The Art of Protest

Process - Step 4



1) Select a social, political, humanitarian, or environmental issue about which you have a strong opinion. The issue you choose may be a current one or from any historical time period.)

2) Research music related to that issue using the link listed in the RESOURCES section at the bottom of this page. (Remember that these links are just a starting point!) 

3) Print out and/or save copies of at least 5 song's lyrics that are related to your topic.

4) Locate and listen to audio clips of the songs whenever possible. 

5) Complete the "Research Guide" handout for at least 5 different songs, making sure that you explain how each reinforces your position (opinion) on the issue you've selected. (The handout can be downloaded from the RESOURCES section at the bottom of this page. You may need additional paper to complete each research guide.)

Song Lyrics Research = 100 points

6) Write a well-organized essay or song that reflects your position on the issue you've researched.

(Essay = minimum of 3-5 typed pages: including a definition of the problem/issue; your opinion and supporting examples; the counter argument and supporting examples; how the music your researched can act (or has acted) as a catalyst for social change.)

(Song = mimimum of three substantial verses and a chorus; 3-5 minutes in length; in addition, write a reflective essay defining the issue/problem you addressed and how your song specifically calls listeners to "action" or educates them on the matter.)

(Pinterest Board = minimum of 30 "pins" with commentary; focus on providing a wide range of images, lyrics, articles, videos, etc. about a particular era of protest music, or a specific artist/band.)

Essay/Song/Pinterest Position Statement = 150 points


a. perform your song for the class with musical accompaniment or post a music video of it to YouTube.

b. research examples of protest art and create at least 2 original works that reflect your position on the issue you selected for the above activities. 

c. create a Sliderocket presentation using text and images (audioclips optional) to reflect your position and the impact of protest music on the issue you selected for the above activities.

***Excellent extra credit projects will receive a minimum of 25 bonus points.


  • File
    Description: Handout: "Protest Music Research Guide"

  • File
    Description: Handout: Protest Song List (starting point for researching artists/songs that reflect views about protest, demonstrations, revolution, etc.)

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link
  • Vietnam War Music
    Description: Great website! Includes access to audio clips, narrative, and timeline of Vietnam War songs.

Web Link
  • Vietnam War Era Music
    Description: Top 100 hits (audio clips) from 1959-1975; you'll have to be selective, but many protest songs are included here

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link
  • The Pop History Dig
    Description: Protest Music: "Four Dead in O-HI-O" (audio clips and narrative about Kent State)

Web Link

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