L.J. Slavin learned the material for this program from his extensive travels throughout the Appalachian mountain regions, researching, recording and documenting mountain musicians.  He also studied folklore and mountain culture at Berea College in Kentucky, and Davis Elkins College in West Virginia, learning techniques on many folk instruments from respected masters of this regional music.  L.J. has been professionally entertaining audiences of all ages for over 25 years, from the school auditorium to the Broadway stage.


Program Description: 

APPALACHIA:  Music & Culture of the Mountains

This fascinating journey takes you on a musical and cultural trip through the Appalachian Mountains in a highly educational and entertaining program.  Discover the cultures, traditions, and music of the mountains, tracing the roots of the early settlers and discovering what life was like in the Appalachians.  The program covers music, instruments, the nature of sound, geography, pioneer life, where early settlers came from, and more.

During your journey, L.J. will play on 7 different musical instruments, including:  fiddle, banjo, pennywhistle, limberjack, jaw harp, harmonica and musical saw.


  •         Fiddle                        
  •         Banjo
  •         Harmonica
  •         Limberjack
  •         Jaw Harp
  •         Musical saw
  •         Mandolin
  •         Pennywhistle

Musical excerpts to be selected from the following:

  •         Mole in the Ground
  •         The Haunted Ridge (ghost story with music)
  •         The Pet Pig
  •         Irish Hornpipe
  •         Turkey in the Straw
  •         Susannah
  •         Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  •         Buffalo Gals
  •         Groundhog
  •         Greensleeves
  •         Wabash Cannonball
  •         Ragtime Annie


Q:       What instruments were used in the mountains?
A:       banjo, fiddle, dulcimer, autoharp, jaw’s harp, pennywhistle, musical saw.

Q:       What is drawn against the strings of a violin to produce sound?
A:       A bow.

Q:       From what materials were bows originally made?
A:       Wood and hair from a horse’s tail.

Q:       In folk and mountain music, what is the violin called?
A:       A fiddle.

Q:       What is the difference between a violin and a fiddle?
A:       The type of music that is being played on it:  Classical: violin; Folk &  Mountain music: Fiddle.

Q:       What is an “Acoustic” instrument?
A:       An instrument that is non-electric.  

Q:       What is “Instrumental” music?
A:       Music with no words or lyrics.

Q:       How do you play a “wind” instrument?
A:       You blow air through it.

Q:       In what part of the country are the Appalachian Mountains?
A:       They are in the eastern part of the country.

Q:       Name some states in the Appalachian Mountain chain.
A:       Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, New York

Q:         Where did the early settlers come from?
A:         Europe, British Isles, Ireland.        

 Ask your students to write to the International Music Foundation using some of the following questions or topics.

      What was your favorite part of the program?
      Which instrument of the Appalachians would you play and why?
      Listening to this type of music made me think of….
      The Appalachian Mountains and its music peaked my interest because….
      Watching this program made me realize that…..   

Please send artwork / essays / evaluations to:          

International Music Foundation
Maria Valdes-Vargas
30 E. Adams Street, Suite 1206
Chicago, IL   60603 


11 E. Adams St., Suite 350-B
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312/670-6888
Fax: 312/670-9166