If you read my previous post about the Jazz Education Network Conference that I recently attended you already know that I am really excited about incorporating some of the many ideas about music education I was exposed to while there. Today I want to share some of the ideas on teaching young children about jazz in both the group setting and the private lesson.
The picture above is from the cover of a jazz CD for kids as young as preschool by music educator and artist Louise Rogers. I used songs from this CD in my preschool music class this week and the children LOVED it! While listening to the CD the children experienced jazz rhythms, scat, jazz history and jazz themes. Even some of my shy preschoolers who usually don’t dance during music time got on their feet and moved to the beats!
My favorite thing about Bop Boo Day is the way Louise uses poetry set to jazz to teach the children the history of this music and familiarize them with some of the jazz greats like Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and others.
This week I’ve also used the CD to play in the private piano studio as students arrived for their lesson. The jazzy beats really helped the kids (and me) get geared up for their lessons after a long day of school. We kept the music going from the door all the way to the piano keys as I showed the students how to play along with the songs on a single note in swing rhythm. If you’ve been looking for a fun way to encourage your students to improvise, this works really well.
If you’re interested in resources to help you teach jazz to young children, check out the JEN K-8 Jazz Education site here.