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What is Jazz?





I. Course Introduction

A. Overview


In an effort to educate millions of youth about jazz, America’s indigenous musical art form, the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz presents the fifth grade version of Jazz in America: The National Jazz Curriculum. This curriculum will provide students with a fundamental understanding of and an exposure to jazz and its rich cultural history throughout the 20th century. Designed with the elementary classroom teacher in mind, the material can be taught in multiple ways from a simple one-session introduction of the music, to a week-long, month-long, or year-long thorough examination of jazz’s history and how it has influenced and been influenced by American culture. Teachers have the autonomy to cover as much of the content as they see fit. The curriculum can also be used as supplemental material for music classes and includes student handouts and a test bank. All content is aligned with the U.S. National Standards in both American History and Arts Education (Music). 

B. The Instrumental History of Jazz


The Curriculum is designed to be used in conjunction with audio tune snippets available on the Jazz in America website and/or The Instrumental History of Jazz -- a two-CD set of chronologically arranged, historically significant recordings of such artists as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Charlie Parker. One of the discs, in addition to serving as a regular audio CD, is also a CD-ROM playable on either a PC or Mac that includes photos, video footage, and more -- ideal for the teacher with a computer in the classroom or an interested student wanting to take a more in-depth look at the library. The set also includes an informative 54-page booklet. For information on ordering this set, go to www.amazon.com (item # B000001YNU). 

C. Jazz


When possible, schools are also encouraged to provide a live jazz “informance” assembly program, combining information and performance, for their student body. A visit from a local professional or university jazz group can help provide students with an even greater understanding of and appreciation for jazz. When presented in tandem with the Curriculum, a live jazz concert enables students to see jazz as a living, viable, contemporary art form. It gives students a deeper respect for this country's diverse cultural heritage while demonstrating those American values epitomized by jazz: freedom with responsibility, unity with ethnic diversity, hard work toward goal accomplishment, teamwork, democracy, and the American spirit.  

Video Clips

videospacer Herbie Hancock - Cantaloupe Island
videospacer Quincy Jones - Birth of a Band
the Herbie Hancock institute of jazz
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