CyberFair Project ID: 5564

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Rock On!
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: St. Paul Lutheran School
    Farmington, Missouri, United States of America

10 students, ages 13-15 years old worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 23, 2009. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

Classes and Teachers: Eighth Grade Class

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community is located about 65 miles southeast of St. Louis, Missouri, which is located in the Midwest region of the United States. Our radio broadcasting area reaches about 30,000 people.

2. Summary of Our Project

Rock and roll music has a big impact on our lives, our fashion choices, how we use our free time, and how we spend our money. The music industry in the United States is the biggest in the world, and technology has helped it grow even more. Musicians not only use their talent to express their feelings-sometimes they use it to help other people. We wanted to examine the positive impact of rock ‘n roll on our society. We researched its history and musicians in our community. For our CyberFair project, we created the opportunity for students in the area to learn how to play an instrument, especially those students that couldn’t afford lessons. We hosted two fundraisers to help local aspiring musicians receive free lessons from Music Makers: a Guitar Hero III Showdown (a video game guitar-playing competition) and a Christian music rock concert by a local band, Parallax View. We raised $2,500, which was more than enough to provide 100 free lessons to area students.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Because rock ‘n roll music originated in the United States in the 1950’s, we had an ideal opportunity to teach the rest of the world all about it. After researching rock music, we created PowerPoint slideshows to share the different aspects of it. Hopefully, these slideshows will work online as they were intended, but we had difficulties with them. We discovered that not all of rock music is negative, like the drug and alcohol use that is typically associated with it, but it was hard to find online resources that were safe for us to visit. The teacher eventually felt that Wikipedia was a monitored and a safe resource to use.

Many musicians raise money for needy people all over the world by sponsoring “aid” concerts. Many musicians have positive lyrics. We wanted to demonstrate that rock music can have a positive effect on the world. When people share positive messages and positive expressions, they can change the world.

Giving students the chance to learn to play an instrument (by raising the money for it) also fit perfectly into the “Teach and Unite” CyberFair 2009 theme. Music Makers agreed to work with our team to make free music lessons available through scholarship. We interviewed the teachers at the store and heard about their experiences. Through their love of music, they teach and share the excitement, challenges, and inspirations that music can bring to our lives.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Our CyberFair project gave us the opportunity to develop within our class a deeper understanding of the teamwork and dedication required to reach a goal. We are very proud of our country’s heritage in rock ‘n roll and glad to share it with the world.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Our CyberFair entry meets several standards of the State of Missouri (Show Me Standards at in public education, as well as our Lutheran Synod standards in communication arts and social studies. The Show Me Standards for communication arts include: 1. speaking and writing standard English (including grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, capitalization) 3. reading and evaluating nonfiction works and material (such as biographies, newspapers, technical manuals) 4. writing formally (such as reports, narratives, essays) and informally (such as outlines, notes) 5. comprehending and evaluating the content and artistic aspects of oral and visual presentations (such as story-telling, debates, lectures, multi-media productions) 6. participating in formal and informal presentations and discussions of issues and ideas.

We practiced brainstorming techniques, group development and organization, delegation of tasks, and office networking for our team. Input from all members was valuable, whether it was making a decision about what price to charge for tickets to the graphic design of the shirt and website. This project demanded group and leadership skills from all of us. Several aspects of this project are well beyond our district and state guidelines, whether it was from building and developing a website to organizing a live concert from the conception. These are valuable skills we couldn’t have gained with the normal curriculum standards in the classroom. We also recognized our roles as leaders to the younger students at our school and the ability to spread a message about music was very rewarding.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

For our project, the most valuable tools were the media (radio and newspaper) interviews we made and the use of SchoolTube, an online video site for schools. The radio interviews we made prior to our fundraisers were a new experience for us and our teacher. We gained some insight as to how important the printed and voiced word can be when it is presented to a large audience.

Using SchoolTube was very cool. We got to explore the online community of videos used by schools all over the United States. Now we share our own work on SchoolTube. It was very interesting new site for us to use in our project development, and our activity with it will continue into the future. We’re glad to have discovered it and also the many other wonderful music websites that are available to musicians.

