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 can shapes be used to design an electric guitar?Why might people dance, and how have dance trends changed in America since the 1920s?How can one reproduce the effects seen in the music video for Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey’s song “The Middle” using a homemade projector?How might visual artists use music as a tool for inspiration, and how might sound be reflected through art?
- What is the science behind color theory, and how is it used in fashion and album cover design?What is distortion, and how did it become a desired guitar effect in Rock and Roll?How do successful music producers practice positive leadership skills?How can Gospel music help students identify the musical concepts of beat, meter, backbeat, subdivision, and syncopation?
- How does the Union occupation of Port Royal highlight the complex issues behind the Civil War?How do Kendrick Lamar’s album DAMN. and the work of photojournalist Gordon Parks tell stories that bring attention to social issues?How did the singer-songwriters of the 1960s and 70s address the concerns of the environmental movement?How did Ritchie Valens meld traditional Mexican music and Rock and Roll?
- Who are the Deadheads and how did their lifestyle contrast with the conservative values promoted by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s?What is a PA system, how does it work, and how were the Grateful Dead pioneers in live sound technology?How can you help someone struggling with addiction?How did the Grateful Dead make their concerts more accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) community?
- How did beat writers like Jack Kerouac influence the Grateful Dead’s music?How did the counterculture movement of the late 1960s challenge traditional American behaviors and values, and how did the Grateful Dead reflect these changing views of life and society?Could a musical group “go viral” before the internet?How can society lower the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere?
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