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Teacher Gazette


 Taverns and Tavern Music
Teaching Strategy

During the colonial period, taverns were primarily gathering places where people, mainly men, could eat, stay the night, and meet with friends and associates.  Taverns also hosted travelling balladeers and other performers, events such as subscription balls, and evenings of musical entertainment. In this lesson, students will examine taverns and their role in colonial society. They will then read and analyze an example of a song sung in taverns and draw conclusions about eighteenth-century life in Williamsburg, the colonial capital. More

Primary Source
pochette The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation 

A "pochette" is a small, travel-sized violin. Pochette is the French word for pocket, so they were also called "pocket violins" or "kits." Balladeers and other musicians who performed in taverns or at balls might own a pochette, as well as any violinist interested in practicing or playing while away from home. Thomas Jefferson owned at least two of them during his lifetime. More

"Do not neglect your music. It will be a companion which will sweeten many hours of life to you."

Thomas Jefferson to Martha Jefferson Randolph, April 4, 1790 

Boyd, Julian P., Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, et al, eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950-. 16:300.  A free online version of this edition is now available from the National Archives through the Founders Online Project.

What defines America and Americans? What values do we hold in common, and what issues do we debate? Learn More
The Idea of America-The Great Debate

HERO's Upcoming Live Broadcast
January 15, 2015
Vote for outstanding musical performances in Colonial Idol! This exciting talent showcase features 18th-century music, including Native American songs, military tunes, enslaved people's work songs and much more. As the judges deliberate, discover how music can influence individuals, shape public opinion and even change history. More

Featured Product
Songs for a Revolution
"Liberty songs" rallied American colonists and parodied British political songs. Your students explore the politics and propaganda of the American Revolution through lyrics and music, including an overview of the popular "Yankee Doodle." Includes the music CD titled In Freedom We're Born: Songs From the American Revolution.  More
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