Rocker Steven Van Zandt is launching a new education project to teach students about the origins and influence of rock music.

Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band sidekick is teaming up with bosses at the Grammy Museum to start up Rock & Roll: An American Story (Rraas), which will use various multimedia forms to delve into rock history and explore its roots in blues and gospel.

He tells Rolling Stone magazine, "Our point is the opposite of the approach taken in the past, which is, 'Take that iPod out of your ear and pay attention.' Rather, we ask, 'What are you listening to? Let's trace it back and talk about it.' What that forms is an immediate common ground and immediate engagement. I never had that."

Unveiling his plans in New York on Wednesday (24Apr13), the guitarist showed footage of a test classroom in the Bronx, where youngsters listened to Aretha Franklin's Respect and linked it to America's Civil Rights Movement.