“Music will forever be humanity’s most effective and consistent source of inspiration and motivation, and, we have learned, music turns out to be our most solid common ground for establishing communication between teachers and students which is where education begins.” - Stevie Van Zandt
Little Steven and the Disciples of Tour are currently on the road with their Soulfire TeachRock Teacher Appreciation Tour. The landmark live tour will benefit The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation’s TeachRock program. Established by Dr. Van Zandt (he gave the commencement speech to the Class of 2017 and received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Rutgers University), the Foundation creates education materials that use the history of popular music to create engaging, multicultural lesson plans for history, social studies, language arts, music, and science classrooms, all of which are available to educators at NO COST.
This marks the first-ever Rock tour specifically geared towards addressing this crucial societal need. At each stop of the tour, The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation is hosting FREE TeachRock Professional Development Workshops, with educators who attend also receiving a complimentary ticket to that evening’s concert.
The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation was founded to provide a simultaneous solution to two escalating problems, music classes being cut, and a high school drop out epidemic. Believing that student engagement is a significant facet of the crisis, he conceived a curriculum based around popular music, a subject that provides immediate common ground with student interest and passion. He has created with his team a curriculum that is not restricted to music departments alone, a truly interdisciplinary curriculum.
Now endorsed by the National Council for the Social Studies and the National Association for Music Education, with partners including Scholastic Inc., Reelin' in the Years, ABC News, Rock's Backpages, New York University's Steinhardt School, and the Grammy Museum, Van Zandt's Rock and Roll Forever Foundation has launched TeachRock.org.
-TeachRock is an online educational resource presented by Stevie Van Zandt's Rock and Roll Forever Foundation and offered free-of-charge to educators and individuals everywhere. Interdisciplinary in nature, TeachRock is geared toward middle and high school students but includes resources for learning at all levels. Launched in Fall 2013, the website will offer new lesson plans and teaching resources on a monthly basis. Educators are encouraged to create user accounts, which will allow them to receive notifications when new content is made available.
-TeachRock now has 70 (of the 200 lessons planned) on-line and being used by teachers worldwide for free.
-The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation has recently announced a collaboration with The New Jersey School Boards Association to provide teachers and administrators in the all of the state's public school districts with access to arts-based, STEAM-aligned professional development and educational materials, free of charge.
-TeachRock has partnered with "Sonic Highways", the HBO series produced by Dave Grohl, to create "The Sonic Highways Pilot Program" which encourages students to become the filmmakers, sending them to research the musical histories of their own hometowns. Groups of students will interview locals about their musical experiences, gather historical source materials and compile and edit footage to create short documentary videos.
-TeachRock has created six interdisciplinary lessonplans to accompany the forthcoming Ron Howard directed Beatles documentary, "8 Days a Week: The Touring Years" as well as partnering with Scholastic to host a “Live Beatles Webcast” broadcast to potentially a million students.
-TeachRock in partnership with PBS, has also created 16 lesson plans, two for each of the eight episodes of the "Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music" series. The final project of Beatles producer Sir George Martin, "Soundbreaking" explores the ongoing interactions between musical sound and technology.
-Rock and Roll Forever hosted the NY Premiere of Ron Howard's 8 Days A Week film as it’s 2016 annual fundraiser, raising approximately $750,000.
“Little Steven’s TeachRock program brings an essential curriculum of music and culture into school and makes it available at no cost to educators. In a time of cutbacks in arts funding, Steve's programs are keeping kids engaged in the arts, and in school — this is his greatest legacy.”
- Bruce Springsteen