Hitting the right note: how useful is the music of African-Americans to historians?


By Evelyn Sweerts & Jacqui Grice, published 31st August 2002

Here is a wonderful reminder of the richness of materials available to history teachers. With ever greater emphasis being placed on different learning styles, it is a good moment to remind ourselves that we can cater for virtually all of them in our classrooms. This includes a preference for learning through music. With imagination and planning, Evelyn Sweerts (teacher of history) and Jacqui Grice (teacher of music) were able to collaborate in delivering a unit on African Americans in the 20th century. The music enhanced the students’ understanding and enjoyment of the history and vice versa. Moreover, the students had an all too rare opportunity to examine how two different secondary school subjects can link up and serve each other. And they loved it.

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