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A picture of Jacob and a keyboard


Jacob, a member of Scissortail Traditional Dance Society and Country Dance and Song Society, plays English and contra dances regularly with Merry Mayhem and Panda Stomp. His go-to instruments are piano combined with foot percussion, though he occasionally switches to guitar, accordion, mandolin, or fiddle. Jacob also integrates a live loop pedal for dances which adds many interesting and complex layers to tunes. Panda Stomp plays locally in Oklahoma and has had opportunities to play in neighboring states. Panda Stomp also plays for school family nights and school folk dances. Occasional contra dance video recordings can be found on Youtube.

Jacob teaching in a classroom
A Balfolk workshop Jacob taught.
Jacob teaching children a hand clapping game


Jacob is an elementary public school teacher where he teaches general music, choir, and theater in Mustang, OK. He has a Bachelor’s of Instrumental Music Education and is also Kodály certified, Levels I-III. He aspires for his students to develop a firm, fundamental foundation in the arts while connecting with each other through song, folk dance, performance, and community. The classroom also has a dedicated weekly time slot, Folk Song Fridays, where there are deeper and more meaningful discussions of folk songs. He has presented folk dance sessions at Oklahoma Music Educators Association conferences. He is also an active member of Oklahoma Kodaly Educators and has done work on scoring, editing, and transcribing OKE’s Over in the Meadow, a collection of 2-part vocal arrangements for treble voices. Many of Jacob’s classroom ideas are shown on Instagram @mrchenmusicgram.

A picture of Jacob and a guitar outdoors


Jacob enjoys writing both dances tunes and rounds. Most of his dance tunes are often written with a groove and chord progression in mind which are inspired by many artists such as The Syncopaths, Nightingale, Julie Vallimont, and Rachel Bell. To add to the creativity, many of his dance tunes are often commissioned by his students via a school fundraiser where there are specific moods and stories tied to the tune. Writing rounds is a recent joy and discovery of Jacob’s. Heavily inspired by Tom Krumm’s round writing methods, Jacob draws on personal and intimate ideas to create harmonious interweaving lines. His rounds contain intricate harmonies and delightful texts that have been used in both the classroom and folk circles. In addition, many of Jacob's tunes have been used for choreographed folk dances within the contra and English country dance styles. Sharing tunes is a joy of Jacob’s and his tunes are listed for free use.

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