Music as Social Activism

Music as Social Activism

Teen Focus 12+

Music has often been about more than just entertainment. Because of the powerful impact music and lyrics have on thoughtful listeners, songs are a time-tested way to get important ideas across to large numbers of people. So it’s not surprising that music has often been in the center of social movements. This class will look at the ways music has been used as a force for social change and a voice for marginalized groups, starting with the blues in the early 20th century, moving through the explosion of activist music in the 1960s, punk rock in the 70s, the 1980s major media event activism (LiveAid, Amnesty Tours, FarmAid), and into the present day. Playlists will be provided on Spotify.

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Music has often been about more than just entertainment. Because of the powerful impact music and lyrics have on thoughtful listeners, songs are a time-tested way to get important ideas across to large numbers of people. So it’s not surprising that music has often been in the center of social movements. This class will look at the ways music has been used as a force for social change and a voice for marginalized groups, starting with the blues in the early 20th century, moving through the explosion of activist music in the 1960s, punk rock in the 70s, the 1980s major media event activism (LiveAid, Amnesty Tours, FarmAid), and into the present day. Playlists will be provided on Spotify.

Webinars are 50 minutes long. Recordings are available for students who must miss a session or for repeated viewings to provide extra practice and understanding.

Challenge Level

Appropriate for grades 9 through 12. This is a high school workshop open to students ages 12 and up who are prepared to read and discuss music and social justice issues at a high school level.

Time Commitment

Most students report spending approximately 1-2 hours per week on homework outside of the webinars.

Instructor

Count Karloff

Required Materials

Access to Spotify (free trials available)

Usually Offered

Summer Session

Available Sessions

Summer T/Th 9am Pacific