For the Record: Back to School ‘22 – What Can We Learn From Rock & Roll


Grant Edmonson '24

A new school year means many things for Priory: new schedules, new challenges, time to see friends, and of course, more music. This year I would like to take this column in a new direction. Looking back, I realized that last year, I tended to focus on specific bands and music scenes. While I enjoyed writing those pieces greatly, it is time for new horizons. This year I intend to explore not only what music is but also what music does; how it relates to people and their situations. From here on out the playlists associated with each For the Record installment will be found on YouTube. Though this is inconvenient for Spotify users, everyone can access YouTube for free. On top of this, music videos can now be part of the playlist, which is always fun. 

Now: Rock & Roll’s relationship to school. Most songs, especially Rock songs, do not have a very positive outlook on the education system. Rock music is loud and confident with a do-it-yourself attitude. School expects you to be quiet and learn your lessons. They seem like perfect opposites, but in reality they play off of each other. There is a lot that you can learn from Rock & Roll. 

One of the fundamental elements of Rock & Roll is that it thinks for itself. Rock teaches you to be bold. To do what you think and feel. School teaches you to exercise this freedom prudently. If you can combine the ambitious self-determination of Rock & Roll with the wisdom of a good education, then a free-thinking individual is born. 

 With the school year kicking off, many of you are confused on where you stand as a student. At one moment you find yourself motivated to work hard for your future career, a minute later school is unnecessary and you can make it on your own. The solution here is balance. There is a time and a place for everything. When you have schoolwork to do, focus up. Get yourself motivated to do that assignment as efficiently as possible. Once all of your work is done, then you can let loose. Are you tired? Take a break from work. Jam out to your favorite song. Come back to work ready to get on task. Rock & Roll, for one thing, is a release of energy. Use that release to your advantage.

Balance is important in music as well. The volume’s of the instruments must be balanced. Serious songs must be balanced with fun songs. Attitude and image must be balanced with quality content and character. See, there is a lot to learn from Rock & Roll!

One day, when all the world’s issues are solved, we will be able to just listen to music and screw around 24 hours a day. But until then, and I think we’ve got a while, enjoy some great school-related songs on the playlist below. I wish everyone, teachers and staff included, good fortune in this upcoming school year. There is a lot to look forward to!

School Songs Playlist: