To empower teachers and engage students by using popular music to create interdisciplinary, culturally responsive education materials for all 21st century classrooms.
Steven Van Zandt’s TeachRock project brings rich, multimedia educational materials to teachers and students everywhere–at no cost. The lesson plan collections and resources at teachrock.org help teachers engage students by connecting the history of popular music to classroom work across the disciplines. From social studies and language arts to geography, media studies, science, general music, and more: TeachRock has engaging and meaningful arts integration materials for every classroom.
Lesson Plan Collections
There are more than 150 Lessons Plans at TeachRock
The CORE LESSONS explore the interconnected histories of popular music and American culture from the 19th century to the present.
The SPECIAL COLLECTIONS are constructed alongside documentaries, feature films, and with other partners.
Both categories are brimming with engaging resources and exciting classroom activities for teachers of all ages and disciplines.
- How have black artists throughout the 20th century used music to speak about racial injustice in America?What was Hurricane Katrina, and how did black Americans articulate the frustrations they felt in its aftermath?How does John Legend and Common’s “Glory” signal Civil Rights movements of the past and the present?What is the relationship between the banjo and slavery, and how did music making by slaves influence the abolition debate during the 18th and early 19th century?
- What was the Second Great Awakening, how did it change American society, and how does Sacred Harp singing exemplify its ideals?How did the Great Migration spread Southern culture, helping to give the Blues a central place in American popular music?How has Memphis music culture provided one example of art’s capacity to challenge the racial boundaries that have so often structured American life?How did changes in the Soul music of the early 1970s reflect broader shifts in American society during that time?
- How did Social Soul reflect a new vision of African-American identity in the late 1960s and early 1970s?What are the historical roots of Hip Hop?How has “the beat” been an object of both celebration and concern in the history of popular music?How did 1970s Funk respond to African-American life in the decade following the Civil Rights movement?
- How have musicians responded to the Black Lives Matter movement?What is distortion, and how did it become a desired guitar effect in Rock and Roll?How were American’s divisive opinions over the Vietnam War articulated by musicians in the 1960s and early 1970s?How did music help people resist what the Berlin Wall symbolized?
- How did country musicians’ responses to the September 11th terrorist attacks speak to the feelings of the American people after the tragedy?What was Hurricane Katrina, and how did black Americans articulate the frustrations they felt in its aftermath?How have black artists throughout the 20th century used music to speak about racial injustice in America?What shapes did Pablo Picasso use to create his piece Guitar, Sheet Music, and Glass and how can similar shapes be used to create other instruments?
- How can shapes be used to design an electric guitar?How can the guitar help us understand the scientific principle of transduction?What is plastic, how is it harmful for the environment, and how can it be used more responsibly?How is plastic made, how does it affect our marine environments, and how can plastic waste be eliminated?
Exclusive Partner Media
Explore extensive media archives exclusively provided by our partners. Go to individual partner pages below to find historic video footage and relevant articles.
Reelin’ In the Years is the world’s largest library of music footage. From the roots of Rock and Roll to the present day, music from every period relating to Rock and Roll and from across the genres is represented in this remarkable library of film footage.
Reelin' in the Years Collection