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Jazz Class (Smithsonian)


Found in: arts, social studies3-5, 6-8

Smithsonian’s Jazz Class features 31 complete jazz tunes as well as stories about jazz musicians for music students in grades 3-8. Teachers can download lessons and worksheets to accompany the recordings. No standards are listed.

Groovin’ To Jazz for grades 3-6 pairs recordings and lessons. For example, the tune Everybody's Boppin' by Lambert, Hendricks & Ross (4:15) is paired with a lesson Scattin’ to Bebop ( PDF, 134 KB, 2 pgs.) in which students link scat singing with imitation of instruments, identify when one scat singer finishes singing and another begins, and compare scat singers in at least two different recordings. The lesson includes additional activities and an extension.

Groovin’ To Jazz for grades 6-8 also pairs recordings and lessons. K.B.'s Alley by Digable Planets (2:08) is jazz and hip-hop fusion. In the lesson When Jazz Meets Hip-Hop ( PDF, 132 KB, 2 pgs.) students identify elements of jazz in a hip-hop recording and blend another style of music with jazz. The lesson includes and additional activity and extension.

The section, Teacher Lesson Plans, includes handouts and Music Class and Match Games materials in addition to all the lessons, all as PDFs.

The website has four Jazz Classes with Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Benny Carter. Ella’s Singing Class, for example, has three video clips and one audio clip of Ella Fitzgerald and activities that explore her scat singing. Students will need a paper and pencil to complete the activities.

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