SCLI Website > Smithsonian Education > LVG For Teachers >  

  Educational Activities  
¡Sabor! Virtual Exhibition | Site Map     Spanish version  

Music and Politics


Lesson Two: Music and politics

Reading Resources:

Key concepts:
Music is identity, and identity can be political and cultural
Historical significance of music in politics and cultural change
Eras of particular note:
World War I
World War II
Iraq war

South Africa -apartheid

1. Using the attached History of Salsa, and the journal entry by Eliana Marcenaro Golfarb, find examples of the various forms of music mentioned. Listen to each of them as a group. List the characteristics that are the same and different. Pay attention to the following musical concepts:

Instruments used
Type of dance

2. Using graphic organizers such as Inspiration, see if the class can trace the roots of salsa, and the divergent paths it took to get to where it is today.

3. Discussion/research

In small groups, choose a time period in which music played a significant part in cultural change or reflection. Find three songs/compositions that reflect this time period. Using these pieces as background, create a photo montage or slide show that shows the change or crisis that made these musical pieces powerful.

4. Personal project
Have each student identify a musical group/genre/style that echoes with his/her “essence”. Ask them to share examples of this type of music and describe in what ways the different elements of the music relate to elements of their own identity. Encourage students to apply the terminology highlighted throughout the “¡Sabor!” virtual exhibition to defend their perspective. Students must be thorough in their analysis and must come prepared to answer questions from their teachers and peers.

Resources for teachers:




Back to Lesson Plans Main Menu






¡Sabor! Virtual Exhibition | Site Map
  NBPTS logo  

The Standards 
Son Clave Lounge
NMAH - Oral Histories
Resources for Teachers


Authors: Tehani Colazo, Museum Educator; Laura Jones, NBCT; Eliana Marcenaro, Language Arts Teacher.

This project has received support from the Latino Initiatives Pool distributed by the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives.


Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2005 Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives All rights reserved.