Memorial Junior School, Whippany NJ
Connor W. has a passion for rockabilly and has nominated Brian Setzer of the Stray Cats for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Below is a video of Connor explaining his nomination and performing songs by both Setzer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Chet Atkins - one of Setzer's biggest influences. Connor also created a PowerPoint explaining his choice.
Divine Child High School, Dearborn, MI
The summer course focused on building writing skills through music and we incorporated the Voice Your Choice program as a project prompt. As an English teacher, I was interested in approaching writing from a genre-study perspective, but I also wanted to engage students' interests in music and the necessity to build analysis and evaluation skills. I think that music criticism and music journalism engage all of these skills, so we worked with a lot of model texts (Ann Powers: NPR, etc.) to build an understanding of how to talk/write about music and how to construct effective arguments about music.
Throughout the summer, students were asked to choose a band/artist that they felt should be inducted into the Rock Hall and they needed to produce several writing assignments that would support their decision through a variety of genres (album review, concert review, exhibit announcement, etc). What I'm attaching here are students' final projects, which represent the culmination of their writing and thinking over the summer. Students were asked to produce a full museum exhibit that incorporated artifacts and captions to explain and support their argument for induction.
Generally, students got into the assignments and they turned out very cool. I was impressed with the final projects that came in (especially after some of the writing assignments!) The way we progressed through writing to final project submission helped to focus - and during the summer, I was able to give feedback regularly. Visiting the Rock Hall was very helpful for all of the students; they were able to see what "real" exhibits look like so that they could develop ideas about what to include and what to write about. What I'm hoping to refine this year is the focus earlier on in the course - I'd like to be able to dig deeper into music analysis and evaluation. This course turned into almost entirely studies in music journalism, but it'd be really interesting to think more about why we like music and how we talk about music, and then develop vocabulary and language to support those kinds of arguments - and then compare with the criteria from the Rock Hall.
Project #1: Brett (Soundgarden)
Brett was perhaps most enthusiastic about rock music, but perhaps struggled the most with writing. The project was an excellent opportunity for him to focus his interests and learn how to express his opinions in some writing-heavy assignments, but also some multi-genre pieces. He produced a really impressive Prezi that incorporated multiple media pieces into probably the best project that I received.
Project #2: Tess (Regina Spektor)
Tess is a unique student who enjoys reading and studying, but manages to stay grounded and thus understands that complexities of an assignment like this: produce a professional, in-depth analysis while remaining relevant for audiences. It is obvious that her passion for Spektor's music is not fleeting, and I liked the extra background and analysis that she was able to bring into her exhibit.
Project #3: Laura (Justin Timberlake)
Laura is an exceptionally hard worker, and I was impressed that she created a website for her exhibit. I think this medium worked well for presenting her ideas and it turned out like a virtual museum, which was what I was hoping a lot of the projects would look like.
New Berlin High School, New Berlin, IL
Students enrolled in “Rock and Roll Methods” at New Berlin High School researched musicians who they thought should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and created PowerPoint presentations on their choices. The greatest challenge for these students was forming an argument for why their artist deserves this honor, and not just researching facts about each musician’s life and music. The students presented their projects and voted as a class for who should be inducted. Jack’s project won by a landslide; Jack did a fantastic job creating and supporting his argument with plenty of evidence, and he successfully convinced us of John Mayer’s musical excellence.
Paradise High School, Paradise, CA
This is the second time that Paradise High School has participated in the Voice Your Choice project. Like two years ago the students in our Music Tech class decided to make a video project, but this time they added the twist of a newscast announcing the finalists to our Hall of Fame. Just like two years ago this project was very popular amongst the students.
One of the reasons I like this project is that it allows learning across the spectrum. The students first have to decide what kind of Hall of Fame they want. Different genres of music are suggested, and then students research and give a verbal presentation on those genres. When that is completed the students vote a few times until the final genre is chosen. This year the theme was Indie Rock.
