Greta’s Programs in Schools

Greta uses music to connect with all types of learners. Students are actively engaged, discovering and exploring diversity of expression and ideas, and paradoxically the satisfaction of teamwork and collaboration.

If you are located in the greater Portland area, you may book programs through Young Audiences of Oregon and SW Washington (YA) or the Right Brain Initiative (RB). If you have YA Run for the Arts funds or are a Right Brain school, be sure to go through these organizations. Customized programs are also available directly through Greta.

School Assemblies

“We have never seen 4th and 5th grade boys enjoy music the way they enjoyed yours.”Paula Baker, Principal; & Teachers, Mari-Linn School, Lyons, OR

Delightfully innovative performances integrate social and cultural awareness with the language of music. Students play an active part with singing and sign language. All programs connect with Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Oregon Content Standards, and Washington Learning Standards.

As there are wide differences in ability and song preferences between younger and older students, there are two performances per school visit, with one 40-minute program for lower grades and one for upper.

Available school assembly programs:

La Música Es Mágica/Music is Magic (YA)

This spirited bilingual sing-along celebrates the magic of music with songs in Spanish, English and American Sign Language. Greta plays guitar and invites volunteers to accompany her on an interesting collection of percussion instruments, tailoring her commentary and songs to the grade levels and major language of the audience. Learn more

America’s Story through Folk Songs (YA)

Celebrate America’s rich heritage through such songs as “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” “16 Tons,” “Polly Wolly Doodle” and “This Land is Your Land.” Learn the stories behind these songs that reflect the everyday experiences of our ancestors. Greta plays dulcimer and guitar and is accompanied by student volunteers on the washboard and spoons. Her repertoire is customized for grades K-2 and 3-5. Learn more


“Thank you for having such a positive impact on so many children.”Deanna Tompkins, Teacher; Gildo Rey Elementary, Auburn, WA

Available school assembly programs:

Note: Residencies include a minimum of four sessions per class, and a minimum of 2 classes booked back to back.

Let’s Write A Song: Songwriting & the 6+1 Writing Traits (YA/RB)

Students collaboratively compose a song for performance or recording. It’s a win-win: Songwriting uses the same writing processes as prose. Facts as lyrics are more easily retained. Combine these to integrate writing with any topic of study, creating a finished product that is exciting and memorable.

  • Song can be on any subject: School anthem, character traits, reading strategies, science units
  • Activity can be a class or grade-level composition (round-robin format)
  • All students participate, contributing ideas, vocabulary, working in small groups and together
  • Students learn basic elements of music and composition
  • Students apply their knowledge of 6+1 Writing Traits as we organize and revise our work.
  • Classroom teachers identify specific trait(s) to reinforce such as word choice or fluency.
  • Past songs include:
    • Celebrate Our Foods (a 3rd grade “About Me” unit)
    • Rock Erodes (erosion, with a taste pun)
    • Punctual Celebration
    • We’re The Pride (a school anthem)

Learn more and book through Young Audiences or the Right Brain Initiative

Celebrate Cultures through Music and Dance: Grades K-5 (YA/RB)

From West Africa to Denmark, Mexico to Austria, Hawaii and the Southwest Cahuilla tribe to Japan, students discover similarities and differences among people around the world through songs, dance, and discussion.  They examine percussion instruments from various countries, share and learn simple vocabulary in several languages. Students may either make simple musical instruments prior to Greta’s arrival, or make instruments during the course of the residency. Dances and songs accommodate student ages and abilities.

Learn more at Young Audiences.

Corresponding program at the Right Brain Initiative: Around the World in Song & Dance. Learn more at Right Brain

Math Groove: Exploring Rhythm & Patterns with Music: Grades K-2 (YA/RB)

Students increase calculation skills and the ability to decode number sentences through songs and musical games. Using voice, body and percussion instruments, they create musical compositions with multiple patterns or polyrhythms. Greta Pedersen, award-winning performing artist, educator and peer-mentoring coach, tailors this innovative program for each grade level. Developed through the John F. Kennedy Center’s Seminar on arts-integrated residencies. [Learn more at YA) [Learn more at Right Brain]

Learn more and book through Young Audiences or the Right Brain Initiative.


Classroom Workshops

“I was feeling kind of sleepy that day…Your songs woke me up and got me going.”C.W., Student; Hillview Middle School, Menlo Park, CA

Available workshops:

Note: Workshops include a 1 day session, with a minimum of 2 classes booked back to back.

Shake, Rattle, and Whack: Grades K-2 (YA)

What is a percussion instrument? What makes its timbre or sound quality vary? What can we discover about a culture from its instruments? Students examine these questions, create percussion instruments and shake, rattle and whack to produce lively sounds.

Learn more and book through Young Audiences.