The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

Teachers Learn to Use Rock and Roll to Electrify the Classroom with the Rock Hall's Summer Teacher Institute

Special appearances by Inductee Bobby Massey and musician Joe Grushecky will help teachers bring music into their classrooms

CLEVELAND (June 15, 2010) - School’s out for summer, but nearly 60 teachers from across the United States and Canada will be heading back to class for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Summer Teacher Institute from June 21 to June 25, 2010.

This year’s Institute, Electrifying the Classroom, will bring both K-12 and post-secondary educators together with arts education specialists, historians, curriculum designers, and musicians to learn how to use popular music to teach across the core-curriculum, energizing the classroom with an art form that speaks to today’s students.

“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Summer Teacher Institute is at the core of the Museum’s mission and stands as one of our longest-running educational programs.   Its success is due to the intense interest of both teachers and students in studying popular music,” said Dr. Lauren Onkey, vice president of education and public programs at the Rock Hall. “Summer Teacher Institute provides K-12 educators a unique opportunity to come together for a week and collaborate with us on projects that further the study of rock and roll.” 

Institute participants will learn about some of rock’s greatest legends while exploring the history and the communities that helped to shape the sound of popular music.  Experienced educators will share their successes in the classroom, presenting their own rock and roll-inspired lesson plans.  This year’s Institute will include an evening with musician Joe Grushecky on Wednesday, June 23. Gruschecky will be interviewed by Dr. Onkey and will discuss his career and a singer-songwriter and his experiences as a high-school special education teacher.  Questions will be taken from the audience at the end of the interview.  This event is open to the public and FREE with a reservation.  Please email or call (216) 515-8426 to RSVP.  The Institute will also include a Hall of Fame Series event featuring  Bobby Massey, founding member of the O’Jays, on Thursday, June 24. This event is open to Summer Teacher Institute participants only.

“Each year Rock Hall educators serve more than 20,000 students and teachers through the Museum's educational programming,” said Jason Hanley, director of education at the Rock Hall.  “Teachers often ask us how they can integrate popular music into their classroom teaching.  We show teachers how they can engage students in a variety of academic disciplines by exploring different aspects of popular music,” said Hanley.  Stephanie Heriger, the Rock Hall’s education programs manager and a former special education teacher in New Orleans, agrees.  “I’ve seen it work.  Bringing popular music into the classroom can help you reach students that might not respond to traditional instruction.  As teachers, we sometimes need that ‘hook.’  Rock and roll can engage your class in ways you never imagined.”

Past Summer Teacher Institute participant Dr. Debby Thomas, a special education teacher from Pooler, GA said, “I have learned to try different things and to expand my horizons even further.  I found this week to be one of the most beneficial educational experiences in my 30 years as a teacher.”
Making use of the Rock Hall’s resources, including curriculum models from the Museum’s successful Rockin’ the Schools and On The Road programming, the Institute will provide a forum for cutting-edge discussions about integrating popular music into the interdisciplinary classroom.  Through the study of such models, teachers will identify ways to use music to deepen their own students’ engagement with language arts, social studies, music, technology and beyond. 

For their own work in the Summer Teacher Institute, participants have the option to earn one or two graduate credits from Ashland University for an additional cost.

Additionally, the Museum’s curatorial department will introduce participants to the Rock Hall’s collecting philosophy and to current special exhibits (including those on Bruce Springsteen, Motown, and Austin City Limits – the Museum’s “backstage” work to preserve rare artifacts.

Nationally Acclaimed Presenters for the 2010 Summer Teacher Institute

·       Rock History 101 Teachers:
·    Lauren Onkey, M.A., Ph.D., Vice President of Education and Public Programs, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
·    Jason Hanley, M.A., Ph.D. (ABD), Director of Education, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
·    Stephanie Heriger, M.A., Ph.D. (ABD), Education Programs Manager, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum 
·    John Goehrke, B.A.,  Education Coordinator, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum 
·    Kathryn Metz, M.M., Ph.D. (ABD), Education Instructor, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

·       Breakout session leaders include:

·    Danielle N. Dachtler, M.A., Former First Grade Teacher, University School (Shaker Heights, OH)
·    Tim Desmond, M.A., Instructional Technologist, Hawken School (Lyndhurst, OH)
·    Ed Gallagher, MT-BC, Director of Education, Beck Center for the Arts (Lakewood, OH)
·    Angela Holcomb, Third Grade Teacher, Wilson Elementary School (Bartlesville, OK)
·    Andy Kenen, M.A.,  Electives Teacher, Kenston High School (Chagrin Falls, OH)
·    Joe Knap, M.A., Retired English Department Head, Bay High School (Bay Village, OH) 
·    Deforia Lane, Ph.D., MT-BC, Music Therapist, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH)
·    Pedro Mena, Visual Arts Teacher, Ring Mountain Day School (Marin County, CA)
·    Maureen Montgomery, Education Coordinator, Muskingum County Juvenile Detention Center (Zanesville, OH)
·    Mary Jo Oklessen, M.A., Retired Music Specialist, Parma City Schools (Parma, OH)
·    Michael O’Brien, Ph.D.,  Ethnomusicologist (Madison, WI)
·    Thom O’Rourke, M.A., Sixth Grade Teacher, University School (Nashville, TN)
·    Karen Wink, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English, U.S. Coast Guard Academy (New London, CT)

