In My Dream

A Celebration of African-American Music
CD cover

The first known African residents of the New World arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619. They came without choice, without hope, without even a common language. These people were silenced in a strange land, with seemingly nothing to sustain them, and it appeared that thousands of other Africans would discover the same bleak and forbidding circumstances.

Yet one inextinguishable means of sustenance remained - music. Through succeeding generations, music stimulated communication and revived spirits. African-Americans learned that music could provide a new voice in the New World, and they used this voice in dealing with poverty, oppression, and fear. This voice continued to sing for freedmen and free blacks after the Civil War, and inspired trained and untrained artists at the turn of the twentieth century. Unhampered by changing contexts, music remained a constant as communities dealt with new faiths, new livelihoods, new instruments, and new lives.

The United States Army Field Band dedicates In My Dream to the memories of those who strove to develop this new voice, and to those today who continue to “dream of a perfect place with but one human race.”

Online Resources


The U.S. Army Field Band has compiled a series of lesson plans to accompany In My Dream: A Celebration of African-American Music.

Written by band members who have teaching experience at all levels from elementary to college, these lessons use selections from the recording as a departure point for multi-cultural and interdisciplinary classroom activities. Relevant musical and graphic examples are included within each lesson, which can be viewed as a PDF for ease of printing. At the end of each lesson is a list of standards specific to the concepts addressed in that lesson. These standards are taken from the National Standards for Arts Education.*

It is the wish of The U.S. Army Field Band that educators in a variety of settings will find these lessons to be valuable tools in enhancing their curricula.

Elementary School Lessons

Middle School Lessons

High School Lessons

College Lessons

* From National Standards for Arts Education. Copyright © 1994 by Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Used by permission. The complete National Arts Standards and additional materials relating to the Standards are available from MENC—The National Association for Music Education, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, VA 20191

The U.S. Army Field Band

4214 Field Band Drive STE 5330

Fort George G. Meade MD 20755-7055

301-677-6586 |