It’s Jazz Appreciation Month and whether you teach music or love music, this is a great time to share this American art form with your students.
As you may know about me already, I am a huge proponent of actively listening to music in the classroom (ALL classrooms). Sharing listening experiences with your students builds community, listening skills and gives students a chance to broaden their horizons. And if at first they do not love it, play and play some more! Follow my recipe for introducing a song to your class and play it for an entire week. As the week progresses, they will listen more and appreciate it more.
Here are some JAZZ online resources for you to have at your fingertips:
http://www.pbs.org/theblues/ Introduce your students to the blues on this site. There are lot of info and interactive material here.
http://pbskids.org/jazz/ This site has wonderful activities and a wealth of information as well.
Introduce your students to some Jazz Greats using this site:
And here are some sites specific to Jazz artists I never forget to share with my class:
Louis Armstrong (complete with sound bites of him speaking and playing!) http://www.louisarmstronghouse.org/louie_armstrong/multimedia.htm
Ella Fitzgerald – http://www.ellafitzgerald.com/about/
And the Duke himself! http://www.dukeellington.com/
There are numerous picture and chapter (and informational) books on Jazz including artists, info on the art form and jazz appreciation and history. Here’s a link to one book on Amazon that has many wonderful suggestions if you scroll down to “Customer Who Bought This Item Also Bought.” You can get lost in a web of great material. (I have many of these, but want them all!!!) Jazz Books on Amazon
Finally, here’s a short playlist for you to use today of some of my favorite standbys! Use these at the beginning of class as the students enter your room or in the last 5 minutes before they leave. Take the time to talk about the song, discuss why you chose it and get their reactions. Listen to the lyrics and play that one song for an entire week. Your students may just start singing the song before you know it!
Image from pyrmontvillage.com.au
Once your students master a swing beat they can use the pattern on many types of blues and jazz pieces. ..To offer your students more opportunities to practice their swing skills have them jazz up a favorite nursery rhyme.