Middle School Programs

The Jazzistry Middle School Program is for students in 6th-8th grade.

The complete Middle School Program includes:

  • A Teacher In-Service Workshop
  • 3-5 Artist Visits
  • A full band presentation that lasts 60 minutes

Jazzistry reinforces American History & World History Curriculum.

Students time travel with our Jazzistorians, across 400 years and 4 continents, tracing how the mixture of ethnicities in the New World led to our uniquely erican culture and a world-treasure, Jazz.

Students are inspired to study instrumental music after experiencing Jazzistry.

Many schools report that following the Jazzistry program, students are motivated to begin studying instrumental music. Several schools use Jazzistry as a recruitment tool, scheduling performances prior to their band sign-up days. 

Students are drawn to the freedom of expression in Jazz.

They discover how valuable a unique voice, fresh interpretation, original approach is in Jazz… and in Life! Jazz demonstrates both the strength of each individual AND the power of teamwork within the band!

Jazzistry takes students by surprise.

For many young people, seeing Jazzistry is a first-time encounter with live, professional musicians (in contrast to electronic and digital entertainment). Even so, much of the music in Jazzistry is familiar to their ears—because it surrounds us in movie soundtracks, commercials, even the ice cream truck jingles! (They are usually Scott Joplin rags.)  Students are really surprised at how Jazzistry relates to rock, rap, and HipHop.

Jazz history gives the context for learning in many directions!

  • Showcases the value of personal expression and developing a unique ‘voice’
  • Inspiration to play instrumental music
  • How Blues Poetry has led to Rap and HipHop
  • The writers, thinkers, painters, and musicians of the Harlem Renaissance
  • Great jazz musicians and their inspiring stories
  • How Rock n Roll stars stole songs and sounds from traditional Blues musicians like Big Mama Thornton and Robert Johnson.
  • Regional issues and the geography  jazz
  • Women and gender issues in jazz history

Big Mama Thornton sings the original "Hound Dog" in 1953 which Elvis Presley covered and made famous.

Robert Johnson sings the original "Crossroads" in 1937, covered by Eric Clapton and others in the 1960s.

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