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If you haven’t signed up for CTA’s Good Teaching Conference-South, March 13-15 in Garden Grove, you might want to do it now. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steven Van Zandt, also known as Little Steven, has been added as a last-minute keynote speaker.

Little Steven is known worldwide as a singer, songwriter, musician, producer and actor. He’s a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, in which he plays guitar and mandolin, and co-starred in all seven seasons of “The Sopranos.” His songs have been performed by top artists, he has produced dozens of albums, live events and radio shows. 

Steven Van Zandt

Little Steven has also been a social justice activist for over four decades. He has championed educator causes for years and recently walked the strike line for UTLA. His many contributions include forming Artists United Against Apartheid (he wrote the chart topper “Sun City,” a song protesting the apartheid system in South Africa) and establishing the Solidarity Foundation to promote the sovereignty of indigenous peoples.

He is the founder of TeachRock, which helps empower teachers and engage students by using popular music to create interdisciplinary, culturally responsive education materials for all 21st century classrooms. The standards-aligned curricula brings rich multimedia content to teachers and students at no cost, and can be integrated into lessons ranging from social studies and language arts to geography, media studies, science, general music and more. 

Recent lessons on TeachRock include “Greta Thunberg, Music, and the Climate Crisis,” (essential question: How have musicians helped spread climate activist Greta Thunberg’s activism?) and “Women’s Perspectives in Country and Tejano Music” (essential question: How did female Country and Tejano artists approach the issues of feminism and Women’s Rights in the late 20th century?).

Here is Little Steven explaining his work with educators and TeachRock:

Sign up for the Good Teaching Conference, held at the Hyatt Regency Garden Grove, at