Teach the Beat: Go-Go Goes to School

Photo by Thomas Sayers EllisTeaching for Change, in partnership with DCPS, is pleased to announce that the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) has provided funding for the “Teach the Beat: Go-Go Goes to School: Artists and Scholars in the Classroom” initiative to infuse D.C.’s rich and unique tradition of go-go in the curriculum. To achieve this goal, go-go performers and scholars will be available to provide in-school coaching to D.C. public and public charter school teachers and students in music, social studies, and language arts classrooms.

Teach the Beat: Go-Go Goes to School is designed to ensure that students learn the rich history and the various stylistic elements related to the go-go music genre, drawing on the vast array of performers in D.C., scholars, and the experience of teachers who grew up with go-go. (The initiative builds on seminars and lessons on go-go from Teach the Beat.)


The performers’ visits are for coaching and instruction, not entertainment.  This will be ideal for:

  • Music teachers who want to learn more about the musical aspects of go-go
  • Music teachers or band leaders who want professional feedback for their students as they play go-go
  • Social studies or language arts teachers who are attempting to include go-go in the curriculum and have questions for experts in the field and/or would like a guest presenter for their class

The musicians and scholars who have agreed to provide support include:

  • Gregory “Sugar Bear” Elliott
  • Willam “Ju Ju” House
  • John Buchanan
  • Cherie (Sweet Cherie) Mitchell
  • Stanley Cooper
  • Mickey “Go Go Mickey” Freeman
  • Kevin “Kato” Hammond
  • Nico Hobson
  • Thomas Sayers Ellis
  • Charles Stephenson
  • Kip Lornell
  • and more

(The bios of these individuals are included on The Beat is Go-Go website.)

The grant has a short timeline. It was announced on April 15 and all classroom visits must be completed by September 25, 2015. Therefore, we want to start the classroom visits as soon as possible.

Teachers interested in participating should complete and submit the
online request form ASAP.

The due date for the first round of applications is May 8. If more slots are available, we will send out another announcement.

Learn about other Teach the Beat seminars and lessons at The Beat is Go-Go website.

Photo (top) of Chuck Brown by Thomas Sayers Ellis.