Artists Helping Kids Connect History to the Present

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Make a short smartphone video in which you answer one question: Who or what helped you become the artist you are now?

The video will help connect your success in the present to inspiration in the past from other musicians, family, teachers, etc.

Phone camera is fine, length of 30 seconds to as long as you want.

WHY?

In some parts of the US, more than 40% of kids don’t graduate from high school; for young Black men who don’t graduate, up to 60% will serve prison time. But studies show that when a kid likes 1 class or connects with 1 teacher, that student is much more likely to graduate. Music makes that happen.

By sharing how your present success is the result of having been inspired by other musicians, your family members, and teachers, you will inspire students to see the possibilities that exist in their own lives. Your video will help spark a student’s interest, and empower a teacher to be that special person who sees that student to the finish line.

WHAT IS TEACHROCK?

Little Stevie Van Zandt’s Rock and Roll Forever Foundation’s TeachRock curriculum uses the history and culture of popular music to make K-12 lesson plans for every classroom–History, English, Science, Music, etc. The TeachRock curriculum uses music and video licensed from partners like Apple Corps, PBS, CNN, etc, and is free to teachers at Teachrock.org. TeachRock staff hosts professional development workshops nationwide that help teachers engage students with music. The curriculum is currently used by 25,000 teachers and in all 50 states.

GOALS – WE TRACE IT BACK TO:

  • Keep music alive in the school system.
  • Help teachers create the cool class that keeps kids coming to school.
  • Use music as the common ground shared by all ethnicities, genders, and generations.
  • Teach in the present tense, engaging students’ interests, and working toward shared goals.
  • Create a pathway for touring artists to participate in a class and make the teacher a hero.

HOW TO DO IT

  • Tell us on camera, “Who or what helped you become the artist you are now,” or respond to one of the prompts below. Your video can be as short as 30 seconds and as long as you like.
  • Send your video to imani@teachrock.org.

THEN WHAT

  • We’ll build a short lesson plan around your video that helps teachers make connections between your current career and the subjects they teach one of the prompts below. Your video can be as short as 30 seconds and as long as you like.
  • All interested artists can be added to the Affiliated Artist Board, alongside our Founder’s Board of Little Steven, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Martin Scorsese.
  • Artists will be offered occasional opportunities to participate in projects, but will NEVER be asked for a financial contribution.

SAMPLE VIDEO PROMPTS

Want to take it further? Try one of the prompts below, or make up your own. Students will love to hear you to speak your mind and recall what it felt like to be their age.

  • If you could go back in time and speak to yourself as a teenager, what would you say?
  • Who was around you then, and how did they influence your career?
  • Who were the musicians that inspired you to make music? How do you think your career reflects their influence?
  • Do you think any of your favorite musicians are historically important beyond the music they made? How and why?
  • Who inspires you musically right now?
  • Do you remember a teacher or class in school you really liked? What was so great about it?
  • Do you remember a class in school you didn’t like? What was bad about it? How do you think it could have been made better?
  • Do you have any words of advice for students today?
  • What are you listening to presently? Why does it speak to you?
  • What changed in your life when you began to make music?

LEGAL

We promise that we will not sell, license or lease the video to anyone else, or edit your video unless you ask us to do so.  When you provide us with your video, you grant us the exclusive rights to: (a) host the video solely on TeachRock servers (but not servers owned or controlled by others, such as YouTube or Vimeo); (b) feature the video as part of a lesson plan on TeachRock.org; (c) use all or part of the video to promote such TeachRock lesson plan on Rock and Roll Forever Foundation social media sites; and (d) at no cost, offer and provide the video to teachers for use with associated TeachRock educational materials.