PS: Political Science & Politics

The Teacher

Rock and Roll Will Never Die: Using Music to Engage Students in the Study of Political Science

Christopher Sopera1

a1 Pepperdine University


Popular music is ubiquitous in the lives of our students, music is used by politicians at virtually every one of their campaign events, and musicians are increasingly active in politics, but music has never been considered as a pedagogical tool in teaching political science classes. This article describes the use of music in an introduction to American politics class. I argue that playing music in class can increase student interest, reinforce important concepts, and actively engage the students in the learning process. Finally, using popular culture connects meaningfully with the way that many of our undergraduate students are experiencing politics.

Chris Soper is a professor of political science at Pepperdine University. His most recent works include The Challenge of Pluralism: Church and State in Five Western Democracies (with Stephen Monsma) and Muslims and the State in Britain, France, and Germany (with Joel Fetzer). He would like to thank the anonymous reviewers at PS for their helpful comments on this manuscript. He can be reached at