TeachRock and New Jersey School Boards Association are calling upon teachers and students to become part of New Jersey’s rich musical tradition by creating a documentary that explores the sound of their hometown.
Sonic Highways Hometown Documentaries is a project-based learning initiative, created by the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, that empowers groups of students to create a filmed portrait of their town’s musical history through research in libraries and archives, interviews with family members, local musicians, venue owners, historians, and fans.
Inspired by the award-winning HBO series, Sonic Highways, these documentaries provide students a dynamic, hands-on way to explore local history through music, by problem solving, working on creating long form narratives, and engaging in basic filmmaking — it is a truly interdisciplinary learning experience. Completed films shine in students’ portfolios, demonstrating their ability to work in groups, organize and finish a major project, and apply scholarly concepts to real-world tasks.
The Sonic Highways Hometown Documentaries Film Festival will take place at the annual Workshop 2018 conference, on October 23 and 24 at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Students participating in the making of these local documentaries will have the opportunity to screen their films at the Festival and participate in a Q&A session with attendees.
To be considered for the 2018 Sonic Highways Hometown Documentaries project, groups of students in Grades 9 through 11 must submit a film treatment to Rock and Roll Forever Foundation by Monday, April 9, 2018. Please indicate whether or not your school has a Film class/department (*note — students without access to filming equipment are encouraged to still participate!)
To view the User Guide and requirements for film treatments, click here.
You can also learn more about the Sonic Highways Hometown Documentaries project at the Conversations on NJ Education podcast, where host Ray Pinney discusses this initiative with RRFF Executive Director Christopher Tuffli and Dayna Orlak, who participated in this project with her students.
For questions and submissions, please contact the Rolando Alvarado.