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EDUCATION :: Blog

Big Brother and the Holding Company Kick Off 14th Annual American Music Masters Honoring Janis Joplin

Monday, October 26: 4:17 p.m.
Big Brother and the Holding Company perform in the Rock Hall's Foster Theater.

Last Thursday, Big Brother and the Holding Company kicked off the 2009 American Music Masters celebration, Kozmic Blues: The Life and Music of Janis Joplin. Sam Andrew, Dave Getz, and Peter Albin, three original members of the band, spent the day in Cleveland to help us tell the full story of Janis Joplin’s career. They filmed interviews for our Library and Archives, did an interview and performed in our new Foster Theater, and capped the night with a packed show at the Beachland Ballroom. Clevelanders Mary Bridget Davies and Ben Nieves joined them on vocals and guitar.

Big Brother played their first gig in January of 1966, six months before Janis Joplin joined them. When they decided that they wanted another vocalist in the band, Chet Helms suggested his friend from Austin, Texas, Janis Joplin. On paper, it seems like an odd match: Big Brother was known for their energy and power—in retrospect, they seem like a punk band—but Joplin had never sung with a rock band before. Yet they found common ground in their love of blues and folk music, and they quickly discovered that Joplin could “bring it,” as Dave Getz said last week in ...


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Rock Hall Designates Austin City Limits as an Official Rock and Roll Landmark

Thursday, October 8: 4:24 p.m.
Dr. Lauren Onkey, vice president of education and public programs at the Rock Hall

second photo caption: ACL was designated a rock and roll landmark on October 1, 2009.

The Rock Hall’s Landmark Series designates historic rock and roll landmarks around the United States that are essential to tell the story of rock and roll music.

There are currently nine sites including the Whisky-a-Go-Go in Los Angeles where the Doors were resident performers; King Records in Cincinnati, a prominent American record label started in the 40s, The Crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi and the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa . Five sites are located in the Cleveland area and include Brooklyn High School, the location Elvis played his first concert north of the Mason-Dixon line and WJW Radio, home to Deejay Alan Freed who popularized the term “rock and roll.”

On Friday, October 2nd, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum made its 10th Landmark dedication at the studio of Austin City Limits in Austin, Texas. Now in its 35th year, the show is the longest-running music program on television. A number of Rock Hall staff traveled to Austin for the dedication.

You can see footage of the landmark dedication by clicking here.

ACL has presented a diverse and original array of ...


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Electropop and the “Ah-Ha” Moment in the Classroom

Tuesday, September 22: 4:56 p.m.
Posted by Jason Hanley
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 ...


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Teaching (Virtually) to Guatemala

Wednesday, August 19: 12 p.m.
Posted by Kathryn Metz
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

photo caption: Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

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 ...


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