Once a genre is chosen the class researches Hall of Fame entrance requirements for a wide variety of halls (you’d be surprised how many are out there!). From this we create are own rules and then we create our definition of Indie Rock. Now comes the fun part!
The students dig into different bands and performers. They create a list of possible inductees, and then double check to make sure they meet our criteria. From here the students are assigned different groups to research and then make a verbal presentation to the class about their group with the idea of convincing the class whether they should or should not be in our Indie Rock Hall of Fame. After the presentations voting takes place and this year we came up with three finalists.
Next the students needed to create the project. Parts were assigned, scripts were written, parts were practiced, and filming took place. Some scenes took one take, most took more! After that we used green screen technology to add backgrounds, and then it was sent to editing.
Students on the editing team had to take all the different scenes, introductions, credits, etc. and blend them into one cohesive program. When you factor in the music, text, and other items of interest this turned out to be a long process. I’m not completely satisfied with the end result but we learned a lot and the final project is much, much better than our first try.
One of our biggest challenges was in deciding which groups should be inducted. One of our pet peeves was Indie Bands who went out and made a lot of money. Do you choose a group like Nirvana, who was very influential and yet maybe did not stick to the Indie format? Or how about Smashing Pumpkins? We spent quite a while debating our choices.
Another challenge was the public speaking on film. Most students did great when they had to present in class, but once in front of the camera it was a different story! This class does no acting or anything like that, so we had to rely on our skills as they existed and then attempt to improve on them.
As usual this was a great project. My class enjoys it, the administration is impressed, and I intend on keeping it as part of my curriculum.
Chapelside Academy, Cleveland, Ohio
This page has been created to showcase the work done by Mrs. Cales' 7th and 8th grade students at Chapelside Cleveland Academy during the 2013/2014 school year for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Voice Your Choice Program. The original project was presented to students after a field trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum on February 6th, 2014. Students attended a Rockn' The Schools Black History Month presentation from the Rock Hall and then toured the museum.The Project Based Learning opportunity directions provided to the students may be viewed below.
Mrs. Cales' class got into small groups created several prezis and mindomos about their selected Inductees. You can see all of the projects here. Students' names and their nominations are on the left-hand side of the website.
University Park Elementary, Casper, Wyoming
The 4th and 5th grade students were given a project that required reading for research and writing a persuasive essay. Their project was to choose an artist from a list of artists chosen by the teachers. They were required to take notes on three areas: artist performances, music and accomplishments. The students then had to form an opinion of why their artist should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They then used their research to write a persuasive essay to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame explaining why their artist should be inducted. The essays are on the Beatles, Cyndi Lauper (and here), the Elvis Presley, (and here), Aerosmith, the Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, the Journey (and here), the Eagles, and the Supremes.
After completing their essays, the students presented them to a high school music theory class.
Mountview Road Elementary School, Hanover Township NJ
Connor W. is a 5th grader from New Jersey with a passion for rockabilly who nominated Brian Setzer of the Stray Cats for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Below is a video of Connor explaining his nomination and performing "Sleepwalk" in a rockabilly style inspired by Setzer. Connor also wrote an essay explaining his choice.
Knudson Middle School, Las Vegas, Nevada
Heather Rampton on the Girls Rock Vegas Class: "The main challenge was the timeframe, but the girls spent lots of time outside of the classroom doing research and constructing the scrapbook. Through doing this project, they learned how to really analyze lyrics and develop an understanding of the themes in the music. They also learned how to conduct research and how to cite their sources. The outcomes of this project were very positive. The students took ownership over their work and were really invested in this project."
Andrews Osborne Academy, Willoughby, OH
Students at Andrews Osborne Academy enrolled in an upper school elective titled “Rock and Roll As A Social Force” voiced their choice for who might be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame of the Future. As a class we discussed and voted who should be nominated. In partnershipos of two or three students they researched one artist and then created a class presentation about why they deserved to be inducted.
