Students take virtual field trip to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Images of rock icons Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and the Temptations shared the screen with pictures of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

The scene was the Whitney Point Middle School (NY) library Wednesday where eighth-grade music students took part in a video conference with an official from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum on how rock music overlapped with the social changes of the 1960s and 1970s.

“It’s pretty cool. We can’t go to the real place because it’s too expensive, but we got to see it from TV,” said Sarah Ellis, 13, one of the students.

The video conference, “Ball of Confusion,” is one of six lessons put together by the Cleveland, Ohio, museum to teach about the role rock music has played in the social, political and cultural issues of the past 50 years, said John Goehrke, education coordinator at the museum and leader of Wednesday’s video conference.

Since its start in 2005, more than 8,000 students nationwide have participated in the distance learning lesson, he said.

During the hour-long lesson Wednesday, Goehrke talked about how music reflected the Vietnam War, Cold War, racial turmoil and counter culture of the 1960s. Besides lecturing, he asked students questions and played a handful of songs from the era. Prominent in his presentation was the Temptations song, “Ball of Confusion,” that put the turmoil of the time to a catchy rhythm.

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