In the Studio with American Nomad

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American Nomad is a local band that finds inspiration in roots music and many other genres, and as singer-songwriter Shiloh Parkerson notes, their tunes are reminiscent of the days "when our country was first starting to form." Parkerson and Hassan El-Tayyab front the band, and play as both a duo or a group with a variety of instrumentalists.

The band has a DIY attitude and turned to crowd-sourced funding to raise money to produce their first full length album, Country Mile, due out in March 2014. In the latest series of videos from Art School, Parkerson and El-Tayyab talk about their approach to songwriting and then demonstrate tips for composing music and singing with emotion. Get a glimpse into the life of an emerging local band, and see clips of their recent performance at The Independent in San Francisco.

American Nomad takes American traditions in music and adapts them by writing contemporary lyrics, and their songwriting techniques can be used in a music classroom or an English class. Parkerson's video music lesson includes a writing assignment that can help students become critical listeners as they analyze song lyrics, and can be integrated into a music or theater project.

These videos could also be used as an example of how artists adapt and expand upon traditional music. They can also help students understand how historical and cultural contributions throughout history still resonate with contemporary musicians and influence their work. Most importantly, these videos can help your students write their own songs and practice storytelling through music.