lesson:

Learning Rhythm through Gospel

Grades: Elementary
Subjects: General Music
Activities: Performance

How can Gospel music help students identify the musical concepts of beat, meter, backbeat, subdivision, and syncopation?

lesson:

The Influence of Rhythm and Blues

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: General Music, Social Studies/History
Activities: Musical Analysis, Textual Analysis

What did R&B bring to early Rock and Roll, and how was early Rock and Roll different?

lesson:

Rhythm and Blues Hit the Airwaves

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: ELA, Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Maps, Performance, Role Playing, Textual Analysis

How did Dewey Phillips and Hunter Hancock help bring Rhythm and Blues music to mixed race audiences?

lesson:

“Hound Dog” and 1950 Race Relations

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: General Music
Activities: Maps, Musical Analysis

How does the story of “Hound Dog” demonstrate music culture’s racial mixing as it differed from mainstream American life in the 1950s?

lesson:

Producing the Sounds of a Changing South

Grades: High
Subjects: General Music, Social Studies/History
Activities: Gallery Walk, Textual Analysis

How did the recordings Sam Phillips produced at Sun Records, including Elvis Presley’s early work, reflect trends of urbanization and integration in the 1950s American South?

lesson:

The Rise of the Electric Guitar

Grades: High
Subjects: General Music, Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Four Corners, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis, Visual Design

What factors led to the rise of the electric guitar as the dominant symbol of Rock and Roll?

lesson:

The Memphis Sound and Racial Integration

Grades: High
Subjects: ELA, Social Studies/History
Activities: Gallery Walk, Maps, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

How has Memphis music culture provided one example of art’s capacity to challenge the racial boundaries that have so often structured American life?

lesson:

The Gospel Origins of “Chain of Fools”

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: ELA, General Music
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Maps, Musical Analysis

Essential Question: How did Aretha Franklin’s foundation in Gospel music influence her recording of “Chain of Fools,” helping to establish a Soul sound and bringing black culture into mainstream America?

lesson:

Car Culture in Postwar America

Grades: High
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

How did car culture intersect with and inspire Rock and Roll?

lesson:

The Banjo, Slavery, and the Abolition Debate

Grades: AP/Honors/101
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Document-Based Questions, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

What is the relationship between the banjo and slavery, and how did music making by enslaved people influence the abolition debate during the 18th and early 19th century?

lesson:

Jimi Hendrix: Introducing Hard Rock

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: ELA, General Music
Activities: Role Playing, Textual Analysis

In what ways did Jimi Hendrix help create a new "Hard Rock" sound while retaining a connection to the Blues and R&B of his past?

lesson:

The Musical Roots of the Surf Sound

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: General Music
Activities: Musical Analysis, Role Playing, Station Activities, Visual Analysis

What is the Surf sound and where did it come from?

lesson:

The Musical Roots of the Surf Sound (Elementary Version)

Grades: Elementary
Subjects: Art, Social Studies/History
Activities: Musical Analysis, Station Activities, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis, Visual Art

How does the “Surf Sound” in Rock and Roll reflect early surf culture, and what are the roots of this genre of music?

lesson:

“Twist and Shout” and Post-War Britain

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: General Music
Activities: Musical Analysis, Role Playing, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

What role did cover songs like “Twist and Shout” play early in the Beatles's career, and how did their experiences growing up in post-WWII Liverpool and performing in Hamburg nightclubs help them to develop as a professional musical ensemble?

lesson:

Latin Music in Postwar New York City

Grades: High
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Maps, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

How did the growth of New York City’s Latino population in the 1940s and 50s help to increase the popularity of Latin music and dance in American culture?

lesson:

Dion and the Teen Idols

Grades: High
Subjects: ELA, Social Studies/History
Activities: Role Playing, Visual Analysis

What role did the so-called "teen idols" of the late 1950s play in bringing Rock and Roll into mainstream American culture?

lesson:

Fear of the American Teenager

Grades: High
Subjects: ELA, Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Role Playing, Structured Academic Controversy, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

What made the teenager a source of anxiety during the 1950s?

lesson:

Chuck Berry

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: General Music
Activities: Station Activities, Visual Design

Why is Chuck Berry often considered the most important of the early Rock and Rollers?

lesson:

Radio Before Rock and Roll

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Interview, Station Activities, Textual Analysis

How did radio influence American life in the years before the birth of Rock and Roll?

lesson:

The Beatles Work Towards Success

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: Social Studies/History, STEAM
Activities: Equations and Calculations, Maps, Textual Analysis, Timeline, Visual Analysis

How did The Beatles' rigorous work schedule during the years 1960-63 build their strengths as performers, as musicians, and as a band?