The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


EDUCATION :: Blog

Video Treasures

Monday, January 10: 1:27 p.m.
Posted by Kathryn Metz

Working in the Education Department at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has its perks.  For example, I have access to some of the best experts in the field, whether they are academics, journalists or musicians themselves.  Fortunately, the Rock Hall has worked hard over the years to chronicle exhibits, interviews and other opportunities that function not only as archival evidence, but also as fascinating windows into the thrilling culture of American popular music. 

Recently, we went through tens of videos that Director of Education Jason Hanley worked with our curatorial staff to create a few years ago and found that they would complement our education courses, providing supplemental material for teachers and fans alike.  We found an exciting sneak peek into the marketing strategy of Elvis, which we posted to our Rockin’ the Schools class site for 'Takin’ Care of Business: A Rock Band Finance Simulation.'  We unearthed a great video showcasing rhythm and blues pioneer Big Joe Turner that we now feature on our distance learning On the Road class page for 'The Big Bang: The Birth of Rock and Roll.'  We’re lucky to have our Vice President of Curatorial Affairs Jim Henke talking ...


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Rockin' the Schools on the Radio

Wednesday, December 22: 1:03 p.m.
Posted by Jason Hanley
Students learn about financial literacy in Rock Hall Education programs

A few weeks ago, local NPR station Ideastream®’s reporter Michelle Kanu visited the Rock Hall to sit-in on a couple of our popular Rockin’ the Schools classes.  Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, Rockin’ the Schools brings approximately twenty thousand students and teachers from Northeast Ohio and beyond into the Museum’s state-of-the-art Foster Theater to learn about the history and significance of rock and roll music.  All of the classes are designed so that while students are enjoying the music they are also learning about key concepts in Fine Arts, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Technology.  As a teacher in the program for the last seven years I always love watching students as they begin to understand the important part rock and roll played in the Civil Rights movements of the 1950s and 60s, or when they start to understand how hip-hop artists like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five related “The Message” of what life was like in the Bronx, NYC in the late 1970s to an audience around the world.  Each of the programs is supported with materials for teachers to use in their classroom so that the lessons can begin in the classroom before the ...


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Dr. John, Fats Domino, and the piano

Monday, November 8: 12:44 p.m.
Posted by Jason Hanley
Pictured from top: Fats Domino; Dr. John

Over the past few weeks I have traveled to New Orleans several times and had the chance to see Dr. John perform live at Lafayette Square, play with the band Widespread Panic, and even sit next to him as he played in a small rehearsal studio just west of the French Quarter.  Each time my eyes were fixed on his hands as he moved them effortlessly across the keys.  What an amazing player; Dr. John holds the history of New Orleans piano music in his head and the soul of the sound in his hands.

The reason I’ve seen him so many times is that Dr. John and his band, the Lower 911, will be the house band for the upcoming American Music Masters Tribute to Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew.  It is a perfect combination: Dr. John leading the band that will honor one of the giants of rock and roll piano, Fats Domino.  As you can imagine I have been thinking a lot about the music of New Orleans, the piano style of Fats Domino, and the rhythms of Mardi Gras.  What makes Fats’ music so exciting is the way it blends together several major musical ideas ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Education

An amazing coincidence during a Rock Hall distance learning class

Tuesday, November 2: 9:29 a.m.
Slide taken from the class presentation.

One of my favorite New Orleans words is "lagniappe." Pronounced "lan-yap," it means something extra, a bonus. It can also be defined as an unexpected gift.

For me, this year’s American Music Masters series honoring Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew has been nothing but lagniappe. Having moved to Cleveland from New Orleans about a year and a half ago, I’m beyond excited to celebrate the music and spirit of my former hometown, and to pay homage to one of the greatest partnerships in rock and roll history. The line-up for the tribute concert on November 13th alone is phenomenal, not to mention the week’s worth of events that precede it. This is not to be missed – believe me.

