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Music - Jazz, the blues and beyond

What is it?

The "Jazz and blues" collection can form the basis of music lessons throughout S1-3 and beyond. Pupils are often surprised at the influence both types of music have had over more commonly-known types of music today, such as RB and Hip Hop.

What's in it

This collection offers some general materials, helpful for planning and covering the fundamental musical concepts.

A useful introduction to the impact of music in general (samharvey) includes a discussion on the impact of glee clubs on popularising school music societies. A resource useful for studying any musical genre is laurabeaumont's PowerPoint on how to recognise musical time by ear.

Specific jazz and blues resources include a piano key card that teachers can laminate (lauray). This way, pupils can easily see which notes are used, for example, in the blues or pentatonic scales.

A good overall introduction to blues music, including possible homework or composition tasks, has been supplied by alisutcliffe. This includes an overview of the 12-bar blues chord sequence, the blues scale and suggestions on improvisation.

For a listening exercise, try mangopiano's resource, based around songs by Eva Cassidy, Eric Clapton and Stealer's Wheel. Pupils listen to the tracks and are asked to name the chord sequence being played in the songs and two of the instruments, among other things.

A helpful resource on the history of jazz and improvisation has been uploaded by Kelwyn. It traces the roots of jazz music in slavery, for example the call-and-response songs and field-hollers that kept slaves' minds off their work and helped them keep a steady rhythm.

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