Rocker Steven Van Zandt honors teachers

Steven Van Zandt honored teachers with a free concert and curriculum to introduce music into the classroom. (Mummolo/KTUL)

On the one hand you could simply call it a rock concert, but on the other hand you could also call it advanced level professional development for teachers.

"Music is the ultimate common language," said Rock & Roll Hall of Fam'er Steven Van Zandt, bringing his 'Teacher Solidarity Tour' to Oklahoma after learning about the teacher walkout early this year.

"We booked the tour according to the trouble that teachers were having. We’re playing all the places teachers were either striking, walking out, almost striking, having negotiations, everywhere that we could find, that’s where we booked," he said.

Two hours before the concert, dozens of teachers attending a free seminar on how to incorporate music into their lesson plans through Van Zandt’s

"What they’ve put together for teachers is some amazing music curriculum for teachers to take for free, they learn how to use it tonight, they take it back to their classroom and implement it," said teacher Teresa Danks.

"What are you listening to? Let’s trace it backwards, let’s talk about a little historical context around that music, give ‘em a little context, and they love it. They’re right there with you engaged the whole time even participating," said Van Zandt.

Also here participating in the event...

"We’re going to hold Stitt to his commitments," said Tulsa teacher Larry Cagle, already looking ahead to future activism.

"We have plans already to stage a walkout in 2021 after the 2020 elections if we don’t get the kind of movement this state needs to fund our schools then we have to make the kind of decisions that will force that hand the way we did this past spring," he said.

"They’re under appreciated, under funded and under paid, okay, and that needs to be fixed. They are the front lines as far as I’m concerned," said Van Zandt.

Honoring educators, engaging students, and professional development rock and roll style; all night long.

"I don’t know about all night maybe till 9, we got class in the morning," said one teacher.

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