The zoom where it happened

Lin Manuel Miranda goes live on YouTube to help APUSH students

During these uncertain times, prominent social figures with large social platforms are reaching out to the world with varying forms of support. Some are donating money to different programs, others voicing their encouragement on social media. But for Puerto Rican playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, his method of support is appearing in a study session for AP US History, to provide some support for the students undergoing stress due to upcoming AP exams. 

Recently, the College Board began putting out YouTube review videos on all classes. Last Wednesday, April 29, Trevor Packer, the Senior Vice President of Advanced Placement and Instruction for the College Board, tweeted that Miranda would be going live on Friday, May 1, for an AP U.S. History lesson

“I’m not a historian OR a history teacher (THE SCHUYLER SISTERS HAD BROTHERS! ELIZA AND ALEX HAD 8 KIDS!) but we’ll talk [about] Hamilton [the musical] and primary sources and other stuff,” Miranda tweeted back Friday morning.

According to the live, around half a million students take AP U.S. History and many of them joined the video to watch Miranda speak on his experiences, among those students was junior Camryn Counsil.

“I thought the online presentation with [Miranda] was really interesting. As a student who enjoys both history and music as a whole, I was intrigued to watch it. I enjoyed how the livestream showed how the skills used in AP US history can apply to something as writing a musical … It was also fun to hear [Miranda] speak about his process of writing Hamilton as well as his overall love for history,” Counsil wrote.

Throughout the video, Miranda discusses the various ways in which secondary and primary sources can be used to create arguments that are essential to the document-based questions on the written portion of the APUSH exam.

Towards the end of the video, College Board member Barbara Cronan, spoke about how AP courses influence the professions student study later on in life and invited Miranda to speak on how these classes impacted him and to present any advice he had for students. 

Miranda acknowledged that not every student who takes an AP course plans to study that subject in college.

“There [are] other disciplines [students] are training for while [taking these courses]. The notion of taking in account primary sources as a way of understanding something, reading someone’s account and understanding where they are coming from, developing tools of empathy with that, creating an argument based on facts … these things are going to serve you well for the rest of your life no matter what [field] you go into.” 

Miranda took AP Spanish, Psychology and Statistics in high school and spent 7 years researching Alexander Hamilton and his family and friends for his musical. According to College Board member Dana Kopelman, his background qualifies him as an “honorary history teacher.” Miranda encouraged students to not throw away their shot,” when it comes to preparing for these tests and ended the live by wishing students good luck and playing a short tune on his keyboard. 

The APUSH exam will take place next week, May 15, at 11 a.m. Pacific Time and students are able to access all the AP review videos on Youtube and the folder of extra resources available here.