The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Posts by Stephanie Heriger

Teachers are inspired to make change happen in the classroom during American Music Masters week

Thursday, November 18: 11:37 a.m.
Roots of Music: After-School Music Education in Post-Katrina New Orleans class at the Rock Hall

As I’ve mentioned before, this year’s 15th annual American Music Masters series honoring Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew has been a homecoming of sorts for me – taking me back to my former hometown of New Orleans.  Last week’s Teachers Rock workshop, featuring Allison Reinhardt and Lawrence Rawlins of the acclaimed Roots of Music program, paid tribute to the musical legacy of both our AMM honorees as well as to the musical heritage of the city of New Orleans, by drawing attention to a program that works tirelessly to keep these musical traditions alive, with students who, in a very real way, are fighting themselves to survive.

As a fourth and fifth grade special education teacher for what is now known as the Recovery School District in New Orleans, I witnessed the struggles of the city’s schoolchildren first-hand.  Years of educational neglect coupled with the crippling devastation of Hurricane Katrina left its mark in every imaginable way.  The children of New Orleans deserve better.

Unfortunately, as we know all too well, when schools are struggling – financially, academically, or in this case, both – music education is one of the first things to go.  In a city like New ...


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An amazing coincidence during a Rock Hall distance learning class

Tuesday, November 2: 9:29 a.m.
Slide taken from the class presentation.

One of my favorite New Orleans words is "lagniappe." Pronounced "lan-yap," it means something extra, a bonus. It can also be defined as an unexpected gift.

For me, this year’s American Music Masters series honoring Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew has been nothing but lagniappe. Having moved to Cleveland from New Orleans about a year and a half ago, I’m beyond excited to celebrate the music and spirit of my former hometown, and to pay homage to one of the greatest partnerships in rock and roll history. The line-up for the tribute concert on November 13th alone is phenomenal, not to mention the week’s worth of events that precede it. This is not to be missed – believe me.

The real gift to me, however, came last week when I was able to connect with a seventh-grade class at the Intercultural Charter School of New Orleans East, with an On the Road distance-learning program on Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew, and New Orleans rock and roll. Working with teachers at the school and with KID smART, a local arts integration education initiative, we were able to present a special interactive video-conferencing class just to them, and just for them ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Education, Event

Rock and Roll Teaches Financial Responsibility with "Takin' Care of Business"

Thursday, October 7: 2:32 p.m.

The road to rock superstardom is not an easy one.  To “make it big” takes talent, tenacity, and a certain amount of good fortune.  It also takes financial savvy.  Unfortunately, the cautionary tales in the music industry are many.  When it comes to the business of making music, you have to know how money works to make it work for you.

Last week, teachers from across Northeast Ohio discovered how they can use rock and roll to teach financial literacy in their own classrooms.  The workshop – offered to area educators as part of our teacher professional development series, Teachers Rock – explored the many ways that the business world and the world of popular music connect.  Teachers also got a first-hand look at one of our newest Rockin’ the Schools classes – “Takin’ Care of Business”: A Rock Band Finance Simulation.  Made possible by the generous support of KeyBank, the class follows the financial decisions of an average up-start rock band, from selling t-shirts at a local gig (should the price be $10 or $20?) to recording an album (how much does studio time cost?).  As “band managers,” students make these choices themselves, and they see the consequences play out in real-time ...


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Electrifying the Classroom: A Look at Summer Teacher Institute 2010

Friday, July 2: 9:34 a.m.
Rock Hall inductee Bobby Massey of the O'Jays (right) with Director of Education Jason Hanley.

Last week the Rock Hall hosted its annual Summer Teacher Institute – an intensive workshop for educators where the Museum becomes the classroom and rock and roll becomes the teacher.  This year we welcomed 50 teachers from 17 states and Canada to the house that rock built to learn how they can use popular music in their own curriculum.  It’s an exciting time and one of my favorite weeks of the year.  The energy is palpable and contagious.

I think what makes Summer Teacher Institute so exciting is the diversity of experience that each year’s participants brings.  From kindergarten teachers to college professors, music teachers to science teachers, STI brings educators from all sides together to find ways to make learning come alive for their students through the power of rock and roll.  This year, I met an English teacher from San Francisco interested in the poetry of rock lyrics (he took the red-eye flight just to get here in time!), a US History teacher from New Jersey preparing to teach his own high school rock history course this fall (he said it filled up in five minutes), and a group of teachers from Milwaukee curious to learn how ...


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Inside look at Insights Education Course

Tuesday, March 9: 5:28 p.m.
Students at Hawken School

The Rock Hall Education Department teaches over 20,000 K-12 students every year through our Rockin’ the Schools programming.  These hour-long classes, which cover topics from the history of hip-hop to the science of sound, teach the rich history of rock and roll, while meeting and exceeding educational content standards in areas like social studies, science, mathematics, and the language arts.  It’s amazing to watch learning come alive for the students who visit us at the Museum.

A group of ten middle school students from Hawken School, led by teacher, Tim Desmond, worked in residence at the Rock Hall as part of an experimental Insights Course offered at the school.  The students spent three full days at the Museum, attending Rockin’ the Schools classes, exploring exhibits, and working together on self-directed research projects.  Participants even got the chance to interview members of the Education Department on topics ranging from hip-hop to heavy metal.  These interviews were later used in short documentaries developed and produced by the students themselves.

It was an honor to work with such thoughtful and engaged students and exciting to watch their progress over the three days of their stay.  I was continually impressed by the ...


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Girls Rock! (and Teachers Rock) During American Music Masters Week

Wednesday, November 11: 12 p.m.
L-R: Rock Hall education manager Stephanie Heriger with educator Nancy Boutilier. Photo: Rock Hall/J

Rock Hall’s Education Manager Discusses Tuesday’s Teachers Rock Event

It’s hard to watch Girls Rock!, the acclaimed documentary about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls, and not be moved.  As a woman, I saw myself – every part of myself – in the girls featured in the movie.  As a female musician, I wished that I could have attended a camp like this when I was younger (or now, for that matter).  As an educator and former elementary school teacher, I recognized a lot of my students (male and female) in the stories told on-screen.  And as a member of the Education staff here at the Rock Hall, I couldn’t help but connect the dots between the world of Girls Rock! and the legacy of this year’s American Music Masters honoree – Janis Joplin.  I realized very quickly that Girls Rock! would be a great way to get teachers to think about and discuss a lot of the complicated issues surrounding teaching in the 21st century – all through the power of rock and roll and the lens of Janis Joplin’s life and music.

Yesterday afternoon, as part of our monthly Teachers Rock series, I was joined ...


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