Sounds of MN

An exciting new program about our rich musical Minnesota heritage!

Tim Cheesebrow and Fred Keller bring the musical history of MN to life through songs and activities that keep students engaged and curious. Each lesson has a unique historical focus, and was designed in partnership with MN teachers to meet state standards and benchmarks.

Lessons come with preparatory activities so you can get your students ready for the big day when Tim and Fred come to teach the lesson. There are activities for students to do, project starters to carry the learning forward, assessments and follow up activities so it’s a snap to plug this program into any MN curriculum.


The program teaches basic music theory and lyric writing concepts then allows students to explore different ways of expressing themselves musically. Students are encouraged through instruction and mentorship to process their thoughts and feelings, verbalize them, and use their own voice to share their stories with others. The results are astounding. 82 percent of students rated their songwriting experience as “very highly” or “highly satisfied.”

Statements gathered in exit surveys and follow-up interviews demonstrate the deep level of impact songwriting had on their wellness. They have self-reported benefits like: increased confidence, mental clarity, social awareness, anxiety and anger management, catharsis, self-awareness, personal development, compassion, empathy, general well being, emotional control, and gratitude for having learned healthy tools to express themselves.  Delivering these programs over six years and in multiple school districts has yielded consistently positive results.

After students write the songs there is an option to go into a recording studio with professional musicians and make a high quality recording of their song. 

“Music has given me a voice. It has given me access to expression and energy like nothing else. Without music I would be eaten alive and swallowed by my emotions.”
– Middle School Student, 3 years after participation in the program


A truly powerful series of 12 visits by the artist to your classroom over the course of the school year. Students are encouraged to dig deep and (with guidance) write their own songs as they learn about music theory, rhythm, rhyme, musical structure, storytelling, and self expression. This opportunity can stand alone or be offered as an enrichment to existing music programs. Optional recording of student’s songs.
Cost: $3000 Optional recording: $200/student

Targeted Services

Trained Discover Music instructors work with school deans and counselors to offer songwriting as a wellness tool for identified students. Designed to support behavioral health plans, this
program teaches students the language of self-expression and how to use music to process, model and convey their inner thoughts and feelings, deal with complex situations and expectations, and develop resiliancy.
Cost: $250/class $800/full day (rates discounted for longer term projects)

Full Course

For maximum impact and student learning a Discover Music instructor will partner with district staff to provide a full-term class aligned with state standards in Fine Arts. There is no expecatation of student proficiency in music, but by the end of the course they will be able to read and write in traditional and popular notational styles, craft words and melodies, make chord progressions, explore careers in music, learn the science of sound, and will learn how to use music to express themselves in a safe and healthy way.
This course includes visits from guest artists and professional recordings of student songs.
Cost: $10,000/semester

Blues Harmonica Workshop

A one day whirlwind of musical excitement. Students learn the history of blues music, how to play blues changes and jam on the harmonica. Each student gets their own harmonica to keep, along with resources for continued learning. The day ends with a performance and Q&A session by our Artist
Includes a Harmonica for each student to keep!
Cost: $300/class