Rock Hall’s Education Coordinator Beams to France Via Distance Learning
I've never been to France. I’ve always wanted to visit (the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe – who wouldn’t?) Last Thursday I got my chance – albeit in a virtual sense – to visit France through a distance learning connection. Using the Rock Hall’s state-of-the-art technology, I connected to a group of teachers and students at a conference in Paris for videoconferencing manufacturer Polycom. The connection consisted of a 30-minute discussion of the Rock Hall’s On the Road program, complete with an overview of our award-winning classes and a summary of the Rock Hall’s educational mission.
Since the Rock Hall launched its On the Road program in 2005, we’ve reached classrooms in 38 states and five countries (France being the sixth). What made this connection unique, however, is that it’s been about 8 years since my last high school French exam, resulting in me being limited to what sounds like a poor Pepé Le Pew impersonation! Fortunately, the site in Paris had a translator, which, although adding its own limitations, certainly helped reduce the language barrier. The audience members in Paris ...
L-R: Rock Hall education manager Stephanie Heriger with educator Nancy Boutilier. Photo: Rock Hall/J
Rock Hall’s Education Manager Discusses Tuesday’s Teachers Rock Event
It’s hard to watch Girls Rock!, the acclaimed documentary about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls, and not be moved. As a woman, I saw myself – every part of myself – in the girls featured in the movie. As a female musician, I wished that I could have attended a camp like this when I was younger (or now, for that matter). As an educator and former elementary school teacher, I recognized a lot of my students (male and female) in the stories told on-screen. And as a member of the Education staff here at the Rock Hall, I couldn’t help but connect the dots between the world of Girls Rock! and the legacy of this year’s American Music Masters honoree – Janis Joplin. I realized very quickly that Girls Rock! would be a great way to get teachers to think about and discuss a lot of the complicated issues surrounding teaching in the 21st century – all through the power of rock and roll and the lens of Janis Joplin’s life and music.
Yesterday afternoon, as part of our monthly Teachers Rock series, I was joined ...
Rock and Roll Night School on November 9. Photo: Rock Hall/Janet Macoska.
Rock Hall’s Director of Education Discusses the Sound of Janis’ Voice
Last night we hosted the first event of American Music Masters week: Rock and Roll Night School at the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University. The evening featured multi-media presentations by Dr. Lauren Onkey, Dr. Mary Davis (Chair of the Music Department at CWRU), and myself, examining Janis Joplin’s contributions to rock and roll history.
My presentation focused on what I most love about Joplin: her voice! Her vocal performances are so moving. She makes you feel something. She makes you want to jump and shout, dance and sing. People often talk about the wild abandon of her voice, as if she experienced a kind of rapture in her performances that pushed her and her audience to the edge. But after diving deep into her music over the last year I realized that her performances of rapture were just that, performances. It’s not that she didn’t feel them, but as a performer she worked at refining the way she created these moments for her audience. A great example of this is her performances of the classic Big Mama Thornton tune “Ball ...
Jason Hanley, director of education at the Rock Hall
An inside look at the SAGES program.
Many people are surprised when they learn that we teach all ages at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum – from toddlers to adults. As a Presidential
Fellow in Case Western Reserve University’s SAGES program (the Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship) I have been teaching Rock and Roll Hall of Fame courses to undergraduates for the last three years with topics such as “Writing Rock and Roll” and “Rock and Roll Subcultures.”
When I teach, I always try to lead students to that elusive “ah-ha” moment, when they begin to really understand why the subject matters. Last week in my college course “Electro Pop: The History of Popular Electronic Music,” the class had that kind of moment. Through our discussion of Luigi Russolo’s 1913 essay The Art of Noises students realized that electronic music allowed them to use any and all sounds. Because of this it gave each of them, regardless of their musical background, a chance to be composers. And that musicians and artists have been saying that since as early as 1913. Ah-ha.
Last year, Ted Ottaviano of the synth-pop band Book of Love contacted ...
Education Instructor, Kathryn Metz, talks about teaching the history of rock and roll to a Guatemalan school - from 2,000 miles away
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I never expected to be teaching the history of rock and roll to kids in Guatemala, but recently it became part of my job description. Now I can confidently say that I teach students from all over the world about the importance of rock and roll and how it impacts our lives, from listening technology to social consciousness. In fact, Guatemala was the fifth country (in addition to Mexico, Canada, England and Australia) outside of the United States that our videoconferencing program, On the Road, has reached. Yesterday, I taught one of the Rock Hall’s most popular distance learning classes, Great Moments in Rock and Roll: Popular Music Through the Decades, to the Instituto Experimental de la Asunción, an all girls private school in Guatemala City. The students were studying advanced English conversation and composition, and yesterday they put their skills to the test in the perfect setting of a survey class that gives a brief social and musical history of the 1950s ...
Frankie Sardo is not a rock and roll star. He never sold a million albums or reached the top of the charts. He is not a household name. However, he is a vital character in one of the most important chapters of rock and roll history. Frankie Sardo was the opening act for the 1959 Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, which was the last concert performance for Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. The three music legends were killed when their plane crashed following their performance at the Surf Ballroom on February 3, 1959. A little over 51 years after that fateful night, Frankie Sardo returned to the Surf Ballroom for the first time.
In a continuing partnership with the Surf Ballroom, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum co-sponsored a luncheon with the Surf as part of the Winter Dance Party event on February 6, 2010, in Clear Lake. The luncheon featured a one-on-one interview with Frankie Sardo. This interview was the first time Sardo has publicly spoken about his memories and stories surrounding the tour.
Sardo never wanted to be a rock and roll star. He was invited ...
The Rock Hall Education Department teaches over 20,000 K-12 students every year through our Rockin’ the Schools programming. These hour-long classes, which cover topics from the history of hip-hop to the science of sound, teach the rich history of rock and roll, while meeting and exceeding educational content standards in areas like social studies, science, mathematics, and the language arts. It’s amazing to watch learning come alive for the students who visit us at the Museum.
A group of ten middle school students from Hawken School, led by teacher, Tim Desmond, worked in residence at the Rock Hall as part of an experimental Insights Course offered at the school. The students spent three full days at the Museum, attending Rockin’ the Schools classes, exploring exhibits, and working together on self-directed research projects. Participants even got the chance to interview members of the Education Department on topics ranging from hip-hop to heavy metal. These interviews were later used in short documentaries developed and produced by the students themselves.
It was an honor to work with such thoughtful and engaged students and exciting to watch their progress over the three days of their stay. I was continually impressed by the ...
I recently taught a group of 8th grade students at the Gereau Center for Applied Technology in Rocky Mount, Virginia using interactive videoconferencing as part of the Museum's award-winning education program, On the Road (this technology allows us to literally beam into classrooms across the world you've probably seen similar technology on CNN or the Today Show). The students and the teachers were pumped to connect with the Rock Hall - for me, though, there was added excitement because I was about to connect to the 25,000th student in the history of our distance learning program.
The students at Rocky Mount were great kids, energetic and eager to participate. The lead teacher, Cathy Huffman, thoroughly enjoyed the program, saying "The lyrics that are presented during the program are rich in evoking the social concerns of that time period and the educator did an excellent job of helping the students discuss the poetic metaphors contained in a pretty challenging song, 'All Along the Watchtower'." The class I taught - Ball of Confusion: Rock Music and Social Change in the 1960s and 1970s - discusses how rock and roll reflected the challenges faced during the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement and ...