Other tools used were a digital camera, camcorder, Dreamweaver web design program, video-editing software, Picassa freeware, Flash, Coffee Cup’s Firestarter, and Office Word and Power Point. Cell phones and email were also used to contact people.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

We had great success in all our contacts with people of our community. We approached Music Makers directly with the idea of offering music scholarships and they agreed to work with us and let us interview the teachers. We asked the local radio and newspapers to help us broadcast our fundraisers, and they not only helped us, but continued to share our information often as the dates approached. We were so very nervous to ask a real band (that has produced original music!) to sponsor a free concert for a fundraiser, but they readily agreed to do it. We were approached just prior to the concert by a Lutheran organization, Thrivent, who offered to donate matching funds to our project. They had learned about our scholarships through a staff member at our school and were impressed enough to donate $400. It was very exciting for us to receive so much support for our project by everyone. We found that we could ask people for help and we could overcome our shyness. Several of us have discovered a new, wonderful gift we have inside of us: the ability to spread a message and help other people learn the joy of music.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

We believe our project will have a tremendous impact on the students who receive the scholarships. We are providing the chance for someone who may have wanted to take music lessons, but couldn’t afford it financially, to realize a dream. Many of the teachers we interviewed at Music Makers told us that their initial introduction to music came through participation in high school band, so we wanted to share that message, especially to teachers who may feel they are not having an impact on the lives of their students.

Our project shares information about other music genres besides rock music. We have placed online information about the different instruments used in a band, and offer videos of their techniques by the people who teach those instruments on a daily basis.

Our research into rock music taught us that the music industry is huge and influences our lives tremendously. How we choose to dress, the purchases we make, the type of friends we hang out with can all be influenced by the music we listen to every day. From weddings to athletic events, to commercials on television and radio, music is part of our daily life.

Because rock and roll music is conceived by many in society as being a dangerous or bad influence, we hope to show that it can be a wonderfully positive influence. From Live Aid concerts to small community “jam sessions,” musicians can share their talents and prove that by and large, rock music is something that families and communities can enjoy together, in enormous concert auditoriums or in a neighbor’s backyard.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Thanks, thanks, thanks! to Parallax View for taking a chance on us by playing a charity concert! You trusted us to advertise the concert and to get people in to hear your message, and we are so thankful. Your music is a gift and we appreciate your talents. Thanks Coach Sherrill for encouraging us every step of the way, for negotiating the concert dates and helping with the setup and ticket resources. Thanks to Sharon Sherrill for helping us with the dinner the night of the concert.

We want to give a shout out to J98 radio station in Farmington and broadcaster Mark Toti for the radio interviews. They were so much fun and it was exciting to be in a real radio station, on-air!

Thanks to Maridee Lawson from the Farmington Press Leader, and Paula Barr from the Daily Journal for coming to all our fundraisers and writing them up for the newspaper. You helped us get the word out and people in to the Guitar Hero Showdown and the Parallax View concert.

Special thanks to Julie Berghaus and Cindy Isabel for the concessions help.Thanks to all the parents that supported us by coming to these two events. You’re never too old to rock and we have pictures to prove it!

Last, but not least, thanks to Lianna Stover, our host server, for giving us space online and for being there immediately when we cry “Help!” We could never, ever have done it without you. You’re #1 on the charts to us.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We jumped into this project with both feet and at full speed because our school’s previous CyberFair projects had been successful and we wanted to continue the tradition. It can be a bit scary to follow in previous classes’ footsteps. We knew in advance how demanding this project would be and we pledged to give it our all. Initially, our teacher didn’t think we could do it because our class has had difficulty working together most of the time. We agreed to put aside our differences and our difficulties in working together for this one common goal. Some of us found our voices and surprising talents we didn’t know we had. We overcame our fears to create a project we are truly proud to share with everyone, and we hope all CyberFair viewers enjoy it, too. Rock on!


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5564)

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