(CelebrityAccess) The final leg of Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul’s Teacher Solidarity Tour has reached the goal of registering over 10,000 teachers to use the TeachRock Music History Curriculum. The tour, which began last week in association with the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation (RRFF), is still accepting registrations as it continues through December 16.
Stevie Van Zandt, who often refers to educators as the “front line in the war on ignorance,” launched the “Teacher Solidarity Tour” to demonstrate his support for teachers throughout the US in a time marked by wage cuts, crumbling school infrastructure, a lack of funding for resources, and widespread teacher strikes. More than just moral support, the tour presents a nightly workshop — a legitimate professional development session in which RRFF staff, and Van Zandt himself, present concepts and content that empower K-12 teachers of all disciplines to use music in their classrooms.
Throughout the tour, teachers and their guests get in free. Doors open early to teachers at 5:15 for snacks and networking, the workshops run from 6-7, and the concert follows. It’s an action-packed, hands-on professional development in a different environment, but is nonetheless a legitimate professional experience from which teachers come away with something to use tomorrow as well as with material to plan into future semesters. At many tour stops, the sessions even count toward educators’ continuing education licensing hours. As Van Zandt puts it, “This is a little different than the professional development experience you may be used to. This is a rock ‘n’ roll experience.”
There are more than 20 shows left on the tour, and tickets remain for educators at almost each stop. For more info, and to register, head to www.teachrock.org/tour.
Thus far “solidarity” has been an apt word for the tour, as the workshops have been a unifying force within school districts. Throughout the country, superintendents are signing on, making the workshops “official” professional development opportunities for their teachers, and even adding the events to school calendars. Educator feedback has also been wholly positive.
Teacher Edward J. wrote, “I want to recognize your devoted Rock & Roll Forever Foundation team who exceeded my expectations as an education professional. The entire experience was top shelf. Between the deep dive into the TeachRock content and the two and one half hour soul revue by your band, I have memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you for opening the music of our heart to this vital initiative. I love being a Teach Rock ‘Disciple of Soul.'”
Teacher Sonia H. wrote, “You gave a great PD last night at the historic Carnegie Music Hall in Homestead! Thanks to Steven for his decade-long effort to keep music alive in schools. It was wonderful to see teachers of all ages interacting with each other. As we engaged with the music we could see how easy it will be to get students involved with history, science, etc. and teach kids to discover more on their own. Motivation is key in this day and age.”
SOULFIRE TEACHER APPRECIATION TOUR 2018
2 – Burnsville, MN – Ames Center
3 – Green Bay, WI – Meyer Theatre
5 – Chicago, IL – Center
7 – Tulsa, OK – Brady Theater
9 – Detroit, MI – Detroit Music Hall
10 – Peoria, IL – Monarch Theater
12 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom
14 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
16 – Northfield, OH – Hard Rock Rocksino
17 – Morgantown, WV – Metropolitan Theatre
26 – Oklahoma City, OK – Tower Theatre
28 – Omaha, NE – Holland Performing Arts Center
30 – Denver, CO – Gothic Theatre
1 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
3 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
5 – Snoqualmie, WA – Snoqualmie Casino
7 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
8 – Stateline, NV – Harrah’s Lake Tahoe
11 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
12 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
14 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
16 – Phoenix, AZ – Van Buren