Arts in Education

                Musician, Songwriter, & Storyteller

Susan Trump is a veteran educator/performer who has been sharing her talents with children and adults for many years. She has a B.A. in music education and a M.S. in developmental reading. Her award-winning mastery of the guitar, banjo, and mountain dulcimer accompany participatory songs and stories which captivate her audiences. All programs include hand-crafted toys collected on her travels.

Susan supplements assembly presentations with classroom workshops and residencies which combine toy making, language arts activities, inter-generational components, social studies and songwriting. Her work has received federal funding from "Meet the Composer" and the New York Council on the Arts. Susan is a recording artist with seven CD's to her credit. She has been featured in two public television specials, "Christmas in the Adirondacks" and "People Near Here."

Study Guides are available. Please contact Susan for info.


Songs and Tales From Homespun America
Using stories and songs accompanied on the guitar, banjo and mountain dulcimer, Susan weaves music, folk tales and a demonstration of authentic toys and crafts from long ago to introduce listeners to life in earlier times and our American folk heritage.

Songs and Tales From Our World Neighbors
(Respecting our differences and getting along)
Folk tales from several countries illustrate how people respect, work together and learn from one another. Participatory songs stress the similarities, which bind us into a world community. An exhibit of international toys demonstrates how children all over the world use their creativity, and materials from their cultures and environments to fashion their own entertainment.

Songs and Tales to Welcome the Spring
Ecology, nature, and friendship are the basic themes for stories and songs accompanied by the guitar banjo and mountain dulcimer. A demonstration of old-time toys made from natural materials from the Earth rounds out this refreshing celebration of spring!

Home for the Holidays 
The wonder and timeless traditions of Christmas and Hanukkah are celebrated through the intimate sharing of holiday stories, and songs accompanied on the guitar, banjo and dulcimer. An exhibit of old-time toys and teasers completes an old-fashioned journey through this joyous season.


Following an introductory assembly, each class will meet daily with Ms. Trump to write a song. Topics are chosen by the teachers prior to the residency. Song topics have included social studies, social skills, or science themes such as: The Erie Canal, The Hudson River, Sharks, Ancient Egypt, Colonial America, The Underground Railroad, Revolutionary War, Paul Bunyan, Grandparent Ballads, Cooperation. Students present their creations at a closing assembly for parents and other students. Each class receives a written copy and recording of the songs. Song samples are available upon request.

A Sample Songwriting Residency for Grades Three through Six

Day 1- Assembly/Toy Making Workshop
(45 minutes)(30 minutes)
The introductory assembly program includes folk tales, an exhibit of old-fashioned toys, and participatory songs accompanied on the guitar, banjo, and mountain dulcimer. A classroom workshop in toy making follows. Children construct a ball-in-the-cup game using materials they have available, just as children of past years used what they had on hand to construct their toys.

Days 2, 3 and 4 - Songwriting Days (45-60 minutes)
Information the children have learned in class provides the ideas for verses for our song. Using familiar folk tunes or original melodies, I teach a chorus which I have written in advance. As a class, we brainstorm different ways to make our ideas fit the rhythm and rhyme scheme of the music to create the verses. Each class writes its own song.

Day 5- Rehearsal/Recording and Concert Day
(30 minutes in the classroom, 45 minutes concert presentation) The final day is spent rehearsing the songs the children will sing, and recording each class song.  Parents are invited and encouraged to attend the concert where the children present their songs.

Songs Susan has written with students

Peace and Self Esteem:  Celebrate Us; Cooperation; Live Gently On the Earth; Friendship; May Peace Prevail on Earth.
Grandparent Ballads (based on interviews):
Our Family History; Tell Me Grandma, Tell Me Grandpa;
A Long Time Ago; What'd Ya Do?

Local History: Our Story of E.J. (Endicott Johnson); Amos Patterson's Song;  How Endwell Got Its Name; The Ballad of Swart-Wilcox;
The Town of Union Song; The Ballad of Trumansburg;
Herkimer County Is Our Home;

New York State Heroes: Susan B. Anthony; Harriet Tubman; Theodore Roosevelt; Washington Irving; 
The Revolutionary War in the Southern Tier:  The Road to the Revolution; General Burgoyne Strikes Out;
The Fight for Freedom; General George and Friends.
Regions of New York State: Albany; New York, New York; The Finger Lakes; The Adirondacks; The Might Hudson River; The Erie Canal Song
Pennsylvania Local History:  Crazy Drake; Butler County, PA
The United States:  In These United States; Native Americans; Patchwork America. The Underground Railroad; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Our Constitution, Battles of the Revolution; Colonial America.

Science:  Animals Around the World; Did You Ever Take a Walk In a Jungle?  Nature's Gifts; Plenty of Sharks; This Living Planet; The Ice Age; The Solar System; The Night Sky; Time Warped.

Tall Tales:  Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan
World History:  Ancient Egypt; Greece in Days Gone By
World War II:  The War in Europe; Americans in the War; Japanese Americans

© Susan Trump Music LLC