Trace It Back:

Betty Davis

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

lesson:

The Evolution of Sound Recording

Grades: All Ages, Elementary, High, Middle
Subjects: CTE, General Music, Science, STEAM
Activities: Interactive Tech Tools, Visual Analysis

How did multitrack recording technologies enable musicians to create a form of music that could only be realized in the studio?

lesson:

The Many Roles of a Music Producer

Grades: High
Subjects: CTE, General Music
Activities: Think-Pair-Share, Visual Analysis

What does a music producer do and in what ways does one hear the sound of a producer’s work in recordings?

lesson:

The Birth of the Microphone

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: CTE, General Music, Science, STEAM
Activities: Interactive Tech Tools, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

How did the development of microphones in the 20th century change the way people make and listen to music?

lesson:

Kanye and Katrina: Environmental Racism in New Orleans

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Interview, Maps

What was Hurricane Katrina, and how did Black Americans articulate the frustrations they felt in its aftermath?

Trace It Back:

Prince

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

lesson:

The Roots of Progressive Rock

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

How did Progressive Rock’s incorporation of classical traditions and countercultural values help to forge a unique Rock genre in the late 1960s?

lesson:

The Original “Going Viral”

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: CTE, General Music, Social Emotional Learning, Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Personal Reflection, Visual Analysis

Could a musical group “go viral” before the internet?

lesson:

Business with the Grateful Dead

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: CTE, General Music
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Creative Writing, Role Playing, Station Activities, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

How did the Grateful Dead’s business practices create a dedicated fan culture and ensure the financial success of the group?

Trace It Back:

Drake

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

Trace It Back:

Beyoncé

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

lesson:

Designing Album Covers with Color Theory

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: Art, CTE, STEAM
Activities: Design and Build, Visual Analysis, Visual Art, Visual Design

What is the science behind color theory, and how is it used in fashion and album cover design?

Trace It Back:

Nicki Minaj

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

lesson:

Sound Waves, Analog Synthesis and Popular Culture

Grades: All Ages, AP/Honors/101, Elementary, High, Middle
Subjects: CTE, General Music, Science, STEAM
Activities: Interactive Tech Tools, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

How did synthesizers allow musicians to create new sounds and how did those sounds reflect American culture throughout the 20th century?

lesson:

Assembling Hits at Motown

Grades: High
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Role Playing, Station Activities

How did Motown Records in Detroit operate during the 1960s?

lesson:

The Beatles Work Towards Success

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: Math, 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?

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?

Trace It Back:

Big Freedia

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

lesson:

Funk Asserts Itself

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

How did 1970s Funk respond to African-American life in the decade following the Civil Rights movement?

lesson:

The Cassette Tape Offers New Possibilities

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: CTE, Science, Social Studies/History, STEAM
Activities: Role Playing, Visual Analysis

How did the cassette tape change the audience’s experience by allowing the listener to record, compile and disseminate music?

lesson:

Debating Dylan’s Nobel Prize

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High
Subjects: ELA
Activities: Structured Academic Controversy, Textual Analysis

What are the arguments for and against Bob Dylan receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature?

lesson:

Indigenous Music from Wounded Knee to the Billboard Charts

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High
Subjects: ELA, Social Studies/History
Activities: Document-Based Questions, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

In what ways did the music of Native Americans mark them as outsiders from the developing narratives of “American-ness” in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and how did the federal government attempt to use music as a tool to force assimilation?

lesson:

Designing a Band Logo

Grades: Elementary, High, Middle
Subjects: Art, CTE
Activities: Design and Build, Gallery Walk, Visual Analysis, Visual Design

What is a logo, what are the elements of effective logo design, and how have musicians and bands used logos to brand themselves?

lesson:

How Records and Radio Shaped American Culture

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: CTE, General Music, Science, STEAM
Activities: Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

How did changes in the technology of record manufacturing effect popular music, radio, and the people who consumed both?

lesson:

The Impact of the Electric Guitar

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: CTE, General Music, Science, STEAM
Activities: Gallery Walk, Interactive Tech Tools, Visual Analysis

How did the electrification, amplification and design of the guitar facilitate its emergence as a dominant instrument of popular music?

lesson:

“Blowin’ in the Wind” as a Rallying Cry

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: ELA, General Music
Activities: Musical Analysis, Textual Analysis, Timeline

