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Thad Beach is an entertainer, musician, teaching artist and songwriter. He enjoys giving energetic performances, sharing his humorous songs and historical ballads, demonstrating how to play a variety of instruments, and conducting music and songwriting workshops.
Thad is inspired by musical styles ranging from traditional, folk, mountain ballads, old-time and country blues to Tin Pan Alley. He plays ukulele, harmonica, guitar, washboard, bucket bass, jaw harp, limber jack and home made folk instruments.
Thad performs for fairs and festivals, community events and celebrations, library summer reading programs, museums, historical societies, cultural and educational venues. His programming appeals to a wide range of audiences.
Thad’s career and involvement as a teaching artist has focused on music and songwriting. He presents over 400 curriculum-related programs a year to individual classrooms for preschool through high school. He has also conducted over 300 week-long songwriting residencies throughout the midwest and southeastern U.S. During these residencies he has helped students and teachers explore their local history, heritage and culture and taught the basics of writing and other language elements that are necessary for lyric writing. His interdisciplinary programs have yielded songs about many different subjects, as well as related artwork, video documentation, publications, performances and audio/video recordings.
Thad’s concert performances are a blend of his original songs, stories and traditional tunes seasoned with humor and lots of audience participation. He features a variety of instruments: ukulele, harmonica, guitar, washboard, bucket bass, jaw harp, limber jacks and homemade folk instruments.
Performances, exploratory workshops, artist talks for museums, historical societies, libraries, senior living residences, healing arts and therapeutic groups, special populations, parks and recreation programs, summer camp and after school programs, preschools, and local performance venues.
Community residencies can feature research-based collection of stories from local sources about a topic or event related to local history, heritage and culture.
Arts as Healing Initiatives: Thad has had training in Mental Health Awareness and has presented music, writing and participatory arts programs with children, adults and mixed groups. These programs have included school settings, summer camps, libraries, and special events for disability and advocacy organizations.
Thad can also customize programs and activities based on special community initiatives and themes.
Educational Activities and Arts Integration programs range from single classroom workshops, grade level performances to larger group assemblies and week-long or extended artist residencies. As a teaching artist, using the power of music and song in a residency setting gives students the opportunity to be guided on a journey through the creative process.
Songwriting Residencies explore foundational skills in songwriting, playing homemade instruments, and learning to work together using words and music to tell a story. A song is created about a topic of local history, heritage or culture. After researching, interviewing, and experiencing the creative process the program wraps up with a performance/skit with visuals and props as students sing, play instruments and celebrate their creation. Post Cards from the Dustbowl, a 5-day interdisciplinary residency has students explore life in the 1930s, the Great Depression, agricultural practices and environmental conditions. Thad performs original songs about the dust bowl and uses keynote images to help students build a foundation of knowledge for a series of sketching and writing exercises that lead to a final project.
Band in a Bucket Residencies feature opportunities to experience playing a variety of homemade percussion and string instruments, create lyrics, sing and have fun performing their creations.