Rock and roll is everywhere. Its on the streets, its in the news ... people live it and breathe it everyday. Lots of us are born to rock. Just like music itself, rock and roll is a language, and its universal. So why is this language pretty much obsolete in our public school systems?
Three decades ago, in my young educational years, cultural arts education consisted of deciphering works of Shakespeare, determining what came first— expressionism, minimalism, or impressionism, and picking up (by choice) a brasswind, woodwind, or violin and joining the school concert band—complete with lessons. After school, I never found myself sitting down and trying to write a play, or trying to develop my own style of conceptual art (that's a hint at my age everyone). One year, I did try my hand (and lips) at learning the saxophone. Those three months in my room torturing the family, the dog and all of Kemp Mill with unheard of sounds is not much of a fond memory. The music I listened to was R&B, and rock and roll, all types and styles. I didn't go home and listen to the latest Sousa march or a long lost Stravinsky piece. I had on The Temptations, KISS, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC—you know, kid stuff. And I wasn't hearing any of the instruments they were offering me at school on any of the stuff I was listening to. (OK, we can argue "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Kashmir" all day long.)
What Im getting at, is that as much as I appreciated learning about music that was made centuries ago,I couldn't relate to it and their was zero focus on the current music that I could relate to in school.
I am so happy, now, that we have learning facilities like School Of Rock, and Bach To Rock in our area. They have been around for several years and are a great alternative for kids playing around mindlessly in the streets. Now this weekend, there is a great opportunity help introduce a rock/modern music curriculum in our Montgomery County Public Schools. The organization is called Rock In Schools. I won't even try to reword their mission, as they put it so nicely themselves:
"We are a coalition of Montgomery County Public Schools who use popular music as part of our music curriculum and extra-curricular programs. We believe its time for a revolution in music education in which all forms of music are used to reach more and more students! Every child should have free access to a complete music education!"
Saturday at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, five Montgomery County Public Schools are joining together for a benefit concert to support their mission. Sherwood High, Banneker Middle, Clearspring Elementary, Wheaton High, and Roberto Clemente Middle are the five schools rockin' together to raise awareness, and raise funds to purchase new instruments so these, and future students can always rock! This show is an early one. It starts at 10 a.m. A great Web page has been developed to inform you more, as well as links to great performances by all of the participating schools: www.rockinschools.org
Donations are $12.
Any questions regarding live music, or if you would like your local band or performance featured , please email Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org. "Like" him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @seaninconcert.