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  • Watch a video excerpt from school showSeona Mcdowell with children

    "Thank you for sending Seona McDowell to Ritman to perform for all our students. What a wonderful, educational treat it was to watch her concert and to witness the reaction of the children to her. The entire school is buzzing about how much the children learned while they were having fun."
    Kim Shama-Hanna
    Music Educator
    Ritman ES, Akron, OH


    Seona with didgerdoo

    "Seona has been a favorite performer and educator of
    our entire staff and administration for over 19 years. Her experience is broad, far reaching.
    She educates while having an amazingly fun time."
    Linda Miller
    Cleveland Music School Settlement

    Seona with High school students Seona teaches folk dance

    "Seona has been entertaining and informing our students through song and dance for well over 5 years. Her} performance workshop is
    an experience that the students remember long after the instruction ends. I would highly recommend Seona McDowell
    to any school that desires a quality educational and highly entertaining experience."
    Rena Baker, Third Grade Teacher
    Revere Local Schools

    Seona with High School Students

    Outreach Programs

    With her educational outreach programs and residencies, Seona McDowell shows teachers and students how the arts are an essential aspect of history and the human experience. has completed classes at the Maryland Teaching Arts Institute and was invited to present workshops on arts integration, working with 100 teachers to enhance Voluntary State Curriculum (VSC) through the Maryland Artist/Teacher Institute. Seona continues to be involved in arts integration in many states, presenting workshops for various arts education organizations, including the South Carolina Alliance for Arts Education, where she demonstrates to educators how learning can be enhanced through the arts. Seona is affiliated withthe United Arts Council of Wake County, (NC) The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland Co. (NC)l, The Arts Council of Fairfax Co. Creative Arts Program (CAPS) Greater Columbus Arts Council Artist in Schools Program, (OH) Bluemont Concert Association (VA), and Ohio Arts Presenters Network. The Arts and Science Council of Charlotte NC)

    Download Seona McDowell's Elementary School Brochure

    Download Seona McDowell's Middle/High School Program Brochure

    SCHOOL CONCERTS

    AUSTRALIA, SONGS, STORIES AND DANCES FROM THE LAND DOWNUNDER

    Performing on guitar, autoharp and didgeridoo (Aborigine instrument), Seona depicts the history, geography and social studies of Australia with it’s amazing animals that have adapted to live in this harsh land. From the Aborigines, convicts, gold miners, shearers, drovers, swagmen and bushrangers to Australia today, Seona uses Australia as a template for study of any country. She has teachers and students playing in her bush band, singing on microphones and performing bush dancing. By enjoying and comprehending what they are learning, students are more likely to retain knowledge. K-12. Program adapted to any specific age group. (TEACHER’S WORK BOOK INCLUDED)

    CITIZENS OF THE WORLD

    Why do most people not consider themselves to be world citizens? We live on this planet together; we share the same air and are warmed by the same sun. This program is about understanding cultures throughout the world and how people have traveled and incorporated their cultures into new societies. Prejudice is caused by ignorance. If we understand that there are usually practical reasons as to why people dress differently, eat, what maybe to us , strange foods and talk in different languages, then we are grasping that we are all human beings on planet Earth and being so, we are all interdependent and must cooperate globally to survive. Seona will have the students playing in her world band, singing on the microphone, doing hand actions and dancing. This program is perfectly suited for Grades PreK-8. (TEACHER’S WORKBOOK INCLUDED)

    ERIN GO BRAUGH

    On the 17th of March, everyone is Irish. Most people don’t realize that Saint Patrick was actually the son of a Roman Senator stationed on the coast of England. The Romans were ruling England at the time. Irish pirates swept down the coast of England, capturing St. Patrick and taking him back to Ireland as a slave. The Irish are noted for their blarney (wild Storytelling), wicked sense of humor, wonderful literature and beautiful, tuneful music. This is a fun program that provides insight into Irish life and character through music, dance and stories. You too can play in the Irish band and do some Irish Dancing. Grades K-12. Program adapted to specific audience age. (TEACHER’S WORKBOOK INCLUDED)

    CELEBRATE THE SEASON

    In the Northern Hemisphere, between the months of November and February, when nights are long and days are short, primitive people paid homage to the Sun God. They lit fires to illuminate the darkness and gave the best of their crops in sacrifice. Today, this form of sacrifice has evolved. Throughout the world, families and communities have traditional festivities to see out the New Year. Some are defined by religious ceremonies. The lighting of candles and fireworks, busy kitchens and family gatherings are a common thread, as is the giving of gifts. Each festival has it’s own significance. This program highlights some of the traditions in song, story and dance, with much audience participation. Grades k-5. (TEACHER’S WORKBOOK INCLUDED).

    Residency Programs

    AUSTRALIA, THE LAND DOWNUNDER

    This is a timeline study of Australian settlement. It begins with the Aborigines, convicts, gold miner, shearers, drovers, swagmen and bushrangers and ends with Australia as we know it today. Seona shows teachers and students how these “dry” subjects can come alive! During the residency, students will learn how to research any country they study and organize their knowledge and ideas. They will be encouraged to work with the Aussie dances and songs taught, change the words and dances to fit any historical era of countries that they are studying. The art teacher will sometimes do a section on primitive art, the gym teacher will do a segment on folk dancing and the music teacher will help with the music. Seona has many images of Aboriginal painting and has painted on her own clothes.

    She plays guitar, autoharp and didgeridoo (aboriginal instrument). Seona uses songs, dances and stories to relate history, geography and social studies.

    In order to play the didgeridoo, one must be able to do circular breathing, which is sometimes used when playing horns. During the residency, they make their own (popularly called) didges, and paint images on them that tell myths. Seona encourages teachers and students to actively participate by playing in her bush band as well as joining in songs and bush dancing. Grades k-12 adjustable program. (WORKBOOK INCLUDED)

    SONGWRITING, A CREATIVE CAREER

    Each residency is a unique experience. By contacting teachers ahead of time to determine what students are studying, she is able to tailor her residency and provide an enhanced learning experience.

    This is a residency of creative writing and learning how to make a career while having fun. Students have the opportunity of writing about subjects that they are studying. Songwriting is a great tool to use for critical thinking and generosity of spirit as the work produced is a class effort. Seona has a 4 track digital studio and she shares with the students the intricacies of the recording industry. She teaches students about rhythm and notes and the school is given a book of all the songs the students have written with the music and chords as well as a master disk of the songs recorded. On the last day of the residency, students record the song that the class has created. She demonstrates songs by great writers who have made it in the industry. Her own record, “Gossamer Wings”, recorded in Australia, was nominated record of the month and was nominated for the top music award. Some students told her that they have used their songs as part of their resume to get into college. Students have the opportunity to perform their work live during an evening concert presented by Seona McDowell. Lesson Plans are available and adaptable. Grades K-8

    AUSTRALIAN BUSH DANCING

    The origins of Australian bush dancing came from the people who were sent there as convicts and subsequently, people who came in the gold rush. It is very similar to American contra dancing with it’s own Aussie flavor and stories. Most of these dances originated in Europe: France, England, Germany, Ireland and Scotland. With migration, these dances changed as they were incorporated into the culture. This residency brings in history, geography, social studies and language. As well as teaching listening skills, visualization, spatial awareness and kinetics perception Seona also makes sure that the audience is quiet so that the dancers can hear instructions. She will leave a CD of the dances as well as a calling sheet of the dances. You will hear the Irish, Scottish and German influences in the music of such dances as "The Waves Of Bondi", "Ned Kelly’s Farewell", "The Stockyards, "The Queensland Backstep" and "The Heel and Toe Polka".