The real gift to me, however, came last week when I was able to connect with a seventh-grade class at the Intercultural Charter School of New Orleans East, with an On the Road distance-learning program on Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew, and New Orleans rock and roll. Working with teachers at the school and with KID smART, a local arts integration education initiative, we were able to present a special interactive video-conferencing class just to them, and just for them ...


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Rock and Roll Teaches Financial Responsibility with "Takin' Care of Business"

Thursday, October 7: 2:32 p.m.

The road to rock superstardom is not an easy one.  To “make it big” takes talent, tenacity, and a certain amount of good fortune.  It also takes financial savvy.  Unfortunately, the cautionary tales in the music industry are many.  When it comes to the business of making music, you have to know how money works to make it work for you.

Last week, teachers from across Northeast Ohio discovered how they can use rock and roll to teach financial literacy in their own classrooms.  The workshop – offered to area educators as part of our teacher professional development series, Teachers Rock – explored the many ways that the business world and the world of popular music connect.  Teachers also got a first-hand look at one of our newest Rockin’ the Schools classes – “Takin’ Care of Business”: A Rock Band Finance Simulation.  Made possible by the generous support of KeyBank, the class follows the financial decisions of an average up-start rock band, from selling t-shirts at a local gig (should the price be $10 or $20?) to recording an album (how much does studio time cost?).  As “band managers,” students make these choices themselves, and they see the consequences play out in real-time ...


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Rock and Roll en français!

Tuesday, November 24: 12 p.m.
Posted by John Goehrke

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 ...


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A Look at the 14th Annual AMM Tribute Concert from the Rock Hall’s Vice President of Education

Thursday, November 19: 9:58 p.m.

The American Music Masters tribute to Janis Joplin, Kozmic Blues: The Life and Music of Janis Joplin, culminated Saturday night with a tribute concert at PlayhouseSquare’s State Theater. The concert ended with Bobby Wood’s terrific house band playing “Get It While You Can,” a Jerry Ragovoy song that Janis Joplin recorded on Pearl.  I felt such gratitude to the performers as they came out for a curtain call—they had all brought their best to tell Janis Joplin’s story. Over the course of the night, they showed us Janis’s deep musical roots in blues and folk, her galvanizing rock music, and her love for the soul music of her day.

 

An early highlight of the show was Guy Clark’s “She Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” a song he recorded on his debut album, Old No. 1 in 1975. Although the song wasn’t written about Janis, it was a perfect song to capture her desire to leave Texas and make a space for herself out in the world. Guy and Janis played the same circuit in Houston and Austin, Texas in 1965, and he recalled meeting her back then. Janis also crossed paths with Roky Erickson ...


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The Jefferson Airplane’s Jorma Kaukonen Joins the Rock Hall in Tribute to Janis Joplin

Thursday, November 12: 12 p.m.
Posted by Jason Hanley
Jorma Kaukonen performs in the Rock Hall's Foster Theater on November 11, 2009. Photo: Rock Hall/Jan

American Music Masters is in full swing.  Last night our signature Hall of Fame Series featured Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Jorma Kaukonen – a founding member of two legendary bands, the Hall of Fame Inducted Jefferson Airplane, and the still-touring Hot Tuna.  The packed audience was treated to a special evening of live music and conversation that gave us all an insider’s look into the San Francisco music scene that Janis Joplin was a part of in the 1960s.

Some of the most fascinating discussion of the night came when Kaukonen talked about how in the early 1960s he had moved from Washington D.C. to Ohio, and finally out to San Francisco.  As a new student at Santa Clara University Kaukonen walked into a small club that was featuring a hootenanny (a term typically used at the time to describe a folk-music party).  That night he met several people who would become his friends, among them Jerry Garcia and Janis Joplin.  When asked about his time with Janis he described how they were all learning about music together.  Everyone was caught in the folk craze, looking back at classic blues and country music.  Jorma described how ...


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