Three high school teachers from Westchester are heading to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland next week for a program on how to use the devil’s music in their classrooms.
Here are descriptions of the teachers, as provided by the Capitol:
Richard Kauffman, Riverside High School (Yonkers)
Mr. Kaufman, a resident of Mahopac, NY, is an English literature teacher who incorporates music and lyrics into his lessons whenever he can. He is also a trained musician who has played in various rock bands for nearly 30 years.
Martin Billig, New Rochelle High School
Mr. Billig hails from White Plains and teaches American history, sociology and philosophy. Every day, he plays three or four “Songs of the Day” when students enter his classroom, with each song related to a theme of that day’s lesson. Billig also plays guitar.
David Grazioli, Rye Neck High School (Mamaroneck)
Mr. Grazioli is a math teacher who often equates music to mathematical concepts, even working the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum logo into a geometry lesson! In his scholarship application he said “We are constantly told to create lessons that cater to the different learning styles and ‘intelligences’ of our students. Music is one of those ‘intelligences’ that is under-utilized in most of our classrooms, and I would like to learn how to effectively incorporate it into my mathematics classroom.”
The scholarships cover travel, lodging and tuition for the hall’s Summer Teacher Institute. The historic Capitol, which reopened last September, started the scholarship program to develop deeper connections with the community.
The Capitol raised money by auctioning its “Presidential Box” — four top seats — for most concerts.
The hall opened in Cleveland in 1995. Cleveland is considered among the birthplaces of rock because the DJ Alan Freed is believed to have coined the term “rock and roll” and organized early rock concerts in Cleveland.
Rocker Ian Hunter wrote the classic “Cleveland Rocks” — long the theme of the Drew Carey Show — to pay homage to the city. Hunter, incidentally, lives not too far from here in woodsy Connecticut and recorded his 2010 album, “Man Overboard,” in Pawling.
We’ll catch up with the three teachers when they return from Cleveland to see what they learned.