The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame may be most recognizable as a physical space to honor and celebrate rock and roll icons, but it serves another purpose. To educate.
Beyond giving visitors an extensive glimpse into the history of Rock and those who helped shape it at their museum, the Rock Hall has developed an outstanding education platform that, to this point, has flown under the radar. “Since its founding, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has always been about educating around that art form,” Jason Hanley, the Vice President of Education for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame told RADIO.COM’s Taryn Daly in an interview.
“Our mission statement for the museum is to engage, teach, and inspire with the power of rock and roll,” Hanley says. Traditionally, a lot of the Rock Hall’s educational programs take place at its museum in Cleveland. Since its opening over 25 years ago, the museum has offered programs for toddlers, Kindergarten through 12th grade, and college and adult education on a variety of subjects using rock and roll as the basis.
A few years ago, the Rock Hall began to develop the digital arm of its education department. The end result of the Rock Hall’s hard work is a website that has become a one-stop shop as a portal inside the museum’s vaunted doors.
From accessing digitized materials from the Rock Hall’s library and archives, professionally developed lesson plans, videos, activity sheets, playlists, and more, Hanley said the education team made it their goal to make it as accessible as possible. “You can search through the whole history, by decade, by subject, by artist,” he said. Educators can “find all this great stuff and bring into your classroom, no matter what your curriculum is.”
“Everything we do is aligned at teaching standards,” he added. Another added benefit of the Rock Hall’s education program? You don’t need to be a teacher to use it.
Anyone is able to sign up for a free account and gain access to Rock Hall EDU. “If you’re a parent at home, like I am with four kids running around looking for a fun activity, you can still go in. It’s free to access Rock Hall EDU and get this great material to download and interact with it right on the scene.”
The Rock Hall’s education efforts have paid off thus far. They’ve reached nearly a million students in 5,700 cities and 116 countries. “That response was so fulfilling for us and for all of us who are educators here,” Hanley said. “We were hoping these things would reach an audience and be useful. Little did we know that we’d have such an opportunity to provide this incredible resource for people who were desperate to find it.”
You can find more information on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s education program at Rock Hall EDU.