West Allegheny High School, Imperial PA
In August of 2012, Pennsylvania changed it state standardized testing system which directly affected my students. The state decided to move the testing dates up to December, instead of April, and the administration of my district decided that all juniors would have test prep from August up to the test during the second week of December. All of my English classes are junior classes. It was particularly trying for the students. When we returned after winter break I knew I needed something that would be educational, but also entertaining and I decided on the Voice Your Choice project. I started with a bit of music history. I broke down music into decades starting with the 50’s and each week we focused on the music of that time period. We had our own Grammy Awards, we had our own Billboard charts and for the 1990’s the students had a debate as to which artist/s made the most impact on the future of music. When it came to the actual project I gave the students total freedom. I printed out the submission rules from the Hall of Fame website and for two weeks we worked on them in class. Just this past week the students presented their visual and defended their choice to the class. On Thursday, the class voted for the top three that they thought should be submitted to the contest and I am sending along one from each of the classes based upon the students’ decision. One of the challenges I had was, since these three classes are general English classes with some rather low level and unmotivated students, they quickly got bored with some of the activities leading up to the project. Also, being teenagers, some of them just took the easy way out and did as little as they could so when they got to the final project they really didn’t know the background of music enough to make any argument!!! The sample projects on the Hall of Fame website definitely helped and during one class period we took some time to look at them and talk about them which helped clarify for the students what they needed to do. All in all, I am glad we participated in the project. If I participate next year I now have a basis to work on the lesson plans. When working with these students in the general classes I need a structure and some of the activities were not structured enough. Also, I would probably put them in teams rather than individually as that way they could use their strengths to help each other through the process. The students were confused when we started the project because they couldn’t understand how this had anything to do with English class, but as we went through the process they were researching, analyzing, writing, persuading and presenting – all skills that the state standards and the core curriculum address. The Voice Your Choice project is an activity that I will definitely participate in next year!
Surrarrer Elementary School, Strongsville OH
I chose to participate in this project because it is a great way to get students thinking about the aesthetics of music; why do they like what they like? I also love to introduce my students to musicians and performers they wouldn't otherwise know in order to help them out of their musical comfort zone. It's interesting to learn who the students are listening to and I love to hear their arguments for or against a particular artist.
First, the students chose an artist and had to write a persuasive business letter to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, asking for their artist to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Their letter included facts about the artist and personal opinions to support their cause. The students also had to make a poster about their artist, which included pictures, artist bio, and reasons why the artist should be inducted. Finally, the students had to give a short presentation about their artist and include a sound clip.
Students worked in pairs to develop letters to send to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. At right are examples of letters sent by Mrs. Galizio's class.
West Side Community House, Cleveland, Ohio
Ms. Ali: "Sisterhoood decided to participate in the Voice Your Choice project because it tied in nicely with the program’s third cycle – Arts & Creativity. We decided to create a talk show and announce our predictions of which artists would most likely be inducted into the Rock Hall by the year 2037. The girls posed as legendary rock historians and answered a few questions about their predictions. The biggest challenge was creating criteria for induction and narrowing down our list of artists. Sisterhood worked through these challenges by having deep, meaningful conversations and working as a team to come to a final agreement. We learned how difficult it can be to articulate personal opinion and the importance of being able to do so. We also gained a better appreciation for critics and key decision makers. The project also opened up an opportunity for the girls to work on their public speaking skills. Finally, the girls learned how to respect someone else’s opinion even if it differed from their own."
State College Area High School, State College, PA
Mr. Robinson: "The students decided to participate in the project and to back Kansas for nomination. We had several meetings to discuss our approach and rehearse the material. Once completed, we assembled the project to portray us in rehearsal, giving more credence to the idea that we weren’t just talking about Kansas---we were living Kansas; brought about by the deep inspiration they give us musically. The whole concept was challenging, as we got caught up thinking our project should look like (or be similar too) the examples posted on the R&R HOF website.The logistics of a “music video”, with audio and video quality being of great import, also presented a technical challenge. We did several takes of each audio and video sample in order to choose the best one.
