PhD Historian Furthers Rockademix Team
The Rockadmix program is thrilled to be collaborating with Dr. Adam Blahut, currently a visiting Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico, Gallup. Blahut’s input thus far has been extremely helpful and the way he’s contributing to Rockademix is invaluable!
When I started creating Rockademix, the goal was to write original songs that would serve as springboards for varied language arts and history lessons that worked in conjunction with nation-wide standards. When developing content for the songs, I knew the information needed to be engaging for students, but also accurate – enter Adam. I was fortunate enough to be put in touch with him while he was a PhD candidate at the University of New Mexico. With a background in US History, Adam now serves as ideal historical consultant for the Rockademix program.
Now, when a new song is being written, Adam provides a great deal of information regarding the topic at hand. After the writing is complete, he is not only able to go through the lyrics to ensure everything is factual, but also he makes suggestions regarding additional information and/or verifies if the song’s focus is proportionally appropriate.
Adam’s expertise has likewise spread to other components of the Rockademix program. For example, after writing a song about the thirteen original colonies and beginning to use it in the Rockademix program, we had a custom map created for the kids. While literally dozens of maps already exist showing the thirteen colonies, thanks to Adam, ours shows only the colonies with an outline of the remaining land portraying unclaimed territory occupied by the Native Americans. The way the information is presented makes it far more understandable, meaningful and visually appealing to our young audience.
Adam has also contributed to the books being created that will be used hand-in-hand with the songs. The materials covered will further explain the lyrics and provide teachers and students with critical background knowledge. And, perhaps most importantly – I can rest assured knowing the information taught through Rockademix is valid.
After starting his work with Rockademix, Adam said, “I believe the most important element of Jon’s Rockademix program is that it explains the importance of events in US history in such a way as to make it interesting to elementary school students. The most important, and the most difficult, aspect of teaching history is accurately describing an event and explaining to your listeners why they should care about it in a way that is appropriate for the audience you are trying to reach. Jon’s program accomplishes this for elementary school students. Rather than just presenting information to students and expecting them to remember it, Rockademix helps students learn about an event and why it is important by presenting the information in an interesting and interactive way.”
Adam is one more piece of the puzzle that is really helping to bring Rockademix to the next level – his vast knowledge lends credibility to the program and allows a perfect venue in which kids can benefit from.