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Collection

It’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope and Empowerment

In every generation, Black rock and roll artists have elevated the conversation about race, equality, justice, and peace. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 2020 exhibit “It’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope, & Empowerment” shows how...

Collection

Jahi PE 2.0

Hip hop artist and educator (and Cleveland native) Jahi has spent his career thinking about how hip hop and education intersect, and he helped us curate this collection to teach students about hip hop’s past and present. Jahi’s playlist “Music...

Collection

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Lesson Plan/Activity

John Mellencamp – Small Town Perspectives

John Mellencamp is a singer, songwriter, and philanthropist. His song “Small Town” expresses the experience of growing up in rural America. Use this activity to lead students through a guided analysis of “Small Town.” Our related Perspectives Activity in Rock...

Lesson Plan/Activity

Experiment: Sonic Tubes

When we listen with headphones, sometimes it sounds like the music is moving around our heads. How is that possible, since the headphones stay in or on our ears? This slide deck, suitable for late elementary and early middle school...

Lesson Plan/Activity

U2: Music and Social Change Activity

U2 often uses their music to deliver social and political messages. Use this material to teach students about some of the band’s most politically-charged moments, including their 1985 performance at Live Aid. The presentation concludes with activities where students can...

Lesson Plan/Activity

2Pac – Dear Mama Perspectives

Tupac Shakur was a successful West Coast rapper. His song “Dear Mama” acts as a letter to his mom as well as an expression of appreciation for all she did for him. Use this activity to lead students through a...

Lesson Plan/Activity

Nina Simone – Mississippi Goddamn Perspectives

Nina Simone was an important Civil Rights activist. Her song “Mississippi Goddam” expresses her anger at the cruelty and injustices she witnessed in the 1960s. Use this activity to lead students through a guided analysis of “Mississippi Goddam.” Our related...

Lesson Plan/Activity

Nina Simone – I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free Perspectives

Nina Simone was an important Civil Rights activist. Her song “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” speaks to the experience of being Black in 1960s America. Use this activity to lead students through a guided...

Lesson Plan/Activity

Joan Baez – Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) Perspectives

Joan Baez is a folk singer and activist. Her song “Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)” tells the story of a plane crash in 1948 and the resulting biased news coverage. Use this activity to lead students through a guided...

Lesson Plan/Activity

Sam Cooke “A Change is Gonna Come” Song Analysis

Sam Cooke was the lead singer of The Soul Stirrers before launching a pop solo career and transitioning his sound to soul. His song “A Change is Gonna Come” speaks to elements of the African American experience in the 1950s...

Collection

Listening Collection

How do we get students to actively listen? We all know listening to music is fun, but active listening takes some practice. Use this collection to help students develop their music listening skills. Encourage younger learners to listen to their...

Collection

Cleveland, OH, USA

Cleveland, OH is the home of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Cleveland’s history with rock & roll dates back to the 1940s in sound and the 1950s with Alan Freed and his Moondog Coronation radio show and Coronation...

Collection

Visual Art and Music

There is no shortage of visual mediums in music: album art, posters, fan art, fanzines, and stage shows. Visual art is a wonderful way to interpret, express and reflect on what we hear in sound and music. Use this collection...

Collection

Punk

Punk rock started in the 1970s as a music culture that valued raw simplicity and a DIY (do-it-yourself) attitude over the excess and theatricality of mainstream 70s rock. Use this collection to teach about punk scenes in New York City,...

Collection

Discourse on Music and Race

Democracy is built on the ability to debate, dissent and discuss issues that affect all citizens including social services, economic strategies, homeland defense, and civil rights. In order for progress to occur leaders and citizens alike must practice civil discourse....

Collection

Rock & Politics Collection

Political movements and campaigns harness the power of music as a vehicle for expressing their messages to constituents and opponents alike. While speeches can be long and dry, songs are typically brief but can be packed full of agendas, and more importantly, can evoke emotions that...

Collection

Robert Randolph Gospel Collection

This collection was made in collaboration with Robert Randolph, known for his gospel music featuring the pedal steel guitar. Use this collection to introduce students to Robert Randolph and his music. Check out the first few videos where Randolph demonstrates how...

Collection

Get Back to Let It Be

This collection is a supplement for the groundbreaking exhibition curated by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame that is an immersive complement to Peter Jackson’s docuseries, “The Beatles: Get Back.” Fans experience The Beatles’ creative journey through the exhibit’s original instruments,...

Collection

Wellness & Music

What is wellness? Wellness encompasses a wide range of health, from physical and mental, to emotional and spiritual, and even social and financial. Wellness is personal and collective with our environments impacting our wellbeing too. Use this collection for engaging...

Playlist

Ruth Brown Playlist

Ruth Brown’s voice shaped the sounds of early rock & roll and helped launch rock’s foundational Atlantic Records. Excited by her singing talent, the new Atlantic Records signed Brown in 1949. She started singing rhythm & blues songs that became...

