Artists in Schools Directory

   

Ellen Ford

Artist's Narrative

Ellen Ford Ellen Ford is a folk life artist and educator who travels the country creating programs that remind us of our past and encouraging audiences to honor their own stories, songs and games.

She is the author of a children's picture book, The Day Mom Stopped the Bus, a musician extraordinaire on the hammered dulcimer, a folk dancer specializing in historic games and marches, and a storyteller.

Ellen Ford is an Ohio State University alumna with a degree in Music Education, Masters in Adult Education and post-graduate courses in drama, dance and children's literature.  A rich background in counseling and special education makes Ellen particularly sensitive to her audience.

While performing with the Boston Symphony as a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Ellen also studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music.  She taught vocal and instrumental music for several years in Ohio, Boston and Germany.  In her leisure she began to collect the music, dances and stories that enhance her program.

Ellen is a member of the Ohio Village Singers, a 19th century repertory company specializing in the music, dance and theater of the Civil War.  She and Priscilla Hewston, another member of the company, perform as a hammered dulcimer - violin/fiddle duo around Central Ohio.

In 2005, Ellen was accepted as an Ohio/Kennedy Center Artist as Educator, a program that extends professional development and other Kennedy Center resources through a state-based distribution system.


Recent Feedback From Schools

Ellen Ford shared a wealth of knowledge about folk music. She is a wonderful storyteller, very kind and patient with the students and a talented musician as well. We spent two days with her and performed a program for our parents. Many compliments have been received from the adults and all who attended enjoyed a wonderful evening with audience participation. Not only are the students talking about their experience but are continuing to sing the songs that they learned. We made great connections to Ohio history, religion class, and our music/art curriculum. An added bonus was that students needed to work together to make the dances go smoothly. The students were engaged in the activities and the time passed by quickly due to a well balanced and organized day.


I highly recommend Ellen Ford as a folk music artist. Her presentations contain a variety of information and experiences for the students. She comes well prepared and genuinely enjoys sharing her stories and songs."

Availability

Upon request.
Fees listed are for Columbus-area schools. This artist is based in Lancaster.

Programs Available

Turn It Loose, Dr. Seuss (Grade levels PreK-3)
The twanging strings of the banjo will lead us through snippets and snatches of several Dr. Seuss stories, while lap games and songs round out the program.
Activity Options:
Turn It Loose, Dr. Seuss:
  • Duration: 45-60 min.
  • Fees: $300/ $50 each addt'l, or $450 per day (up to five programs)
  • Requirements: 100 students max. Gym or multi-purpose room. No chairs. Cafeteria sized table. 1 hour setup.

Fairy Tales: All the King's Horses welcome you to Widdicombe Fair (Grade Levels PreK-3)
Ellen, the merry minstrel, will lead everyone on a magical tour of Widdicombe Fair.  Using old English fairy tales, folk songs and singing games, she will introduce us to kings, queens and friendly elves.
Activity Options:
Fairy Tales
  • Duration: 45-60 min.
  • Fees: $300/ $50 each addt'l, or $450 per day (up to five programs)
  • Requirements: 100 students max. Gym or multi-purpose room. No chairs. Cafeteria sized table. 1 hour setup.

Animal Tales: Paws, Claws, Scales and Tails (Grade levels PreK - 3)
The same day "Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash," folk life artist Ellen Ford will offer a program of animal games, stories and songs.  Jimmy's other "critters" will then lead the parade as we sing and dance our way around the farm.
Activity Options:
Animal Tales
  • Duration: 45-60 min.
  • Fees: $300/ $50 each addt'l, or $450 per day (up to five programs)
  • Requirements: 100 students max. Gym or multi-purpose room. No chairs. Cafeteria sized table. 1 hour setup.

Riddles, Fiddles and Fun (Grade levels PreK-3)
Skipping rhymes, riddles, stories and tunes create a foot-tappin', knee slappin' musical experience. Delightful experience for early readers.
Activity Options:
Riddles, Fiddles and Fun:
  • Duration: 45-60 min.
  • Fees: $300/ $50 each addt'l, or $450 per day (up to five programs)
  • Requirements: 100 students max. Gym or multi-purpose room. No chairs. Cafeteria sized table. 1 hour setup.

