Rock ‘n roll high school – yeah, yeah, yeah

Rocker Bruce Springsteen once sang, with apparent sincerity, that he “learned more from a three minute record than I ever learned in school.”

But, hey, should a kid really have to choose one or the other?

I read an interesting piece on today about Little Steven Van Zandt, a Sopranos star and radio host, in which Little Steven said he plans to bring a rock ‘n roll curriculum to
America’s schools starting in the fall.

You gotta love it.

Little Steven wants children to learn the history of rock ‘n roll and to get hooked on the music that made him a star as the guitar player for the E Street Band. He said that bands are a great way for young people to learn to cooperate with one another and to get along whatever their racial or religious differences.

Personally, I think the man is onto something.

When the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, one of the first things we heard from the newly freed Eastern Europeans is that rock ‘n roll gave them hope. They heard the Beatles and they understood what it meant to be free – a feeling that inspired them to brave the tanks and troops of an Evil Empire and demand their liberty.

In this awful age of fanaticism and war, teaching children to stand up, stand up, stand up for their rights is just the ticket.

It’s no coincidence that rock ‘n roll, the music of freedom, is centered in the United States and
England, the historic standard bearers of liberty for one and all.

So, hell, yes, Little Steven, let’s put Mick Jagger and The Charms and Bruce Springsteen on the Connecticut Mastery Tests. Let’s teach the kids something they’ll want to know.

Let’s make it so that someday, students will hear Alice Cooper bellowing “School’s out for the summer” and they’ll feel… regret.


1 Comment

Filed under Entertainment, News, Schools

One response to “Rock ‘n roll high school – yeah, yeah, yeah

  1. Margee Bailey

    I teach and learn with my awesome 7th and 8th graders at Reynolds Middle School in Fairview, Oregon. I’ve put together a unit on music in the U.S. starting with W. Africa and the griots and field hollers, to slave hollers and slave poets, up through the Blues and Jazz, and Rock and Roll and Hip Hop. My students are surprised and fascinated with the familiar rhythms and recurring themes. Including units like this is what brings joy to teaching and learning and is SO important for my students. We are a Title I school, but my district opted out to avoid the sanctions of NCLB because, while the students are learning and progressing, they are not quite up to NCLB standards. Finding and demanding space for relevance is what is going to inspire students and keep them involved with school. Music and dance are an integral part of their lives – what we ask them to work with and learn from in school should at its heart incorporate the arts. Wowsers!!! I am excited to see this curriculum!!!

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