Potentially Offensive Music: Censor, Edit, or Warn?
- Grades: 9–12
This unit focuses on the censorship of music that may be considered offensive. Students will gain knowledge of the first amendment and the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) and analyze their roles in music censorship. Students will have multiple opportunities to voice their opinions and view, firsthand, the perspectives of others on the various forms of censorship.
- Analyze various forms of music censorship
- Write an effective position paper
Lesson Plans for this Unit
Lesson 1: Planning a Position Paper
Lesson 3: Writing Your Position Paper's Body
Lesson 4: Writing Your Position Paper's Conclusion
Students will write a position paper from the perspective of a music artist, a music store owner, or a parent. They must voice and support their position on the following topic from their chosen perspective: Should CDs that may be considered offensive contain warning labels?
The following books focus on the censorship of music in America both today and in the past.
Parental Advisory: Music Censorship in America by Eric Nuzum
This nonfiction text chronicles music that has been challenged by both the government and the American public from the Beatles to 80s rap group N.W.A.
Shoot the Singer: Music Censorship Today by Marie Korpe
This nonfiction text discusses the causes and rationale behind the government, corporate America, and religious group’s attempts to prevent people from listening to certain types of music.
Policing POP by Martin Cloonan and Reebee Garofalo
This collection of essays focuses on the various forms of censorship as well as the various attempts at restricting "popular music."
Taboo Tunes: A History of Banned Bands and Censored Songs by Peter Blecha
This book gives a somewhat humorous view of the various types of censorship occurring in America.
Opposing Viewpoint Series: Censorship by Andrea C. Nakaya
This fairly unbiased collection of essays promotes critical thought about the sensitive issues surrounding censorship.