WKU Music Professor Introduces a New Generation to the History, Musical Characteristics, and Influences of Rock & Roll
- Wednesday, October 13th, 2021
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio has a mission to teach and inspire through the power of rock & roll. In many ways, Dr. Melissa Keeling’s music course at WKU in Glasgow has a similar mission.
“The history of modern artists is being written now,” said Keeling. “I want my students to learn how to make connections between their own lives and music.”
In her course, “Rock & Roll: Music for a New Generation," students learn about the history of rock & roll, hone their listening skills, and study the origins, artists, and styles that contribute to its ever-changing sound. Students also discuss an eclectic list of influencers, from rockabilly, country, and blues to hip hop, psychedelic, and punk.
Keeling is a flutist, composer, teacher, and author who has an interesting history herself.
A native of Bowling Green, she attended WKU and earned her degree in Music Education. That’s where she met her future husband, also a music education major. Keeling completed her master’s degree at MTSU and then moved to New York where she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) from The Graduate Center, City University of New York.
“I want my students to learn how to make connections between their own lives and music.” Dr. Melissa Keeling
Keeling has shared her talent with millions of people, from sidewalk and subway performances and rock band accompaniment to orchestral performances and playing Carnegie Hall.
This rock & roll course provides a unique opportunity to share her musical expertise with students at WKU like Justin Coop.
Coop is a history major from Glasgow who enrolled in the course because he thought it would be a fun class.
“I’ve always loved music, and growing up I listened to a lot of rock and roll with my father, so I figured it would be fun to dive into rock more,” he said.
The course has provided historical insight into something he already loved.
“It’s interesting to learn about how much influence there was into creating rock and roll,” he said.
“Not only did it come from other genres of music, but also from what was happening in the world at that time.”
Coop would encourage students to consider taking courses like this.
“I really enjoy sitting down in this class, listening to music, and digging into the subject, and I would definitely recommend this class to other students,” Coop said. “It’s enjoyable, and it deals with music. Who doesn’t listen to music?”
Keeling’s course meets at WKU in Glasgow, one of five regional locations that offer in-person, online, and hybrid classes for students throughout the region. WKU regional locations include Elizabethtown, Fort Knox, Glasgow, Owensboro, and Somerset.
For more information, visit the WKU Regional Campuses Website.