When music teacher Jose Lomeli was in graduate school studying classical guitar performance, he took a class in music curriculum development. It got him wondering about what he’d learned as a student in Chicago Public Schools.
As a kid, he loved listening to music, especially artists like Muddy Waters and Smashing Pumpkins, but he says he never learned about those musicians in school. So he wrote in to Curious City asking:
Why doesn't Chicago Public Schools have a citywide music curriculum to teach and celebrate the city's rich musical heritage?
Well, about a decade ago, CPS’ office of arts education actually did put together an arts instruction guide that includes sample lesson plans and sections on Chicago music history. So last week, Curious City put together a little do-it-yourself guide on the city’s music history using the CPS arts instruction guide.
But Chicago’s got a lot of musical styles that weren’t included in the guide like house, rock, hip-hop and polka. So we thought we’d tackle a few of those by asking some of WBEZ’s music experts what students should know about them and why. Heads up: With all the amazing Chicago music out there, we can’t get to all of it.
Monica Eng is a reporter for WBEZ. You can follow her @monicaeng.