While TeachRock’s Common Core and ESSA alignment doesn’t translate directly into Norwegian, the Foundation’s approach to arts integration is a universal language. TeachRock is proud to have shared Director Bill Carbone and Research Associate and Project Manager Ben Dumbauld as consultants to a major education project with the University College of Southeast Norway (HSN) for a week this March.
During their action packed visit, Carbone and Dumbauld helped develop two anchor courses for HSN’s innovative new Blues Studies program. Crafted specifically for teachers in training, the first course combines performance and scholarship, tasking students with learning performance techniques from various eras of the Blues while also exploring the culture from which the music was created. The course will be taught at the university campus in Notodden, the same town where Europe’s largest annual blues festival is held, and students will research parallels between the industrialism and immigration central to the stories of both the Blues and their area.
The second class builds a bridge from historical study to present day action. Students will explore music from a “community” perspective, considering the power sound possesses to connect people, regardless of bright lights and big stages. Classwork will be project-based, and will culminate with the development of a community music program or event within the students’ own locale. The course will run for the first time beginning this August, opening with a special session hosted during the annual Little Steven’s Blues School at the Notodden Blues Festival.
But that’s not all! Ben and Bill also traveled to the southern coastal town of Larvik, where they presented at the “=Vi!” (“Equals We”) conference for cultural educators and headmasters. Speaking in front the roughly 200 attendees, Carbone shared the Foundation’s mission and history, and Dumbauld connected directly with the conference theme, delving into an activity from a RUMBLE lesson that has students explore the various layers of their personal identity.
The RRFF and University College of Southeast Norway collaboration is due to start during the fall 2018 semester. We look forward to the launch, and helping the program grow.