Popular/Modern/Commercial Music Resources for Educators

Please join our Facebook group using the link below, or the QR code, to stay abreast of the Popular Music Educator Committee’s activities.

This Facebook group is for all music educators in North Carolina who teach popular music as a means for creating community, sharing pedagogical ideas, PD opportunities, and showcasing student projects.”


Professional organizations and their website links

Non-Profit organizations and their website links

Conference opportunities for popular music educators

  • APME Conferences
  • Modern Band Summit
  • Music Will Teaching Training 101: UNCW, Wilmington, NC. April 29th, 9:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Link coming soon)
  • Modern Band 102: Page High School, Greensboro, NC. March 31st, 9:00 – 3:00 p.m.



  • Bell, A.P., 2020. The Music Technology Cookbook: Ready-Made Recipes for the Classroom. Oxford University Press.
  • Chang, J. 2005. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation. St. Martin’s Press.
  • Chang, J. (Ed.) 2007. Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip Hop. Basic Civitas Books.
  • Chuck D, and Jah, Y. 1997. Fight the Power: Rap, Race, and Reality. Delta Books.
  • Costello, Mark and Wallace, David Foster. 1990. Signifying Rappers: Rap and Race in the Urban Present. The Ecco Press.
  • Dimitriades, G. 2004. Performing Identity/Performing Culture: Hip Hop as Text, Pedagogy, and Living Practice. Peter Lang Pub.
  • Dyson, Michael Eric. 2001. Holler If Your Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur. Basic Civitas Books.
  • Dyson, M. 1996. Between God and Gangsta Rap: Bearing Witness to Black Culture. Oxford.
  • Forman, M. & Neal, M. 2004. That’s the Joint! The Hip Hop Studies Reader. Taylor and Francis.
  • Fricke, J. & Ahearn, C. 2002. Yes Yes Y’all: Oral History of Hip-Hop’s First Decade. Persues Press.
  • George, Nelson. 1998. Hip-Hop America. Viking.
  • Ginwright, S. 2004. Black in School: Afrocentric Reform, Urban Youth, and the Promise of Hip-Hop Culture. Teachers College Press.
  • Hill, M. 2009. Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity. Teachers College Press.
  • Holley, S. (2019). Coaching a Popular Music Ensemble; Blending formal, non-formal, and informal approaches in the rehearsal. McLemore Ave Music.
  • Holley, S. & Reinhert, K. 2022. Action Based Approaches in Popular Music Education. McLeMore Ave Music.
  • Kitwana, Bakari. 2002. The Hip Hop Generation: Young, Black and the Crisis in African American Culture. Basic Civitas Books.
  • Kladder, J. 2023. Commercial and Popular Music in Higher Education: Expanding notions of musicianship and pedagogy in contemporary education. Routledge.
  • Low, B. 2011. Slam School: Learning Through Conflict in the Hip-Hop and Spoken Word Classroom. Stanford University Press.
  • Orejuela, F. 2023. Rap and Hip Hop Culture. Oxford University Press.
  • Perkins, W. 1996. Droppin’ Science: Critical Essays on Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture. Critical Perspectives on the Past. Temple University Press.
  • Prier, D. 2011. Culturally Relevant Teaching: Hip-Hop Pedagogy in Urban Schools. Peter Lang.
  • Rose, T. 1994. Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Wesleyan University Press.
  • Runell, M & Diaz, M. (Eds.) 2007. The Hip Hop Education Guidebook: Vol. 1. Hip Hop Association
  • Seidel, S. 2011. Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education. Rowman and Littlefield.
  • Sexton, A. (Ed.) 1995. Rap on Rap: Straight Talk on Hip-Hop Culture. Delta.
  • Shomari, H. 1995. From the Underground : Hip Hop Culture as an Agent of Social Change. X-Factor Publications.
  • Wynne, K. 2000. “This Ain’t No B-Boy: Women in Hip-Hop. Clamor, April/May, p. 33-37.