Artifact Image

Chuck Berry Gallery

Photo of the Chuck Berry Exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the early 2020s. Photo courtesy of the Rock Hall’s Curatorial Team

Artifact Image

Link Wray Exhibit Display with Record Cover

Link Wray Exhibit Display with Record Cover at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Artifact Image

Link Wray Exhibit Display with Flyer

Link Wray Exhibit Display with Flyer at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Playlist

Bon Jovi Playlist

Bon Jovi maintained their chart-topping reputation for decades with albums like 1988’s New Jersey and 2000’s Crush. Beyond sound, the band’s visuals helped define the era of “Big Hair Metal” in the 1980s. Bon Jovi concerts featured powerful pyrotechnics displays...

Audio File

Amythyst Kiah Interview

Listen to this audio recording of the Rock Hall’s Director of Education, Mandy Smith, interviewing musical artist Amythyst Kiah. They discuss roots music and the desegregation and resegregation of music in the 20th century. The topic shifts to more modern...

Playlist

Big Mama Thornton Playlist

Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton was discovered at 14 while cleaning spittoons in Montgomery, Alabama. She spent several years performing across the Southern United States on the Chitlin’ Circuit, where she was dubbed the “New Bessie Smith.” In 1952, Thornton...

Playlist

Latin Music’s Influence on Early Rock Playlist

Latin music significantly influenced many styles of popular music including jazz, rock and roll, and funk. American bass guitarist Carol Kaye calls jazz “one-third Latin,” and points out that many jazz bass lines are related to the samba, an Afro-Brazilian...

Playlist

Kate Bush Playlist

As if emerging from a shadow in the morning mist, Kate Bush arrived on the late 1970’s pop scene almost overnight. Combining orchestral strings and classical music with electronic and synth melodies, and applying her high, sometimes otherworldly voice, Kate...

Collection

Music & the 1950s & 1960s Civil Rights Movement

Music was an integral part of the 1950s & 1960s civil rights movement. From Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson to Sam Cooke and the Staple Singers, musicians have regularly played a role in advocating for change. Musicians often stood alongside Dr....

Collection

African American Entrepreneurs in the Music Industry

Entrepreneurs take ideas and put them into action. These ideas usually manifest as a business that develops opportunities for the entrepreneur and those they hire. To be successful, business owners, especially new business owners, need to have a clear vision...

Collection

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

On the third Monday of January each year, US citizens celebrate the life and work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The young Baptist minister began work as an activist for civil rights and racial equality in the 1950s. In that same decade, a new music style called “rock and roll” blasted out of...

Collection

Heartland Rock

The music was simple: three chords and a backbeat. Heartland rock combined elements from country, folk, rockabilly, and rhythm and blues. Across the Rust Belt and the Midwest, America’s “heartland,” this music discussed blue-collar life and became the soundtrack of...

Collection

Laurel Canyon: The California Sound

In the 1960s, creative musicians flocked to Laurel Canyon in Southern California, creating a hotbed of creativity. Bands like folk rock pioneers the Byrds began the movement, and many singer-songwriters like James Taylor, Carole King, and Joni Mitchell followed suit....

Collection

Afrofuturism in Popular Music

As writer, scholar and imagineer Greg Tate said, an essential quality of Black culture is the simultaneous practice of maintaining tradition while moving and thinking ahead. Afrofuturism is an aesthetic and philosophy celebrating Black heritage through a futuristic perspective. Afrofuturism...

Collection

Bands That Started in High School

High School Rock Off is an annual battle of the bands for middle and high school students at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Bands compete for prizes for their school’s music program as well as the bragging rights...

Collection

Roots of Rock

Rock & Roll’s tree comes from many roots. Some of the most commonly discussed roots of rock & roll are (in no particular order) blues, country, gospel, jazz, and rhythm & blues. Use this collection to note the different musical...

Collection

Otis Redding Foundation

Otis Redding was a titan of soul. His live performances crackled with energy, electrifying audiences with the pure power of his expression. The posthumous single, “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay” held the #1 spot on the Billboard charts...

Collection

Halloween

Halloween traditionally honors the Celtic festival, Samhain, where the boundaries between worlds was thought to be thinner and the spirits were appeased so that humans and livestock could survive winter. This ancient festival was Chritianized to become All Hallow’s Eve,...

Collection

Winter Holiday

Winter Holidays often remind us to reflect on joy, laughter, cheer, and goodwill. Music we associate with this time of year reflects these festive feelings through classic holiday songs as well as songs with a more specific purpose. Younger students...

Collection

A Call to Action: Music and Protest

Protest music in rock & roll is used as a tool to call for political and social change throughout history. Topics range from civil rights, war, poverty, environmentalism, racial discrimination, personal identity, to women’s equality. As a form of activism,...

Lesson Plan/Activity

Bluefield Concert Posters Activity

This inquiry-based activity asks students to examine a concert poster from a show that took place in 1957 at the Bluefield Auditorium in West Virginia, a popular venue for rock & roll acts traveling the country. After describing what they...

Lesson Plan/Activity

Musical Instruments Worksheet

This worksheet asks students to visually explore selected musical instruments that are commonly used in rock and roll music and identify the categories to which they belong (guitar, keyboard, percussion).

