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The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

Lake Views

The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

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Eric Whitbeck introduces new pop music elective

This year’s elective selection is filled with new electives that hadn’t been introduced before. A new but popular elective that has made its way to LOHS students’ schedules is the History of American Pop Music, taught by social studies teacher Eric Whitbeck.

This class is all about going through the timeline of pop music in America through listening as well as analyzing. The class covers many genres of music such as jazz, blues, traditional pop music and more. 

The curriculum is surrounded by group listening as well as group discussions and small assignments scattered throughout the course.

“The basic idea about the History of Pop Music is to offer an elective that is not academically challenging […] pop music is meant to be inclusive and allow students from a range of abilities to enjoy,” said Whitbeck. 

Senior Shaylee McCue who is taking this class next semester had observed the class during her free period and said, “it’s a lot of him talking about music and students listening to music. It’s really cool that it is interactive but also a chill class for his students to listen and learn more about music.”

McCue added that “You can tell [Whitbeck] is enthusiastic about it. He’s also enthusiastic about his students and wants them to learn, but also wants them to be interested in the topic. That’s a really good and important quality to have in a teacher.” 

Although junior Alanah Butler Coronado hadn’t taken the course yet, her interest and cultural connection to pop music made her eager to take the course.

“Music has always been a big way of communication in my culture. I find that part of music really interesting and it’s also been a big way for me to relieve my stress from school or work.”  

The class has many people who enjoy different types of music across the pop music spectrum. Whitbeck hopes that for this class, people will experience new forms of music that they hadn’t been used to, and enjoy it as well. 

“When kids who have an interest in music are exposed to something that they didn’t have exposure to before and they enjoy it, that’s what I find most satisfying […] after listening to it for a day, a student could realize that they in fact do like the genre. To me, that makes it worth doing all of the work.”

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