D.K. Stevenson. American Life and Institutions. USIS, Washington, 1989.
“Cultural Life & Leisure Time”
1. The music of the United States reflects the country's multi-ethnic population through a diverse array of styles. Rock and roll, blues, country, rhythm and blues, jazz, pop, techno, and hip hop are among the country's most internationally-renowned genres. The United States has the world's largest music industry and its music is heard around the world. Since the beginning of the 20th century, some forms of American popular music have gained a near global audience.
Native Americanswere the earliest inhabitants of the United States and played its first music. Beginning in the 17th century, immigrants from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Germany and France began arriving in large numbers, bringing with them new styles and instruments. African slaves brought musical traditions, and each subsequent wave of immigrants contributed to a melting pot.
Much of modern popular music can trace its roots to the emergence in the late 19th century of African American blues and the growth of gospel music in the 1920s. The African American basis for popular music used elements derived from European and indigenous musics. The United States has also seen documented folk music and recorded popular music produced in the ethnic styles of the Ukrainian, Irish, Scottish, Polish, Hispanic and Jewish communities, among others. Many American cities and towns have vibrant music scenes which, in turn, support a number of regional musical styles. Along with musical centers such as Seattle, New York, Minneapolis, Chicago, Nashville, Austin, and Los Angeles, many smaller cities have produced distinctive styles of music. The Cajun and Creole traditions in Louisiana music, the folk and popular styles of Hawaiian music, and the bluegrass and old time music of the Southeastern states are a few examples of diversity in American music.
PROJECT WORK:Dwell on the origin of each form, the most outstanding composers and singers:
Blues and spirituals
Blues and gospel
R&B and soul
Rock, rock-&-roll, metal and punk
2. American cinema:
Hollywood as the symbol of the nation
history and early movie theaters
film industry (plus brief outline of main film companies and locations)
the most outstanding actors and directors
the role of movies in American culture
3. Leisure time:
Mass media and their role
Holidays: where and how to spend them
Sports in the life of the nation: American football/ basketball. How do they help sportsmen prosper in life, enter colleges without prominent academic achievements? Healthy way of life.
4. PROJECT WORK: Education:
Judgment day: choosing a college / What are the most prestigious Universities in the USA?
Why don’t they cheat during exams? What system of exams do they have?
SOURSES: 1) “America in Close-Up”, chapters 5, 8, 11, 13, 14 / p. 193 “American Educational Philosophies”/ p. 249 “High School Sports”/ p. 251 “Sports in America: Colleges and Universities”
2) Video “Focus on American Culture” # 192 (episodes # 8 “Judgment Day ”/ # 9 “Cheating in College”/)