How does the song “Blowin’ in the Wind” use poetic devices to communicate an open-ended yet powerful message about the human condition, without ever losing its historical specificity?

lesson:

The Blues and the Great Migration

Grades: High
Subjects: Social Studies/History, STEAM
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Document-Based Questions, Maps, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

How did the Great Migration spread Southern culture, helping to give the Blues a central place in American popular music?

lesson:

The Musical Roots of Doo Wop

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

How did Doo Wop develop as a musical genre?

lesson:

The Guitar: A Musical Transducer

Grades: Elementary, Middle
Subjects: CTE, General Music, Science, STEAM
Activities: Design and Build, Performance

How can the guitar help us understand the scientific principle of transduction?

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:

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:

Dan Penn

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

How did black artists and white songwriters and musicians interact in the Soul era, and what contributed to that interaction?

lesson:

DAMN.: The Art and Importance of Storytelling

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High
Subjects: Art, ELA, Social Studies/History
Activities: Gallery Walk, Musical Analysis, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

How do Kendrick Lamar’s album DAMN. and the work of photojournalist Gordon Parks tell stories that bring attention to social issues?

Trace It Back:

Amy Winehouse

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

lesson:

Math With The Grateful Dead

Grades: Elementary
Subjects: Math
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Equations and Calculations, Visual Art, Visual Design

How can math be used to better understand the Grateful Dead’s success?

Trace It Back:

Kate Bush

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

lesson:

Swing Down: Afrofuturism & Flight in the Black Imagination

Grades: High
Subjects: Art, ELA, General Music
Activities: Document-Based Questions, Maps, Musical Analysis, Playlists and Podcasts, Visual Analysis, Visual Art

What is Afrofuturism and what are some of the cultural traditions and historical events that inspired and reinforced it?

Trace It Back:

Dua Lipa

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

lesson:

Distortion: The Sound of Rock and Roll’s Menacing Spirit

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: CTE, General Music, Science, Social Studies/History, STEAM
Activities: Interactive Tech Tools, Textual Analysis

What is distortion, and how did it become a desired guitar effect in Rock and Roll?

Trace It Back:

Lana Del Rey

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

Trace It Back:

Jamila Woods

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

lesson:

Deadheads and Reagan’s America in the 1980s

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Document-Based Questions, Maps, Textual Analysis

Who are the Deadheads and how did their lifestyle contrast with the conservative values promoted by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s?

lesson:

Loudspeakers, PA Systems, and the “Wall of Sound”

Grades: Elementary, Middle
Subjects: CTE, General Music, Science, STEAM
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Design and Build, Station Activities

What is a PA system, how does it work, and how were the Grateful Dead pioneers in live sound technology?

lesson:

Beat Culture and the Grateful Dead

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High
Subjects: ELA
Activities: Station Activities, Textual Analysis

How did beat writers like Jack Kerouac influence the Grateful Dead’s music?

lesson:

Blues, Poetry, and the Harlem Renaissance

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: ELA
Activities: Gallery Walk, Textual Analysis

How does Langston Hughes’ Blues-inspired poetry exemplify the ideals of the Harlem Renaissance?

lesson:

The New York City Underground

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: Art, General Music
Activities: Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis, Visual Art, Visual Design

How did New York bands interact with the city's art scene to create something new?

lesson:

The Who’s Generation

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: ELA, Social Studies/History
Activities: Role Playing, Textual Analysis, Think-Pair-Share, Visual Analysis

How did the Who represent “My Generation” in mid-1960s England?

lesson:

Gospel Music and the Birth of Soul

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

How did Gospel influence American popular music?

lesson:

Beatlemania

Grades: High
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Four Corners, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

What were the factors that contributed to the rise of Beatlemania?

lesson:

Rock and Roll Goes to the Movies

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

How did movies help to introduce Rock and Roll culture to mainstream audiences in the 1950s?

lesson:

How to Study Rock and Roll

Grades: All Ages, AP/Honors/101, Elementary, High, Middle
Subjects: ELA, General Music, Social Studies/History
Activities: Textual Analysis, Timeline, Visual Analysis

How can teachers help students analyze and understand Rock and Roll?

lesson:

Dancing the Twist on Television

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

How did teen dance shows and the Twist influence American culture?