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April is Jazz Appreciation Month.  So, I decided to go digging around out there on the great web… and was delighted with the classroom resources I found for incorporating Jazz Appreciation Month in April’s lesson plans!  Jazz is such an important part of American music (and history) — and I love to play it and to teach it!

I’ll share with you some of the resources I found, and hopefully you will find something useful to your studio.

The Smithsonian Jazz website has a wealth of fantastic resources for Jazz Appreciation Month (and classroom jazz instruction in general).   The ‘Groovin to Jazz‘ detailed lesson plans and listening examples are great, with many topics to choose from, so you can pick what would interest your class!

Here are the links:

Smithsonian Jazz ‘Groovin to Jazz’ lesson plans:  http://www.smithsonianjazz.org/class/groovintojazz/lessonplans.asp

Groovin to Jazz listening examples: http://www.smithsonianjazz.org/class/groovintojazz/groovin_8_13.asp

Click around on the Smithsonian Jazz website to find even more great Jazz ideas!

Another amazing site I found is Arts Edge from Kennedy Center.  The Celebrating Jazz page has many step by step lesson plans for fun and informative classes!

Links:

Celebrating Jazz:  http://www.artsedge.kennedy-center.org/content/3944/

A class on Composing 12 Bar Blues: http://www.artsedge.kennedy-center.org/content/2208/

A class on the history of Harlem Jazz: http://www.artsedge.kennedy-center.org/content/2258/

(Note: I just posted the 2 class links above to give you an idea of the offerings on the ArtsEdge site… but click on the top link and then look around the site for so many great ideas!)

National Association for Music Education has some good ideas for jazz education resources as well. Find them here. (I found a lot of the above sites from this site — and I’m sure I didn’t glean all of the good ideas!)

Dr. Joseph Pisano posted an excellent lesson plan called: Jazz Appreciation Month: Celebrate Women Jazz Artists — it focuses on the role women have played in jazz music.  I would love to use this in a group class this month!

Ok. That’s a little list to get us all started.  Do you have any resources that we could add to the list? I’d love to hear about them!  Oh, and don’t forget to find jazz lead sheets for print!

Happy jazzing!

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