Why an indie rock band may hold the ticket for the future of education

Indie rock band Big Thief are inviting teachers to bring their students to the soundcheck of any show on their upcoming tour. I reckon this is an early contender for the smartest idea of 2023 - here's why.

One of the most overlooked opportunities in learning is what you could think of as deconstruction: breaking something up into multiple parts and creating the opportunity to explore topics, skills and interest areas from all kinds of angles.

Seeing a band soundcheck - especially one like Big Thief that have multiple albums and shift a serious number of tickets - is a great example of this in action.

First, there’s behind the scenes access.

What does a venue look like 4 hours before the doors open? Who are these other people working hard but aren’t in the band? What happens between now and showtime?

Then, the experience. Tuning up. Tuning in. Finding the groove. Turning it up LOUD. Hearing that song come to life - for real.

There's the opportunity for exploration. Access to a single gig can ladder into an entire curriculum.

- Learning about sound waves for physics class? Check.

- Making the economics of the show part of your business studies course? Yup.

- Figuring out how the agent routed the tour across multiple countries? Build your skills in geography, maths, and languages.

Finally, there’s the opportunity to converse. Ask a question, have a conversation, learn with your peers - and with the band. You're unlikely to forget it. That hour or two where you're out on tour - it could be a game-changer.

The other reason this is so smart?

It’s dead simple, and barely cost them a dime.

Here’s the note the band posted:

“Dearest educators and students:

Big Thief is looking to bring an educational component to the touring process by offering open invitations for teachers to bring their students to our soundchecks on the upcoming 2023 US tour.

Imagine, as a student, being able to experience the soundcheck of an epic band, asking questions and sharing a discussion about creativity, music, or playing shows… How would you feel? What will you remember?

One thing is for sure. Students will probably not ask: “How many points is this worth?”

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