Lesson Plan/Activity

The Photographer’s Eye Worksheet

Rock and roll history is filled with iconic moments and imagery. Sometimes these moments become part of our cultural history and personal memory and photography captures and preserves those instances. A well-shot photo will do more: depict an emotion, display a sense of dynamic movement and energy, and pull...

Lesson Plan/Activity

Bass Guitar and Electric Guitar Comparison

Do your students wonder about the differences between the electric guitar and the bass guitar? This PowerPoint compares the body, neck, head, pickups, tuning pegs, and strings of the two instruments. The final slide shows how the bass guitar has fewer...

Audio File

Stu Deutsch and the Theatrics of the Plasmatics

The Plasmatics were an American punk rock band in 1970s New York. Like many punk acts of that time, Plasmatics’ shows featured intense, destructive theatrics in their performances. Listen to seminal drummer Stu Deutsch discuss the group’s stage antics with...

Video

Drum History Podcast: Drummers in the Rock Hall

Rock Hall Director of Education Mandy Smith joins host Bart van der Zee on the Drum History Podcast. They discuss the history of drummers Inducted into the Rock Hall as well as the different ways that drummers can get Inducted....

Audio File

Stu Deutsch of the Plasmatics on getting gigs and playing drums

The Plasmatics were an American punk rock band in 1970s New York. Listen to drummer Stu Deutsch tell stories about getting gigs. He discusses the role of the drummer in a band and how he thinks about playing the drums...

Audio File

Stu Deutsch of the Plasmatics talks about early punk and CBGBs

The Plasmatics were an American punk rock band in 1970s New York. Listen to seminal drummer Stu Deutsch discuss the early punk scene as well as the famous CBGBs club in New York City with the Rock Hall’s Director of...

Lesson Plan/Activity

Bootsy Collins space bass activity

Use this activity to help younger students learn about one of the bass guitars that Bootsy Collins played in the mid-1970s during his time with Parliament-Funkadelic. This activity asks students to describe what they notice about the space bass and...

Lesson Plan/Activity

Eminem “Legacy” Perspectives Song Analysis

Eminem’s rap lyrics and personality have generated honest conversations about challenging topics. His song “Legacy” touches on his self-described autism, historically known as “Asperger’s Syndrome.” Use this activity to guide students through the song “Legacy.” Our related Perspectives Activity in...

Collection

“War…what is it good for?”

“War…What is it good for?” The 1968 Motown song “War” posed this eternal question. “War” was originally recorded by The Temptations followed by a version by Edwin Starr, which reached Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in 1970. The song’s lyrics...

Collection

Pioneers of Early Rock & Roll

We look to pioneers to break new ground, open doors, and innovate new paths. Pioneers see potential in the unknown and inspire others with their innovations and vision. There are many pioneers in early rock & roll. Each of the...

Collection

Pride

The LGBTQIA+ Community has long been a part of the rock and roll story. Whether out or not, their perspectives and experiences have helped shape rock and roll. In more recent decades, artists have used their music as a vehicle...

Collection

Keyboard

Collection

Hispanic Heritage Month

Latin music significantly influenced the sounds of Motown, jazz, and rock and roll. American bass guitarist Carol Kaye calls jazz “one third Latin,” and points out that many jazz bass lines are related to the samba, an Afro-Brazilian style of...

Collection

Native American Heritage Month

With more than 300 different tribes throughout North America, “Native American” or First Nation people across the continent vary greatly in their musical expression. These expressions influenced music like the blues and eventually rock and roll. Rockers of Indian culture...

Collection

Toddler Rock

Toddler Rock is an on-site Rock Hall program dedicated to the social-emotional learning of pre-K learners while also developing foundations for literacy and numeracy. It is powered by PNC in partnership with the Beck Center for the Arts. This collection features videos and activities taken straight from...

Collection

Musical Perspectives

Artists use songs to tell stories from different perspectives. Their lyrics and sound choices influence how audiences interpret an artist’s work. Audiences might seek out music that speaks to their experiences or gets them outside of their comfort zone. Such...

Collection

Drums

Drummers are the main reason we move, groove, shimmy, and shake to the music we hear. Use this collection to introduce the drum set and rock drumming to your students. Younger learners can practice identifying drums and other instruments with...

Collection

Photographer’s Eye Collection

Rock and roll history is filled with iconic moments and imagery. Sometimes these moments become part of our cultural history and personal memory, and photography captures and preserves those instances. A well-shot photo will do more: depict an emotion, display...

Collection

Electric Guitar

This collection highlights the electric guitar, one of the most influential instruments throughout the history of rock & roll. Students can watch the video about the electric guitar to learn about how it works and what its role is in...

Collection

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

The month of May celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage. This covers an enormous, varied umbrella of cultures, traditions, and sounds spanning from the Pacific Islands (ex: Hawaii, Fiji Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, etc.) through South Asia (ex: India, Bangladesh,...

Collection

Cuyahoga Community College MUS 1030: History of Rock & Roll

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame teaches a section of MUS 1030: History of Rock & Roll for Cuyahoga Community College where the museum becomes their classroom! The items in this collection serve as assignments, in-class work, and optional...

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Union Home Mortgage Plaza
1100 Rock & Roll Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44114