·       Additional Presenters include:
·    Fernando Jones, Founder, Blues Kids of America, and Director, Blues Ensemble, Columbia College (Chicago, IL)
·    Education and Curatorial Staff of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

·       Performances by:
·    Roots of American Music is an organization employing more than 30 musicians/educators who collectively have thousands of school performances to their credit.
·    School of Rock is the national leader in rock music education for kids from age 7 to 18.

MEDIA is welcome to attend the Institute.  Credentials must be obtained in advance in order to be admitted.  Please contact Reena Samaan at to request a pass and a schedule of events.

About Joe Grushecky
Joe Grushecky’s music has stood the test of time.  For 30 years publications such as Billboard, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, No Depression, and countless others have hailed him as one of rock and roll’s most talented singer-songwriters.  In 1979 Rolling Stone magazine crowned his band the Iron City Houserockers’ first ablum Love’s So Tough the “debut record of the year.” Acclaimed rock writer Jimmy Guterman named their second album, Have a Good Time (But Get Out Alive ),as one of the 100 Best Rock and Roll Records of all time! Legendary guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Steve Cropper produced his album Blood on the Bricks.  Joe has continued to record and perform visceral rock and roll for 30 years.
East Carson Street, Joe’s 13th LP, carries on his tradition of delivering honest and passionate music. The CD features a new line-up. Long-time members Art Nardini (bass), Joffo Simmons (drums), and Joe Pelesky (keyboards) are joined by Danny Gochnour on guitar and Johnny Grushecky, Joe’s 21-year old son, also on guitar.  The new record features “Another Thin Line” (co-written with Bruce Springsteen) and “East Carson Street,” in which Joe sings about his relationship to his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. 

About Bobby Massey

Bobby Massey is a founding member of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees the O’Jays.  The O’Jays’ story dates back to the late Fifties when Eddie Levert and Walter Williams began singing gospel on a radio station in their hometown of Canton, Ohio. Joined by fellow high-schoolers William Powell, Bobby Massey and Bill Isles, they became the Triumphs, an R&B vocal group, in 1959. Their popularity as a live act got them signed to Syd Nathan’s King label, where they released a pair of singles as the Mascots.

They were then taken under the wing of Cleveland disc jockey Eddie O’Jay and renamed the O’Jays – a name that stuck. In 1961 they headed to Los Angeles, where they honed their craft with producer H.B. Barnum. They recorded for Barnum’s Little Star label and then got signed to Imperial Records. The O’Jays spent much of the Sixties on the Imperial and Bell labels, enjoying chart success on the R&B side with such hits as “Stand in For Love” (#12) and “I’ll Be Sweeter Tomorrow (Than I Was Today)” (#8).  The group’s fortunes took a leap when they met producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff backstage at Harlem’s Apollo Theater in 1968. The O’Jays signed to the duo’s fledgling Neptune label, for which they recorded seven singles, including the R&B hit “One Night Affair” (#15).

Massey left the group in 1971, shortly before the group signed to Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International label.  He has since retired from performing and has established several recording companies to promote and nurture the talents of young artists.  Bobby designed the “Back 2 Basics” program to help our children develop into responsible, well mannered, successful adults.  Massey is also the President / CEO of Mass Network, a business development and consulting company whose goals are to make resources available to small, minority business organizations in order to realize maximum growth potential.   Because of his many successes, Bobby is dedicated to giving back to his community and the world at large.

Bobby Massey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. 

About the Summer Teacher Institute
The Summer Teacher Institute immerses participants in a week of multimedia presentations, hands-on workshops, and lectures featuring classroom-tested instructional methods of experienced educators.  The award-winning education staff of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum also shares resources, activities, and methods developed in the museum’s K-12 programs.  Participants will explore the history of rock and roll from its roots to its branches, examining blues, soul, punk, funk, hip-hop and more.  For more information visit

About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission both through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.

The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Museum is open until 9 p.m. Museum admission is $22 for adults, $18 for adult residents of Greater Cleveland, $17 for seniors (65+), $13 for youth (9-12), children under 8 and Museum Members are always free, for information or  to join the membership program call 216.515.8425. For general inquiries, please call 216.781.ROCK(7625) or visit  The Museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.