Jazz in the Classroom
“Jazz in the Classroom” provides opportunities for students to create improvised music by using a combination of easily learned jazz techniques in the classroom. The material is suitable for mixed ability classes or smaller groups of 10-14 year olds.
Jazz in the Classroom requires a CD player as the CD plays a vital part in each session. The work can be carried out on tuned percussion, keyboards (white notes only!) and other melody instruments. There is a B flat part included in the Pupil’s book. In the Teacher’s book, each session includes a list of “Aims and Activities” to help place this work in the context of the complete music syllabus. Text for class discussion is printed in the Pupil’s and Teacher’s Books. The “Extra Extra” sections suggest further follow-up work for each session, together with recommended listening material.
Each lesson should start with a warn-up using echo clapping and question and answer work. These techniques are learnt in the first few sessions. Further sessions cover melodic improvisation over ostinati, moving from small note groups to pentatonic scales, modes and finally major scales. The pieces in each session can be performed separately for concerts, and can also act as models for the composition of new pieces.
On the CD are examples of jazz styles and instruments providing a backing to the many group activities contained in the books. “Live” accompaniments based on material in the Teacher’s book may however be sometimes preferred.