Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz today joined Rock and Roll Hall of Famer “Little” Steven Van Zandt, Executive Director of TeachRock Bill Carbone, local teachers, and community members at the Ring of Knowledge in the downtown library to welcome Van Zandt to Buffalo and proclaim “TeachRock Day” in Erie County. Van Zandt is the founder of TeachRock.org, which offers a standards-aligned, arts integration curriculum that uses the history of popular music and culture to help teachers engage students across disciplines including social studies, geography, language arts, science and more. Not limited strictly to music education, TeachRock provides teachers with free lesson plans and other educational materials developed by experienced educators to stimulate classroom learning.
“Music is an integral part of the human experience, and as an educational tool it offers benefits that other teaching methods do not. Music is woven throughout human history and permeates all aspects of our lives, so using music to expand educational offerings in other, non-music based classes makes great sense and opens up new possibilities for students,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “I commend Little Steven and the entire TeachRock team for their focus on education, and for using their time and talent to make student’s lives richer and more inquisitive.”
Local teacher Marc Hunt, who produced some recordings of Buffalo’s Goo Goo Dolls, said, “Students have been using the TeachRock curriculum in my classes for the past few years since it was in the beginning phases. The students have enjoyed the lessons and multimedia materials that are included in each lesson and have allowed them to learn in groups or self-paced. The Teachrock curriculum has really enhanced our Video Production & Recording Arts course in particular. I am updating my course curriculum this summer for the required NYS program re-approval and will be embedding as many TeachRock lessons into the course as possible.”
Van Zandt is a member of the TeachRock Founder’s Board along with Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, Bono, and Martin Scorsese.