APATA – The Australian Performing Arts Teachers Association

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Posted by Team APATA | Oct 27, 2021

I know I’m not the only one who wanted to pledge allegiance to the band of Mr Schneebly, Jack Black‘s character from School of Rock.

In the movie Mr Schneebly’s crazy classroom style blends performance, music business, production, history and supported the socio-emotional outcomes of his students. Completely non-curriculum compliant of course but that was the movie’s charm.

Jack Black’s character, who is not a teacher, engages with his class in a way that endears himself to the students and movie audiences 20-something years later. Teaching us all a lesson or two.

School of Rock embodies engaged learning through music and that is the appeal of TeachRock.org.

TeachRock is the dream-come-reality educational arm of music legend Steven Van Zandt’s Rock and Roll Forever Foundation.

The American singer, songwriter, musician, producer, actor, activist and author best known as a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street band and currently playing with his re-formed Disciples of Soul, grew up disenchanted with school. He claims that he learnt more from his heroes in music, than in the classroom and this is why TeachRock was created.

In The New Yorker article by John Seabrook, Steven Van Zandt’s New Rock and Roll High School, Van Zandt explains his outside of school education, “Suddenly, you find yourself learning about Eastern religion”—from the Beatles—“or about orchestration. Learning about literature from Bob Dylan. You didn’t get into it to learn things, but you learn things anyway.”

Though aligned to American curriculum – Australian teachers; studio owners; private educators; parents, and students can still experience the wealth of information on TeachRock.

“Innovative lesson plans developed by experienced educators and top experts in the field foster genuine learning in areas including social studies, language arts, geography, science, STEAM, general music and more. TeachRock has crafted engaging and meaningful material for every classroom, and developed exciting professional development workshops to share it with teachers. All for free. No cost, period.”

In April this year the State of Connecticut announced their partnership with TeachRock to launch an innovative, standards-aligned arts’ curriculum in schools statewide.

“Using popular music to grab students’ attention and pull them into their academic curriculum is a creative way to engage students and help them achieve success in their studies, and I thank TeachRock for developing this program and working with us to bring it to Connecticut schools,” Governor Lamont said.

“Especially during this time of a pandemic, we must give educators the tools they need to innovate from the inside out to engage students in creative ways,” Connecticut Education Deputy Commissioner of Education Desi Nesmith said. “TeachRock’s unique curriculum does that by connecting students to history, culture, and human experiences while positively impacting their social-emotional development.”

Shawna Longo, an Arts Integration Specialist, STEAM Consultant and Music Educator says “Its not something else to add to their (teachers’) plates. It’s just a new way to go about teaching the materials and the concepts that they’re already used to teaching in the classroom.”

To learn more and explore TeachRock resources visit TeachRock.org

Donate to the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation   

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