Rock Hall chief Greg Harris on the ways his organization is educating the next generation

The Rock Hall's free online learning platform has so far reached over 1 million students across the globe
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum President and CEO Greg Harris
Photo credit Getty Images
By , Audacy

It's almost time to welcome a brand new class of honorees into the hallowed halls of Rock in Cleveland -- but there's a whole lot more that goes on behind the scenes at the famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum President and CEO Greg Harris spoke with Audacy's Taryn Daly about what the organization is doing for the greater good beyond all of the pomp and circumstance that fans have come to love.

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The Rock Hall's free online learning platform, Rock Hall EDU Powered by PNC, has so far reached over 1 million students across the globe providing resources and activities to help teachers, parents, and guardians engage, teach, and inspire their students using the power of Rock N' Roll -- no matter the subject. Rock Hall EDU offers free access to lesson plans, activities, presentations, videos, playlists, writing prompts, and more, all meeting national and state learning standards.

"When COVID hit, everyone became teachers," says Harris. "They were sitting at the kitchen table with their kids, their teachers were teaching virtually. We had some digital classroom programs that we had built before, and we just blew it out. We got it out to everybody that wanted it, it was used by thousands and thousands of teachers, and we just topped one million students served!"

Greg urges music fans to visit the "completely free" Rock Hall website; "what you can use it for is you can learn about not just music history," he says, "but you could talk about, say the history of the '60s through the music... social justice things are there. There's some things that talk about finance and technology, all through the prism of Rock N' Roll. Our educators have done an amazing job, we're so thrilled that people took advantage of it, and we're gonna keep doing it!"

Greg is beyond proud of the Rock Hall's stellar education team. "In a typical year, they're the ones that are teaching all the kids that pile off the yellow school busses and come into the museum and participate in programs," he explains. "They really dig into the whole idea of what are kids open to, what's relevant, what connects with them. Then they test it with pilot teachers and they refine it and deliver something that's off the charts. They took their experience and applied it to the digital realm and made sure that whatever they were creating would be very, very viable and welcomed by teachers."

Listen to the full interview with Rock Hall CEO Greg Harris above, and be sure to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's free online learning section to find out more.

Photo credit The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

“Rock & Roll is for everyone – not just adults or students who walk through our doors and experience our on-site programs,” says Jason Hanley, VP of education and visitor engagement for the Rock Hall in a press release. “By creating a free digital platform, we’re able to help inspire students no matter where they reside. We’re thrilled to see the success of the site and have validation that parents and teachers are finding value in these unique resources for their own classrooms. Reaching a million students is a major accomplishment, but we’re just getting started.”

"The moment is (almost) here." Tickets for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2021 induction ceremony will be available on Friday, July 30th at 10AM EST.

Happening live on October 30 in the Rock Hall’s home city of Cleveland and airing on HBO properties at a later date, this year's class of nominees and inductees share a common thread -- "impact and influence,” Harris told us upon the big announcement. “When you think about those nominees, it was an incredible group of sixteen. Any five or six would have been a great class, but they were all impactful and influential, and that’s the key.”

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