Teach the Beat!

Bringing the distinctive D.C. sound of go-go into the classroom.

Teaching for Change is honored to work with D.C.  area schools and the authors of The Beat! Go-Go Music from Washington, D.C. to develop lessons and share teaching ideas for infusing the history and music of go-go in middle and high school social studies, language arts, math, music, and/or D.C. history classes, and to bring renowned go-go performers into D.C. classrooms.

"Go-go has stayed true to time-honored cultural scripts such as live call-and-response, live instrumentation, as well as its locally rooted fashions, slang, dance, distribution and economic systems. Simply put: Go-Go never sold out. There is a grit and texture to the music that gives voice to the communities where it was created." –Natalie Hopkinson


May 16: Ju Ju at Seaton ES

Teach the Beat at Seaton ES

Claire Sontag’s second-grade class was joined by older students who participate in Seaton’s DC SCORES soccer program for a visit from go-go drummer Ju Ju House on May 16. Students arrived in the music room to find a child-sized drumset, Ju Ju’s roto toms, and a cowbell set out at the front of the room. Every student had the opportunity to play the instruments, with instruction from Ju Ju. Ju Ju demonstrated the difference between a go-go beat and a bounce beat, and explained that go-go was created in D.C. Finally, the children got up and danced to the beat of Ju Ju’s drumming. The following week, Ju Ju returned to Seaton for a cultural heritage celebration.

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the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Image credits: Thomas Sayers Ellis