In 1979, the concept of a "Rock 'n' Roll High School" served as fodder for comedy. However in 2015, thanks to the The Capitol Community Fund, we were able to turn that into a reality. This year we sent nine lucky teachers from the New York area to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum in Cleveland to receive hands on training on how to incorporate music into the classroom..
The Capitol Community Fund is a program created by the Capitol Theatre and HeadCount as a way to send local teachers to the Rock Hall. We auction the Presidential Box for each show at the Cap, and he proceeds go to sending the teachers to Cleveland.
Our nine scholarship recipients teach a range of subjects across all grade levels, bringing truly unique perspectives to their training at the Rock Hall.
I was fortunate enough to get to see the program in action this year for one day, and the experience was truly incredible. The Rock Hall itself is indescribable. You can literally feel the history when you step through the front doors. Seeing all of these priceless pieces of rock history, both old and new, on display gave the day a great start.
Each workshop focused on how to incorporate music as a lesson tool across all subjects. I got to sit in during one of the classes – “Fight the Power”: Music as a Social Force. This session sparked conversation on social change – specifically how it relates to rock and roll and segregation in the 1950s. We went through a number of songs - from “Glory” by Common & John Legend to Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” – dissecting each lyric and what it meant at the time it was written as well as in today’s society. I found this class particularly moving and relevant today.
The biggest takeaway for me came from listening to these incredible teachers interact with each other and compare how they will use everything they’ve learned over the two days in their classroom. In the short time I spent with the teachers at the Rock Hall, I left invigorated and excited to expand my own rock knowledge. I know these rockstar teachers are going to bring something truly special to their classrooms this year, and being a small part of that is something I’ll never forget.
We want to give a huge thanks to everyone who played an integral role in making this year’s program happen: Stephanie Heriger & the lovely Rock Hall staff; Pete Shapiro, Tom Bailey, Jon Healey, Anya Cheskin, Stephanie May & the entire family at The Capitol Theatre; and a huge thanks to all of the teachers who applied.