A Musical Revue by Teresa Jennings.
Jazz is a fascinating topic, and the more opportunity you have to dig into it, the more your students will learn just how much influence it has had on the evolution of music as a whole since its inception. Jazz includes:
Jazz – To kick it off, we have a sizzling opening song. It is in unison so that you can focus on the lyrics and style. It talks about what jazz is from the standpoint of history. It also touches on some of the elements that make it jazz, like swing and improvisation.
The Blues – This is an excellent opportunity to discuss the notion of "blue notes" as well as the concept of the blues in general, where it came from, what it means, and how it has evolved. So that it stays within the range of young singers, the song is unison and fairly easy.
Jazz Is On Its Way – There’s a fanciful notion that during the great "jazz migration" of the early 1900s, most of the jazz musicians traveled north on the Mississippi River via riverboat. The song "Jazz Is On Its Way" refers abstractly to the jazz migration. But it’s more about the movement of the music itself into other parts of the country. The tune is written in a lively two-beat Dixieland style.
To Swing Or Not To Swing – The point of this song is also its biggest challenge: knowing when to swing and when not to swing. Swing can be a tough thing to define, especially to children. So more often than not, it’s best to show by example. Our big band arrangement is the perfect way for young singers to hear and perform a song with such subtle differences.
Ode To Jazzers – We’ve crafted an uptempo, double-time jazz arrangement that is just a delight to listen to and sing. Odds are, your students are already familiar with the melody to this, and again it is all in unison. The challenge is learning all the musicians’ names. The arrangement of this piece is pretty smokin’ and your students will really enjoy the instrumental tracks.
This revue has many teaching opportunities, not only in the music room, but relating to Black History Month and American History, that you will want to tell your colleagues about it. Whether you stage this revue or use it just in the classroom, this kit provides a script with connecting dialog, a teacher’s guide, program artwork, as well as movement and staging suggestions.