Students experience the history of rock and roll music through iconic artifacts and rare historical video at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. The hall’s interactive Garage allows first-time learners or experienced musicians to pick up a real instrument and rock out.

Induction footage in the Power of Rock theater, where the seats shake and smoke fills the room, makes the audience feel like it’s at a Rock Hall induction ceremony. Listening stations in the Hall of Fame floor allow fans to revisit favorite tunes or dive deeper into an inductee’s music.

Students that take a Rockin’ the Schools program investigate the innovation, influence and impact of rock and roll music on culture and history. The K­–12 classes are interdisciplinary and connect to a broad range of curriculum.

Rock Hall exhibit
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio
Credit: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

“The Rock Hall is a truly memorable trip where we make music history come alive every day,” said Deanna Nebel, education instructor. “Come walk through history, play an instrument and explore why rock and roll lives on.”

Nebel said students who come to the Rock Hall enjoy connecting the past and the present. Students gravitate not only to eye-catching artifacts from the past, but also to artifacts of artists they are listening to on their own devices today.

What’s more, students can see how costumes have changed over time to suit the needs of different rock and roll styles, or the variety of instruments that contribute to rock and roll. For many students, a Rockin’ the Schools class is the reason they come to the museum.

“In our classes, we often delve into connections to today’s popular music or explain its origins,” Nebel said. “We validate the students’ current music while honoring the past, such as when we compare today’s hip-hop music to some of the first hip-hop songs.”

Teachers can extend their visit both before and after by using the Rock Hall EDU platform: The website is free and contains lesson plans, writing prompts, playlists, essays, interviews with inductees and artifact photos only available from the Rock Hall.

For more information on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame call 216-781-7625 or go to