The outcome was tremendous educationally speaking. We learned a great deal about teamwork and what it takes to bring many diverse ideas together in a unified whole. We explored the ideas and music of Kansas quite a bit as well, with the result that we like them even better now. Lastly, we learned we have a lot to learn. But to make that journey together is a beautiful thing."
Narara Valley High School, Narara, New South Wales, Australia
Mr. Howitt: "The major challenge was establishing agreed criteria and applying them. The major outcomes were the whole class gaining a detailed understanding of the concept of different perceptions of rock’n’roll, which is a syllabus heading we will be covering later in the course, and a perfect introduction to the concept of rock’n’roll as a popular culture, which will be invaluable when we reach that part of the course. To the left is the prezi of student Annie C."
Paradise High School, Paradise, California
Mr. Schofield: "My students created a video for their Voice Your Choice project. The main reason for participating in this project was the fact that the different aspects of the project fit into the curriculum of our small learning community. The Fusion program is always looking for ways to integrate different core subjects and apply cross – curricular education. The Voice Your Choice assignment was completed by a music technology class, but it also included, amongst other things, writing, public speaking, advanced computer applications and critical thinking skills. I involved the students as much as possible in the creation of this project, and even had one of them write most of this essay. Some of the challenges of this project were defining techno, narrowing the field, and deciding whether or not we would accept DJs or just groups and artists. Defining techno was difficult for us because we all had different opinions on the music. Narrowing all of the choices was a challenge because we had such a vast field of things to choose from. The students worked through these issues by researching, discussing, debating and voting on any subject that required a major decision. I even had students critique each other’s work so they would receive feedback from their peers as well as their teacher."
Our Lady of the Lake School, Euclid, OH
Mrs. Hribar: "My students were given a LOT of choice. They could pick a current Hall of Famer, an inductee for 2012, or a future inductee and then chose a creative, written, and speech component to argue why the selected subject deserved or did not deserve Rock Hall status. The students had diverse approaches. Some conducted talk shows, others formal speeches, some debates, some made scrapbooks, there were diaramas, persuasive essays, Power Points, and more. Most argued FOR someone while others argued against. We had a Justin Beiber face-off for the future class category!" Click here for a gallery of 3D creations.
OHDELA (Ohio Distance & Electronic Learning Academy), Akron, OH
Click here to explore the prezis, interviews, glogsters and voicethreads that Ms. Cales' class created for their Voice Your Choice projects. The students elaborated on why artists such as Dave Matthews Band, Mariah Carey, Louis Armstrong and others should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Mr. Larratt: "My course is called Language and Contemporary Song Lyrics and it features a mix of students that are from Grades 10-12. This English Language Arts option course was a natural fit for the Voice your Choice project as it dealt with many of the same concerns that the course is focused upon already. My students first determined that they would select artists that would fulfill the current objectives set out by the RRHOF for induction but with a twist; the selections would occur 25 years in the future so that all artists could be considered for induction. Students presented their inductees in a variety of formats, ranging from traditional persuasive essays to Power Point presentations featuring a wide array of visual and multimedia supplements. The big challenges faced by students were in determining their artist of focus and if selecting a current artist, making sure that they had enough evidence to fully support their validity. Students worked through their challenges by reviewing the RRHOF parameters for induction and also reviewing artists that have already been enshrined; what did they have that suggested excellence and aesthetic value."
Desert Ridge Jr. High School in Mesa, Arizona
Ms. Laine and Ms. Przeslica asked their students to write a letter of support to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame arguing for a band or artist’s induction. Students chose to argue for bands not yet inducted, to support bands that have been recently inducted, or to propose a band’s induction in the future (when that band is eligible).