Jamming with Andrew Yang: Rap and the Model Minority

March 26, 2020, updated April 27, 2021 Although businessman and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang preferred to ignore it, his campaign attracted a large number of disaffected Trump voters from the alt-right. At first glance, Yang and the former Trumpsters seemed like strange bedfellows given rampant racism among that part of his base, but closerContinue reading “Jamming with Andrew Yang: Rap and the Model Minority”

Studying the Presidential Soundscape

Trax on the Trail in the Classroom (Workshop) In this workshop presented at the Georgia Music Educators Association Conference, Haley Strassburger and Dana Gorzelany-Mostak offer strategies for teaching 9-12 students about the history of American songs. The attached documents include assignment instructions for a lesson on “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and slides from theContinue reading “Studying the Presidential Soundscape”

On the Inside Trax: Dr. Nicholas Phillips, Pianist, Educator, and New Music Advocate

A search by genre in the Trail Trax database will reveal very few examples of classical music on the trail. There was Stephen Colbert’s live string quartet with underscore for the final debate, “Hillary” (Kate McKinnon) and “Bernie’s” (Larry David) “Waltz of the Flowers” on Saturday Night Live, and Trump’s memorable entrances to “Nessun dorma” in 2016. Although aContinue reading “On the Inside Trax: Dr. Nicholas Phillips, Pianist, Educator, and New Music Advocate”

Rebecca Pronsky: Singer-Songwriter, Brooklyn’s Truth Bearer

On October 28, 2019 Trax research assistant Sarah Griffin and Trax founder Dana Gorzelany-Mostak had the pleasure of speaking to Rebecca Pronsky, a singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn. Pronsky first came to our attention when we heard her delightful 2020 Candidate Jams, 60-second didactic songs dedicated to each Democratic presidential candidate. What made this country-noir artistContinue reading “Rebecca Pronsky: Singer-Songwriter, Brooklyn’s Truth Bearer”

Trax on the Trail and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame join forces to bring you Rock & Roll to the White House

Kassie Kelly (Trax Education and Outreach Coordinator) and Dana Gorzelany-Mostak (Trax Creator and Co-editor) join forces with Leah Branstetter (Rock Hall Digital Education Coordinator), Mandy Smith (Rock Hall Education Programs Manager), Kathryn Metz (Rock Hall Manager of Education Outreach) and Deanna Nebel (Rock Hall Education Instructor) to bring you an exciting and timely lesson unitContinue reading “Trax on the Trail and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame join forces to bring you Rock & Roll to the White House”

Songs in the Key of President C

A Short History of Music on the Campaign Trail (Digital Lecture) From the 1840 bid of William Henry Harrison, who was “sung into office,” to Donald Trump, who entered the 2016 Republican National Convention to Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” music has played a significant role in presidential campaign pageantry. This lecture traces the historyContinue reading “Songs in the Key of President C”

Campaign Music 101 in the Music History Classroom

Teaching Music History Conference, Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA, June 11, 2017 Presenters Dana Gorzelany-Mostak (Georgia College), Naomi Graber (University of Georgia), Hanna Lisa Stefansson (University of Georgia), Cameron Steuart (University of Georgia), Mary Helen Hoque (University of Georgia), Sarah Kitts (Georgia College), and Kassie Kelly (Trinity University) gave a workshop on how toContinue reading “Campaign Music 101 in the Music History Classroom”

Popular Music in U.S. Presidential Commercials

Candidates typically enter the rally stage to a pop song, but what happens when they use these tunes in their commercials? In this lesson plan, Joanna Love (University of Richmond) offers discussion points and activities for teachers of non-majors who wish to explore the role pop music plays in branding the candidate.