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Steven Van Zandt Creates A Free School of Rock: Free Lesson Plans That Helps Educate Kids Through Music

Stevie Van Zandt’s TeachRock project brings rich educational materials to teachers and students everywhere – at no cost. The lesson plans and resources at TeachRock allow a one-of-a-kind, multimedia experience that helps young people connect the history of popular music to classroom work across the disciplines. From social studies and language arts to geography, media studies, science, general music, and more: TeachRock has engaging and meaningful material for every classroom.

Steven Van Zandt founded the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation in response to a drop-out crisis he saw crippling American education. Believing that student engagement is a significant facet of the crisis, he conceived a curriculum based around popular music, a subject that connects with student interest and passion. Importantly, what he then created with his team is a curriculum that is not restricted to music departments alone, a truly interdisciplinary curriculum. TeachRock is endorsed by the National Council for the Social Studies, the National Association for Music Education, and the National Council for Geographic Education, with partners including Scholastic Inc., PBS, Reelin’ in the Years, ABC News, Rock’s Backpages, New York University’s Steinhardt School, and the Grammy Museum.

The more-than-120 lesson plans at TeachRock are divided into two categories. The Core Lessons explore the interconnected histories of popular music and American culture from the 19th century to the present. The Special Collections lessons are constructed alongside documentaries and feature films. Both categories are brimming with engaging resources and exciting classroom activities for teachers of all ages and disciplines.

Not sure where to start? Try a TeachRock-curated Suggested Path lesson set.

The “Welcome Teachers” section of the site is designed to help educators make the most of all that they provide. From professional development videos to standards and partner resources, this will be a home base for teachers who bring TeachRock into the classroom.

Lesson plans collections tailored to specific grade levels, subjects, and topics of study.