Folk songs are an integral part of our nation’s past. With their ties to events, places, and people, they are a natural way to generate student interest in the study of history and geography. While internalizing melodies, rhythms, and lyrics, students connect with past times, expand geographical and economic knowledge, and become aware of ancestors, cultural diversities, and the continuity and change of a given area. These three programs, “Songs of the California Gold Rush,” “Going West – Songs of the 1800s,” and “Music in Wartime: Uses of Music During the Civil War,” help students expand upon these principles in an approachable way while integrating curriculum at the same time. Each program benefits students by taking them beyond the facts and exposing them – through listening, singing, writing, and performing – to a unique cultural view of history and the lives of the people living it as expressed by the authentic music of the period.