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HOOTENANNY: A Folk Song Sing-Along

What is a Hootenanny?


“The hootenanny is to folk, what the jam session is to jazz.” —Joan Baez

School Show


The hootenanny is a folk music party – a chance to share songs and sing together. Join bilingual singer-songwriters Will Stroet of Will’s Jams and Jessica Mai on an interactive musical journey celebrating folk icons such as Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Stan Rogers, Bob Dylan, Peter Paul and Mary, Woody Guthrie, as well as some French Canadian folk songs. Students will share in the joy of singing by learning the choruses of these beloved folk songs, while also learning about the artists and the stories behind their songs, the song-writing process and the many styles that make up the folk cannon. Will and Jess will also perform some of their original songs inspired by these folk legends. Students will leave inspired to sing and even, perhaps, become songwriters themselves.

Grade Suitability: K - 7

Duration:  60 mins

Capacity: 500 students

Tech requirements: Access to power outlet, swept stage or room on gym floor. Artist brings own PA and instruments.

Fee: Inquire for free


Will and Jessica can lead English, French or bilingual half-day, full-day or multi-day songwriting residencies with students. Students will learn about the basics of songwriting including lyric, chorus and verse composition; rhythm and rhyme schemes; melody and harmony; and about folk songwriting structures. By the end of the session, students will have collaboratively composed a folk song that is performance ready. The song can be tied to any curriculum theme or topic. Recording the song at the school with the students is an additional add-on available to schools. If the Hootenanny show is booked with a workshop, Will and Jessica can lead a half-day songwriting session followed by the show in the afternoon. 

Grade Suitability: K - 7

Duration:  Half day, full-day, multiple-days and is customizable 

Capacity: 2-5 classes or the whole school (2-3 students from each class). To be determined between school and artists.

Tech requirements: Classroom with whiteboard, markers, tables and chairs.

Fee: Inquire for free




It's Canadian history, it's interactive, it's entertaining, and it's a great way for the kids to sing and to learn at the same time.

—Mr. Singh, Vice Principal,  Vancouver

Book Hootenanny
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