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

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May 27: Ju Ju at Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan

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Third-grade students in Mr. Strother’s music class at Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan (DCPS) got a special treat on May 27, when go-go legend Ju Ju came to give a lesson. Ju Ju asked the students about their favorite musicians, then coached the students as teams of four on the rototoms, conga, cowbell, and tambourine. Students competed to see who had the tightest band and quickly discovered that in order to succeed, they needed to listen to each other and work together as a team. Ju Ju had the students copy his beats in their seats and in front of the class. The visit was funded by Office of the Chief of Schools of DCPS.

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the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Image credits: Thomas Sayers Ellis