American folk songs for children: Ruth Crawford Seeger's contributions to music education

Sarah H. Watts, Patricia Shehan Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


American composer Ruth Crawford Seeger grew into the role of music educator as a consummate musician with a deep interest in connecting children to their American musical heritage. This article examines the contributions of Ruth Crawford Seeger to American music education, principally through examination of primary and secondary sources and review of her published works. While historical in some of its methodological procedures, it is even more so a biographical study of a composer who was consumed with a passion to preserve and transmit American heritage music to children. Her life in music as pianist, music intellectual, and composer notwithstanding, this research draws attention to her work in the selection, transcription, and placement of songs from the vast collections of the Lomax family into published works for use with children in schools. The authors examine the legacy of Ruth Crawford Seeger as an educator, with particular emphasis on the manner in which music of the people was masterfully transcribed from recordings and prepared for children and their teachers in schools and preschools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-254
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Research in Music Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Music


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