I’ve posted a new “Idea to Try” inspired by Leonard Bernstein’s Turkey Trot from Divertimento for Orchestra. Along the way, I got sidetracked researching the history of the ragtime dance (circa 1912) from news sources of the time.

Take a look and discover:

  • Three incidents of women getting in trouble for indulging in the dance after it was banned:
    • One was kicked off the dance floor
    • One was taken to court in an attempt to prove she was insane
    • Fifteen were fired from their jobs
  • Racial reasons for its transformation to the socially-acceptable One-Step;
  • Criticism – some of it quite funny – from books and newspaper articles of the era.

You’ll also find exploration of meter and syncopation in Bernstein’s Turkey Trot, some exercises to try on your own or in your teaching, and links to recordings.

Have fun!

Turkey Trot Sheet Music

Turkey Trot Sheet Music

For more free ideas for teaching and learning, visit the Ideas to Try index. Search using one or more options, and find some inspiration!