Grand Parents/ Friends Day (Grade levels PreK - 3)
Adults and students are invited to gather for an hour of "play" without electronic devices. From their seats, the audience will engage in turn-of-the-century games, songs and stories.
Activity Options:
Grand Parents/ Friends Day
  • Duration: 45-60 min.
  • Fees: $300/ $50 each addt'l, or $450 per day (up to five programs)
  • Requirements: 100 students max. Gym or multi-purpose room. No chairs. Cafeteria sized table. 1 hour setup.

Around the World and Into Books (Grade levels PreK - 3)
Climb aboard Ellen's magic balloon as we circle the earth exploring songs, stories, games and dances from far away places.  Unusual instruments like the marimbula, Native American flute, and tin whistle will enhance the music of African, Anglo, Asian and Native American cultures.
Activity Options:
Around the World and Into Books
  • Duration: 45-60 min.
  • Fees: $300/ $50 each addt'l, or $450 per day (up to five programs)
  • Requirements: 100 students max. Gym or multi-purpose room. No chairs. Cafeteria sized table. 1 hour setup.

Pathways Through Ohio (Grade levels 4-12)
Music, drama and tales will describe the building of the National Road, Ohio and Erie Canal and railroads in Ohio. By helping to "blaze" these trails, the students gain an understanding of the social life, manners and customs of people in Ohio from 1825-1918.
Activity Options:
Pathways Through Ohio:
  • Duration: 45-60 min.
  • Fees: $300/ $50 each addt'l, or $450 per day (up to five programs)
  • Requirements: 100 students max. Gym or multi-purpose room. No chairs. Cafeteria sized table. 1 hour setup.

Ohio Legends & Lore (Grade levels 4-12)
Ellen will span 200 years of Ohio history starting with the 1803 legend of Black Hand Gorge; the 1853 story of Mary Ann Ball - an underground railroad conductor, a 1903 Ohio River story - The House that Jack Built, and finishing with a northern lights legend about Brilliant, Ohio.
Activity Options:
Ohio Legends & Lore
  • Duration: 45-60 min.
  • Fees: $300/ $50 each addt'l, or $450 per day (up to five programs)
  • Requirements: 100 students max. Gym or multi-purpose room. No chairs. Cafeteria sized table. 1 hour setup.

The Day Mom Stopped the Bus - Young Author Program (Grade levels 4-12)
The story will take us back to the 1950's as it describes an embarrassing moment in the author's life. Then laughter will begin as the author did survive and engages the audience in popular games and songs enjoyed before television.
Activity Options:
The Day Mom Stopped the Bus?Young Author Program:
  • Duration: 45-60 min.
  • Fees: $300/ $50 each addt'l, or $450 per day (up to five programs)
  • Requirements: 100 students max. Gym or multi-purpose room. No chairs. Cafeteria sized table. 1 hour setup.

With Their Knapsack on Their Back (Grade levels 4-12)
An exploration of the unique songs, stories and play-party games various cultural groups brought to our state. Program can include Hispanic, African-American, Asian and American Indian. Highly participatory.
Activity Options:
With Their Knapsack on Their Back:
  • Duration: 45-60 min.
  • Fees: $300/ $50 each addt'l, or $450 per day (up to five programs)
  • Requirements: 100 students max. Gym or multi-purpose room. No chairs. Cafeteria sized table. 1 hour setup.

Ohio/ Kennedy Center Workshops for Teachers (Teachers, Grades 4-8)

Workshop Title: Immigration: The Grand March

Art Form & Subject Area: History, Math and Dance

The historic dance, the Grand March, with its parallele lines, right angle turns and spirals, will be the geometric pattern leading the immigrants toward their new Ohio communities.  Along the journey, various shapes of the Grand March will challenge the immigrants as they make the cooperative decisions needed to form a new community.

This workshop about immigration provides an unusual framework to study the journey of people from one land to another.  The three hour session is offered to teachers as an in-service training program.  It can be led in a generic or culturally specific format.

Activity Options:
Ohio/ Kennedy Center Workshop
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Fees: TBA
  • Requirements: 30 participants max.