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Music Lesson Plans for Social Justice

A Contemporary Approach for Secondary School Teachers

Lisa C. DeLorenzo and Marissa Silverman

Publication Date - 01 April 2022

ISBN: 9780197581483

296 pages
7 x 10 inches

In Stock


Music Lesson Plans for Social Justice offers a fresh, innovative approach to teaching general music. This book is a timely collection of lesson plans and units that artfully blend music making with relevant issues of social justice. Particularly accessible to middle and high school classroom music teachers, it includes a companion website with links to all of the music listening and videos. Authors Lisa C. DeLorenzo and Marissa Silverman, accomplished music educators with extensive careers thinking about the relationship between music education and social justice, have composed student-centered lessons with thoughtful discussion prompts, experiences with diverse genres and styles of music, and technology-integrated music making projects that will activate students' creativity and empathy. Unit topics-ranging from “War” to “Climate Change”-include cross-disciplinary lessons with the arts playing a central role in developing understanding. Well-researched introductory materials as well as “how-to” guides for topics, such as “composing in the classroom,” make the text especially practical and approachable. This book is an essential resource, with ready-to-go lessons and classroom materials. Music teachers will now have a unique, new lens for engaging students in purposeful music making toward social justice.


  • Includes original, as-yet unpublished lesson plans that connect teaching social justice through music
  • Features a companion website hosting all referenced videos, as well as supplemental resources that accompany the content found in the book
  • Offers music teachers a unique lens for engaging students in purposeful music making toward social justice

About the Author(s)

Lisa C. DeLorenzo is Professor of Music Education at the John J. Cali School of Music of Montclair State University. She teaches music education courses and supervises student teachers. Her interests in creative and critical thinking and movement/dance as well as connections between democracy, social justice and music teacher education have provided material for numerous books, as well as articles in practitioner and research journals.

Marissa Silverman is Professor of Music Education at the John J. Cali School of Music of Montclair State University. A Fulbright Scholar, her research interests include music and social justice, interdisciplinary education, community music, and topics in the philosophy of music and music education.


"Music Lesson Plans for Social Justice is a tantalizing glimpse of the possibilities when students learn music in a context that is immediately relevant to them. The instructional framework laid out here is ambitious, inspiring, and most importantly, fun. I found myself thinking, time and time again — I can't wait to try that!" -- Richard Lawton, Orff Teacher Educator/Music Teacher, The Westland School, Los Angeles

"Even at their first glance, secondary school music educators will immediately recognize the substantive contributions of this work for developing the social consciousness of their students through musical study and experience. This book will move teachers and students beyond general (Western) theory and history courses to musical encounters in gem-like curricular designs that address timely topics of societal turmoil and tension, and of peace, compassion and love." -- Patricia Shehan Campbell, Donald E. Peterson Professor of Music, University of Washington

"Music Lessons Plans for Social Justice provides ready-to-use resources suitable for any curriculum in any part of the world. I find this publication relevant to various topics including areas that focus on decolonization, socio-cultural significance of music, and learner engagement with music education for situations beyond the classroom. Indeed '...students learn more fully when they are engaged in music making that has contextual relevance to them'. This publication presents contexts that are socially relevant to today's learner." -- Emily Achieng' Akuno, Professor of Music, The Technical University of Kenya, President of the International Society for Music Education - ISME (2020-2022)

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. American Protest Unit
    3. War Unit
    4. Heroes and Heroines Unit
    5. Love Unit
    6. Climate Change Unit
    7. Peace Unit
    8. Epilogue: Creating Your Own Socially Just Music Lessons

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