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.