Website Links and Videos about Teaching Hip Hop

  • The History of Hip Hop — a brief and useful overview article.
  • Hip Hop History 101 — more good articles and links.
  • Hip Hop: Today’s Civil Right’s Movement? — a good radio program about the political nature and power of Hip Hop.
  • The Hip Hop Classroom — a website created by Oakland (CA) Unity High School teacher, Daniel Zarazua — includes lesson plans and ideas, information, and more in support of the effective use of hip hop in the classroom.
  • Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education — a YouTube video about the key ideas in the book of the same name, by Sam Seidel. The book is about the High School for Recording Arts in St. Paul, MN and about an innovative approach to education.
  • Can’t Stop Won’t Stop — the website of Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation and Total Chaos: the Art and Aesthetics of Hip Hop — includes a blog, an archive of Chang’s writings, and more.
  • Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes — a segment from Byron Hurt’s documentary film, “Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes.” Hurt describes himself as a lover of hip hop — a hip hop head — but he critiques certain aspects of hip hop to raise questions and promote critical awareness, and he exposes the often white corporate structures behind hip hop that propagate the “gangsta” and “bling” marketing images rather than supporting the more political and critically reflective kinds of hip hop.
  • How Women Are Portrayed in Hip Hop Videos — a YouTube video of a debate/panel discussion about the often two-dimensional and objectified use of women in hip hop and its cultural and psychological impact — includes journalist/author Kevin Powell, hip hop entrepreneur Irv Gotti, model Melyssa Ford, and radio show host Kendra G.
  • Hip Hop Images, Women, and Exploitation — hip hop scholar and author, Dr. Tricia Rose, discusses ways in which the exploitation of women in hip is damaging to black women, all women, and all men.
  • bell hooks Discusses Rap — a short YouTube clip of the scholar bell hooks in which she argues that much contemporary hip hop is a perfect example of modern colonialism because many hip hop executives are white and the main market for the music, as it’s currently presented, is young white males who are sold and are enthusiastically consuming and supporting a version of hip hop that denigrates Black women and elevates the party over politics.
  • Educators Use Rap as a Teaching Tool — a radio broadcast about teachers who are using hip-hop effectively to make connections between contemporary music/poetry and the classics — scroll to the bottom of the page, click and listen.
  • Flocabulary — lots of lesson ideas, materials, and resources for using hip hop in the classroom — specific to social studies, writing, math/science, and vocabulary/reading
    Poetry, Jazz, Rap, and Hip Hop for the Classroom — a lesson plan.
  • Geeksta Rap Brings Education to Music — a radio segment about an artist/musician who “aims to get young hip-hop fans interested in engineering.”
  • Bringing Def Poetry Jam to U.S. High Schools — a radio interview with Russell Simmons about his work to bring Poetry Jams to high schools across the country.
  • Multiplication Hip Hop — rapping the times tables.
  • Public Enemy — a hip hop group from Long Island, NY, known for its politically charged lyrics about and criticism of racism, discrimination, stereotypes in the media, and more.
  • The Last Poets — a bio of this ground breaking, civil rights driven hip hop group that began in the early 1970’s — one of the early forces in hip hop and a group that shows the deep political and activist roots of hip hop. More recently, they’ve also worked with Common and Kanye West.
  • Latino Rapper Pitbull Blends Politics and Hip-Hop — a radio segment about Pitbull who addresses social and political issues in his music and has worked hard to register young Latinos to vote.
  • Nuttin’ But Stringz: Hip Hop Violin — a radio segment about a pair of Julliard-trained, violin playing African American brothers who are making their own music.
  • The Hip Hop Violin and String Quartets of Haitian American Composer, Daniel Bernard Roumain — a radio segment about Roumain and his hip hop compositions — includes audio clips of his work, as performed by the Lark String Quartet.
  • Exploring African Hip Hop — a radio review of CD’s by two African hip hop groups whose music “embodies ways that Africans are debating their cultural identity through music.”
  • The Original Hip Hop Lyrics Archive — a large archive of lyrics to many important hip hop songs.