"To all the folks who are thinking about inviting Jennifer Armstrong into their schools for storytelling performances, workshops and general merriment: DO IT!!"
~ St. Andrew's Sewanee School, TN
Some Performing Highlights . . .
- Being featured twice at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN
- Being interviewed by Noah Adams on National Public Radio with my two teenage daughters for a Thanksgiving Special.
- Being a guest preacher at churches in TN, WI and MD.
- Piping in a hospital room for a dieing man whose expression of joy upon hearing the pipes will stay with me forever.
- Singing with pre-schoolers in the basement of a fire station in Jamaica Plain, MA.
- Singing with my sister at a Unitarian Women's Retreat Weekend in Champain, IL.
- Telling Ursula K Leguin’s story, “Gwilan’s Harp” for a women’s weekend at a Lutheran Retreat Center in NH.
We learn best from hearing stories that strike a chord within us.
— John Kotter
Assembly programs; after-school programs
I have programs for all grade levels from pre-school to college that
support curriculum guidelines and are interactive and community building.
If you want a specific program designed for your school please ask. The
following programs are my current favorites.
Songs, stories and folk toys for the very young.
The Thing That Makes You Beautiful
Songs and stories to build confidence and self-esteem, this program is ideal for anti-bullying initiatives.
Sea to Shining Sea
Explore the five regions of the United States through songs and stories of fish chowder, shanty boating, picking cotton, cowboy poetry, the village of liver and onions and more!
Eat Like a Goat!
Did you know that goat's eat incredibly well and have a very healthy diet? Songs, stories and traditional movement games that banish bad food myths and inspire healthy living. Supports the program; “Ready, Set, Go 5 2 1 0”
Songs and stories of immigrants to Maine; Swedish, French, Irish, English, Czech, Thai and Somalian lyrics give breadth and depth to this exploration of local history. This program makes a good introduction to Maine History curriculum.
Books Alive! (grades Pre-K to 5)
Favorite books dance off the shelf with music and song. I tell the stories of some favorite books and sing some as story-songs. I can create songs or stories for any particular book students are currently reading. Please ask!
"Jennifer's knowledge and skill level, intelligence, energy, flexibility, patience and good humor make her an ideal resident artist for schools. Maine is lucky to have her!"
~ Augusta Public Schools, ME
1-2 week residencies on topics that support school initiatives
Themes to Fit Every School
In all my residencies my goal is to introduce children to the joys of creating with words; to nurture imagination and love of language, literature and music; to motivate children to read and to express their own thoughts with imagination and confidence; to provide teachers with creative games from literary and traditional sources for use in the classroom.
These residencies support curriculum units on literacy, American history and folk arts, creative writing and self-esteem or anti-bullying.
Story-Hour; Young Author programs; Family Concerts
Favorite books dance off the shelf with music and song. I tell the stories of some favorite books and sing some as story-songs. I can create songs or stories for any particular book that students are currently reading. Please ask!
On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!
Songs and Stories about great races and chases.
Get in the Game!
Songs and Stories of cunning, chance, strategy, loyalty, and high adventure.
Adults and Families of all ages! Programs on Women's themes, American history, creativity, identity, animals, folklore, community, and Seasonal Celebrations
Some venues for performances:
Festivals, Concert Halls, Libraries, House Concerts, Churches, Retreat
Centers, Theaters, Boat Launchings, Parties, Weddings, Senior Centers,
Farmers Markets, Coffee Houses, Radio Programs, Cable TV and more!
Mother Noola: The Weaver of the World & Her Stories
Songs and Stories to Renew The Spirit
My story-within-a-story of how I met my favorite author, Ursula K Leguin, after falling in love with her beautiful tale. It includes the full tale from her book, The Compass Rose, accompanied by harp.
Song Spun Stories
.A general mix of material I've gathered and loved over the years. Traditional and personal stories interwoven with songs and tunes.
Celtic Songs and Stories
I share my Scottish border clan heritage in a program of mouth music, ballads, bagpipes, fiddle and Celtic tales
I am happy to craft a special program around a theme you suggest. Some recent thematic programs I've designed are: Turn Off Your TV Day; Peace One Day; Every Hero Has a Story; Hospitality; Cornerstone Stories; Building Bridges.
Creative Writing for youth and adults; self-empowerment and exploration for women; songwriting for all ages; spirituality retreat
Telling Your Story
A workshop that can be done for children or tailored for adults as a weekend retreat. It seeks to empower each person to find their own special voice and the means for self-expression that is authentic and true. Also taught is the basic structure of story and the theme of being the hero of your own life journey is stressed.
Folk Arts Workshop
Reclaiming a vanishing tradition from early Americana this workshop teaches a variety of enjoyable skills from play-party games to handkerchief tricks to string figures to jump-rope songs to folk dances to simple sing-alongs. Participants are introduced to folk instruments like the dulcimer, banjo and fiddle.
Poetry & Songwriting
With a focus on language arts this workshop builds on the natural curiosity about rhyme and rhythm to begin the creative process of building stanzas for poetry and songs that can then be performed by the group. This is an excellent companion to school units on creative writing. Jennifer's books are used as examples of how to bring your own ideas to fruition.
Storytelling and folk festivals of all kinds
Storytelling, Folk Music, Women's Music
Jennifer is a seasoned festival performer having been a main stage act at dozens of well known venues including the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN; the Illinois Storytelling Festival; The Fox Hollow Folk Festival; the Pie & Story Festival; the University of Chicago Folk Festival;
She has been featured on FolkStage on WFMT, has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Arts, ArtPark in New York, and was interviewed by Noah Adams for All Things Considered on NPR.