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Free Digital Music Resources for Teachers
For teachers looking to incorporate music-related primary source materials into the classroom, there is a wealth of digital resources available. While secondary sources can provide context and analysis of a place and time, primary sources give students the individual perspective of an observer or participant in that moment, creating a powerful, direct connection between students and history. The resources in this guide include free streaming music, digitized sheet music, links to additional digital resources, and fully-formed lesson plans for different age groups that may map to Common Core standards and include links to primary source documents and recordings.
Rock Hall EDU
Rock Hall EDU contains lesson plans, activities, and supplemental materials all designed developed by a team of professional educators which includes historians with PhDs, experienced teachers from multiple subject areas, and talented musicians. Rich in multimedia and primary source materials, the lessons and activities in EDU are interdisciplinary, adaptable and always free!
Country Music Hall of Fame Lesson Plans
Lesson plans for teachers support specific objectives from National and Tennessee State Curriculum Standards. Some materials are aligned to Common Core State Standards.
Smithsonian Folkways World Music Lesson Plans
World music curricular experiences from Smithsonian Folkways' Network of Music Educators. All lessons can be downloaded in PDF format.
Library of Congress National Jukebox
Historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. The Jukebox includes recordings from the extraordinary collections of the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation and other contributing libraries and archives.
Music Online: American Music
A history database that allows people to hear and feel the music from America's past. The database includes songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children, pioneers and cowboys. Included in the database are the songs of Civil Rights, political campaigns, Prohibition, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, anti-war protests and more.
Free (with ads) music, video, and podcast streaming service.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives
Photographs, posters, handbills, and other graphic materials from the archival collections at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives. There is currently no digital access to collections, but please contact us if you find information on materials you're interested in using!
Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee Photographs
Digital archive with over 5,000 photographic images of Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees.
Archival Repositories and Collections
This guide provides an annotated list of archival collections and repositories that may be of use in your popular music research.
The Internet Archive
A non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. This includes community audio, a live music archive, Netlabels, Folksoundomy: a Library of Sound, old time radio, and other free music resources.
Rock's Back Pages
Online library of pop music journalism. Over 33,000 classic articles on artists from Aaliyah to ZZ Top, on all genres from rockabilly to hip hop, by the finest music writers of the last 50 years.
Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)
Many universities, public libraries, and other public-spirited organizations have digitized materials, but these digital collections often exist in silos. The DPLA brings these different viewpoints, experiences, and collections together in a single platform and portal, providing open and coherent access to our society’s digitized cultural heritage.
Search the Rock Hall's online library catalog for secondary resources you and your students can use, and add your zip code to the WorldCat search to get access to the collections and services of the library nearest you.