VersoFest 2023 - Teach Rock

VersoFest 2023

TeachRock, Wall of Sound Class

Saturday, April 1, 11 am

Originally conceived by brainiac, prankster, LSD head, and sometimes Grateful Dead sound tech Owsley “Bear” Stanley, the Wall of Sound was a three-story, 28,800-watt hot-rodded PA system, the largest of its time, used at Grateful Dead shows in 1974. The Wall of Sound was the first large-scale line array used in modern sound reinforcement systems.

Grateful Dead's Wall of Sound

This innovative sound system serves as the basis for TeachRock’s Wall of Sound class in which participants will both learn about the Wall and partake in hands-on activities that will spark their inner prankster/scientist. 

TeachRock's Bill Carbone and Gina Machado will join you to explore the questions: What is a PA system? How does it work? And why should we thank the tinkering scientists of the 1960s and 70s Grateful Dead entourage for many of the standard elements of how we experience live music today?

TeachRock instructor Gina Machado

TeachRock is a standards-aligned, arts integration curriculum that uses the history of popular music and culture to help teachers engage students. Innovative lesson plans developed by experienced educators and top experts in the field foster genuine learning in areas including social studies, language arts, geography, science, STEAM, general music and more.

Steven Van Zandt is the TeachRock founder, and the organization’s board includes Jackson Browne, Martin Scorsese, Bono, and Bruce Springsteen.

Bill Carbone is Executive Director of, a nonprofit founded by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steven Van Zandt. Carbone brings decades of experience as a researcher, teacher, journalist, and a musician to the organization. He initially joined TeachRock in 2016 as a lesson plan writer and produced the PBS “Soundbreaking” and official Beatles collections almost single-handedly during his first year. Carbone earned degrees from New England Conservatory of Music in Jazz Performance and Wesleyan University in Ethnomusicology, and has an ongoing career as a rock, jazz, and reggae drummer and percussionist. He taught classes in music history, ethnomusicology and percussion at Central Connecticut State and Wesleyan Universities. His dream for TeachRock is to provide every student with a class that makes adults say, "I wish they had that when I was in school.”

Anthony Coscia's Wall of Sound Replica
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