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Feeling the Vibrations

Grade Level Grades K-8
Resource Type Lesson Plan

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One of the lasting legacies of the Grateful Dead is their dedication to their fans. Affectionately known as “Deadheads,” Grateful Dead fans were considered more than just customers for records – they were, in many ways, taken in as part of the band’s family. As such, the Grateful Dead made great efforts to connect with their fanbase, whether it was by constant touring, spending a small fortune on an enormous sound system to deliver pristine sound at concerts, or allowing fans to freely record and disseminate those performances.

Inspired by the Grateful Dead’s innovative approach to presenting concerts to their deaf and hard of hearing fanbase, in this lesson students consider how deaf and hard of hearing people experience music and concerts by exploring the tactile effects of soundwaves through a hands-on activity, and practicing American Sign Language.

Materials required for this lesson: balloons, plastic or glass bottles, aluminum cans, paper plates, speakers, pieces of cloth or foam.

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