Jazz

My Favorite Documentaries for Music Class During African-American History Month

My Favorite Documentaries for Music Class During African-American History Month

Today, I'm writing about two of my favorite music documentaries my middle school music students enjoyed watching during African American History Month. The two movies are Keep on Keeping’ On and Thunder Soul. These films provide a great platform for meaningful discussions in the instrumental music class.

The Beginner's Guide to Improvising!

The Beginner's Guide to Improvising!

There are two misconceptions about jazz that prevent many teachers from incorporating improvisation into their curriculum. One widely held belief is that students need to have all of your scales and chords memorized before they can try to improvise. A second misconception involves -thinking of improvisation with the end in mind, rather than as a skill developed over time. As a result of these long held beliefs, music educators are often reluctant to explore the art of improvisation with their students.

Zero to Improv: Improvisation for Beginners

Zero to Improv: Improvisation for Beginners

As a middle school music educator, I found that the middle school/junior high school years provide an excellent opportunity to introduce kids to jazz improvisation. Most middle school and junior high level jazz ensemble music arrangements involve only a few chord changes making it a favorable time for students to learn the art of improvisation. In today's post,  I'm sharing som