spiritual songs or any other song that sparks a strong emotional memory. In addition to the song, the project seeks to record the memories and context associated with the song as well as details such as where and from whom the song was learned and when it was sung. Songs will be the catalyst for an emotional recollection of the past and a conversation between generations. The act of collecting will create a shared musical moment between the song collector and contributor.

At every step of the project, opportunities for classroom application abound. Students will participate in the interviewing and recording of family members, classmates, teachers, and general FSA staff as well as have the opportunity to contribute their own songs. They will participate in the cataloguing, storing, and classifying of the recordings. Students will be encouraged to analyze and reflect upon the songs and stories that accompany them.

Students will also have the opportunity to participate in the creation of several outlets through which the efforts of the collection will be presented. Possibilities include the sharing and singing of songs at school events, the keeping of a blog detailing the progress of the project, the creation of a podcast to highlight new material as it is collected, and the compilation of a CD box set of multiple discs to include a booklet with notes, reflections, and artwork for each song.

As the Friends School of Atlanta celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Music Heritage Project provides an opportunity to celebrate our diverse community through our music.

The committee is looking for enthusiastic volunteers. We are especially in need of people with oral history, digital recording/editing, archiving, and copyright experience. If you are interested, contact FSA.


This page is a work in progress. On it, we will grow songs and the memories they recall. These songs and memories are the heart of the Music Heritage Project, and reflect the Friends School community in important ways.

Song Credits

Many thanks to all who have participated in FSA's Music Heritage Project!

    Joanna and Greg's second grade class
    Cohen Home in Johns Creek on May 13, 2009. All the songs are traditional except as noted:
  • Aiken Drum
  • Birthday Song (written by Mildred and Patty Hill 1893, owned by TimeWarner)
  • Cindy
  • Down by the Bay
  • Mole in the Ground
  • Peace Like a River (African American spiritual)
  • Shoo Fly Pie (written by Sammy Gallop and Guy Wood)
  • Simple Gifts (by Shaker Elder Joseph Brackett, Jr., 1848)
  • SarahMichael Hodge:
  • Hush, Little Baby (The Mockingbird Song): Traditional, taken from Rise Up Singing, sung in the Pearlman kitchen July 27, 2010