64 Parishes

Susan Aysen

Susan Aysen

Susan Aysen (born 1960) is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Thibodaux, Louisiana. Childhood experiences playing music with her family exposed Aysen to country, swamp pop, Cajun, and other music genres. She plays the clarinet, keyboard, guitar, and mandolin, and in the past several years, Aysen has also begun writing songs. Retired from Nicholls State University, she continues to build her repertoire and performs across South Louisiana throughout the year.

VIDEO
Susan Aysen: Finding Inspiration
1 minute, 32 seconds
This short video, Susan Aysen: Finding Inspiration, can be used as a point of entry for students in a variety of K-12 classroom settings. Use the below activities to kick off your study of Susan Aysen and Bayou Country’s musical traditions.

Activity 1
Before watching the short video Susan Aysen: Finding Inspiration, lead students in a brief discussion on what inspires them.

Discussion Questions
What does it mean to be inspired?
Are there people, places, or ideas in your life that you find inspiring? What are they? Why do they inspire you?
Do you think you inspire other people in your life? Why or why not?

Activity 2
Introduce Susan Aysen using the brief biography included above. Watch the short video Susan Aysen: Finding Inspiration and lead students in a discussion on the power of place.

Discussion Questions
Susan Aysen feels inspired and at home at Cajun jam sessions held in her town. Are there places in your life where you feel most inspired? Why? What is it about those places that inspire you?
Does inspiration always come from positive or happy experiences? Why or why not?
How do places and events from the past inspire you?

LESSON PLAN
Susan Aysen

Want to dive deeper into the world of Susan Aysen? Download the Susan Aysen Louisiana Musical Legends lesson plan.

Target Grade Levels: 3rd and 8th Grade
Content Areas: Music; optional alignment with ELA
Curricular Alignment:
Louisiana Arts Content Standards-Music, K–4th Grades: M-AP-E2; M-AP-E3; M-AP-E4; M-HP-E1; M-HP-E2; M-HP-E4; M-AP-M2; M-AP-M3; M-AP-M4; M-HP-M1; M-HP-M2; M-HP-M4; M-CA-E1; M-CA-M1
National Core Arts Standards-Music, 3rd Grade: MU:Cr1.1.3a; MU:Cr2.1.3a; MU:Cr2.1.3b; MU:Cr3.1.3a; MU:Cn10.0.3
Louisiana Student Standards for English Language Arts, 3rd Grade: Reading Standards for Literature-Craft and Structure 5; Writing Standards-Text Type and Purposes 3, Production and Distribution of Writing 4–6

Louisiana Arts Content Standards-Music, 5th–8th Grades: M-AP-M2; M-AP-M3; M-AP-M4; M-HP-M1; M-HP-M2; M-HP-M4; M-CA-M1
National Core Arts Standards-Music, 8th Grade: MU:Cr1.1.8a; MU:Cr2.1.8b; MU:Cn10.0.8a
Louisiana Student Standards for English Language Arts, 8th Grade: Reading Standards for Literature-Craft and Structure 4–5; Writing Standards-Text Type and Purposes 3, Production and Distribution of Writing 4–6

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About the Louisiana Musical Legends Project

The Louisiana Musical Legends project is the first in a series of “Aunt Dorothy’s Teacher Toolkits” developed by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities to showcase new and engaging tools for teaching core curriculum concepts through the lens of Louisiana’s culture. Made possible through the generous support of retired music teacher Dorothy Hanna in partnership with First Lady of Louisiana Donna Edwards and the nine regional Louisiana arts councils, each Louisiana Musical Legends unit includes a brief musician biography, an educator-created lesson plan, and an original musician-focused video—all designed for classroom use. Featured musicians hail from across the state and include Luther Gray and Bamboula 2000 (Greater New Orleans), Nellie Lutcher (Southwest Louisiana), Tony Joe White (Northeast Louisiana), Amanda Shaw (Northshore), Susan Aysen (Bayou Parishes), Kenny Neal (Greater Baton Rouge), Little Walter (Central Louisiana), Leadbelly (Northwest Louisiana), and Nathan Williams Jr. (Acadiana).

Louisiana Musical Legends