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


Teach the Beat: Go-Go in DC

February 16, 2013 - “I’m going to start using go-go to teach across the curriculum, connecting DC history, math, and music. This was the best professional development ever,” said one of the participants in the groundbreaking full day seminar for DC teachers called Teach the Beat: Go-Go in DC on Saturday, February 16, 2013. Close to a hundred music and social studies teachers took advantage of the unique opportunity to learn from the leading luminaries and scholars... Read more.

Evolution of the Go-Go Beat in Washington, D.C.

July 9, 2011 - On July 9, 2011, the D.C. community convened for a beat, the Go-Go beat. The Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum hosted Evolution of the Go-Go Beat in Washington, D.C., the second program in a series devoted to Washington, D.C.’s homegrown genre of music. Go-Go music, the history of which has been carefully chronicled in The Beat! Go-Go Music from Washington, D.C.has West African roots and is recognized for its infectious heartbeat-based rhythm courtesy of its signature instruments, the congo, cowbell, and drum... Read more.




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Website developed by Teaching for Change with support from
the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Image credits: Thomas Sayers Ellis