for schools

As a full-time entertainer, musician, teaching artist, and songwriter, Thad Beach provides a fun and interactive way to teach children of all ages.

Thad specializes in writing original children's songs and showcasing a variety of fun and unique instruments -- all while teaching children the magic of words, language, rhyme, and music.

Thad plays guitar, harmonica, ukelele, kazoo, jaw harp, and a variety of other instruments from his "Band in a Bucket." He is a Kansas Arts Commission "Arts on Tour" artist, and can also tailor programs to your specific curriculum goals -- contact Thad to find out more.


The Mixed-Up Mystery of Song City
This is a super fun exploration of classic children’s rhymes, which not so surprisingly all ages enjoy. Thad sets the rhymes to funky, bluesy and original tunes while showcasing a variety of musical instruments. Since “Once Upon a Rhyme, There Was a Crime”, all ages of “detectives” will help sort out the clues, sing and solve the “Mixed Up Mystery” and the identity of “The Mysterious Mixer-Upper” will be revealed as the audience helps “Crack the Case.”

For grades K,1,2,3,4
Links to Curriculum Areas: Music, Language Arts

1) Awareness of Mother Goose rhymes
2) Participation in rhythmic & musical syllabication and echoing of rhymes
3) Use problem solving skills
4) Use non-verbal response techniques to answer questions


Band in a Bucket
Thad Beach introduces and demonstrates a wide variety of instruments stored in his bucket, including the washboard, one-stringer, mouth instruments, limberjack, drums, percussion, and bass. The audience will learn how the homemade instruments are constructed and basic performance techniques. Some students are selected to perform with Thad’s Band in a Bucket.

For grades PreK through 5
Links to Curriculum Areas: Music, Science, Math

1) Improve group listening skills
2) Become aware of appropriate vocal and rhythmic participation techniques in a large group setting
3) Learn techniques for creating and playing their own homemade instruments
4) Participate in a “Bucket Band” performance by playing or singing along


Down in the Swamp
Thad takes the audience “Down in the Swamp” to learn about animals & plants of the swamp environment through participatory songs & stories. Everyone learns the “Gator Gallop," hears a tall tale about “Swamp Rat Rick” participates in a short group songwriting project about Swamp Critters and it ends with a performance using “Swamp Band” instruments.

For grades PreK, K, 1, 2
Links to Curriculum Areas: Music, Science, Language Arts

1) Introduction to the swamp ecosystem
2) Learn representative plants and animals of the swamp
3) Participate in or observe the creation of a “swamp critter” song
4) Participate as an audience chorus member or performing on homemade instruments in the “Swamp Band”


Tall Tales from Catfish County
Thad Beach reels ‘em in with his captivating leg-pullin’ and truth stretchin’ journey to “Catfish County” where you will learn about five types of Catfish found in Kansas, their physical characteristics and habits. Through participatory songs, stories & poems you experience the folklore associated with Catfish & elements of the “Tall Tale” genre of music & storytelling. You’ll hear down home guitar and harmonica, meet “Catfish Sal the stump-rooting gal,” and sing “The Blue Cat Blues.”

For grades 3,4,5
Links to Curriculum Areas: Music, Science, Math

1) Create an awareness of the descriptive vocabulary used in fish identification
2) Learn names of 5 types of Kansas catfish
3) Learn to identify catfish types
4) Discriminate fact vs. fiction


The Songsmith
Thad takes his songwriting residency to schools around the country, helping students collectively research and write historical ballads about topics of local history, culture and heritage. Hear unique songs and stories about early Colonial times, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, the Dirty Thirties Dust Bowl era, along with Appalachian Mountain and Atlantic Coast legends and lore.

For grades 4-12
Links to Curriculum Areas: Music, Language Arts, History, Social Studies

1) Introduction to ballads, songs, and the songwriting process as a way to learn and appreciate American history
2) Enhance awareness of US geographic regions, historical events, and social, cultural, and environmental topics


Kansas, the 34th Star
Listen to songs and stories while on an imaginary journey across the Kansas trails in a covered wagon. Solve state symbol riddles and learn about Kansas history, famous Kansans and culture. Thad showcases a variety of instruments, including the limberjack, washboard, bucket bass, fiddle, banjo-uke, and Indian flute -- perfect for celebrating Kansas Day!

For grades K through 5 (two versions of the program for younger or older classes)
Links to Curriculum Areas: Kansas History, Social Studies, Music

1) Create awareness of Kansas state symbols
2) Learn about four historic trails in Kansas
3) Learn Kansas state motto and significance of being the 34th state
4) Encourage positive image of Kansas through "Famous Kansas" song and more


The Polka Dot Cafe
The Polka Dot Cafe is an educational extravaganza of laughter, language arts, rib-tickling rhymes, tongue-twisting tales, awesome adjectives, poetic pronouns, and amazing acts of alliteration! Sit down at the breakfast table for "two blue biscuits, a yucky yellow yolk, green grits and turquoise toast." Find out if there is a zoo in Kalamazoo, and sail with Captain Davey & the Gravy Boat Navy. Jump start your students' phonological awareness or just have a blast!

For grades K though 5
Links to Curriculum Areas: Music, Language Arts

1) Create awareness of phonological skills, including rhyme and alliteration
2) Experience opportunities to participate from the audience
3) Experience humor as a way to relax and release emotions in an appropriate setting


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