Steven Van Zandt’s TeachRock School Curriculum to Expand in New York Through Partnership with Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame
Left, Steven Van Zandt at TeachRock event credit TeachRock, Right, Steven Van Zandt at LIMEHOF awards ceremony 2016, credit LIMEHOF Photographer Arnie Goodman.
Goal to promote popular free music-based teaching program for K-12 students among Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn school districts
STONY BROOK, NY — The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHoF) recently announced a partnership with rock and roll legend Steven Van Zandt’s TeachRock organization. In recognition for his work to promote music education on Long Island, Van Zandt was presented with LIMEHoF’s Harry Chapin Award in 2016.
“TeachRock aligns perfectly with LIMEHoF’s educational commitment to education and encouraging more music, arts, and culture being taught in local school districts,” said Tom Needham, LIMEHoF’s Educational Programs Director. “Our shared goal is to encourage more Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens school districts to adopt the TeachRock curriculum and lesson plans for the cultural enrichment of its students.”
“We know that if you want a kid to succeed, you don’t tell her to take her earbuds out,” said TeachRock founder Steven Van Zandt. “You ask her what she’s listening to, and then you trace it back together. Kids come to us with the natural gift of curiosity, and the TeachRock curriculum helps teachers meet them there on the way to meaningful learning.”
Launched in 2002 by Van Zandt and the Founders Board of Bono, Jackson Browne, Martin Scorsese, and Bruce Springsteen, Teachrock.org provides free, standards-aligned resources that use music to help K-12 students succeed in science, math, social studies, and language arts, among other subjects. TeachRock improves students’ lives by filling every classroom with the sound, stories, and science of music. Nearly 60,000 educators—representing all 50 states—are registered at Teachrock.org.
One example of how TeachRock has been successfully incorporated on Long Island is in the Freeport School District. Stephanie Arnell, a Freeport-based teacher, has been using TeachRock with her students for years, and she’s now leading professional development sessions with teachers throughout her district.
“Personally, I think every teacher should be using the TeachRock curriculum, and we have found that our Freeport students in all grades LOVE the content,” Arnell said.
LIMEHoF also plans to promote the TeachRock curriculum throughout the Long Island, Brooklyn, and Queens school districts in a variety of ways. Promotion strategies include the deployment of a LIMEHoF monthly email blast/web, as well as posting a monthly webpage news blast to highlight different TeachRock lessons for each month. Starting in the fall of 2023, LIMEHoF plans to host TeachRock teacher training sessions at its recently opened home base location in Stony Brook village. There is hope that participating schools will be encouraged to visit LIMEHoF via class field trips.
“We hear so much about declining participation and engagement, and how that results in lower math and reading scores,” said Bill Carbone, Executive Director at TeachRock. “But nearly everywhere a TeachRock class is implemented we see the opposite: Engagement and grades are rising, and often the school ends up adding additional TeachRock courses to meet student demand. It’s a paradigm shift: Students aren’t cutting class; they’re clamoring to get in!”
Founded in 2004, the Long Island and Entertainment Music Hall of Fame is a 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to the idea that Long Island’s musical heritage is an important resource to be celebrated and preserved for future generations. In 2022 it opened its first Hall of Fame building location at 97 Main Street in Stony Brook Village where it showcases donated inductee items and historic artifacts, theme exhibits and hosts a variety of music and entertainment cultural events to educate the public about Long Island’s legendary personalities, historic and cultural influence. The organization, which encompasses New York State’s Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, and Kings (Brooklyn) Counties, was created as a place of community that inspires and explores Long Island music in all its forms. To date, the organization has inducted more than 120 musicians and music industry executives, and also offers education programs and scholarships, and awards to Long Island students and educators.