Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz: Jazz In America

Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz: Jazz In America
(http://jazzinamerica.org)

Summary
This is the website for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz which provides an internet-based jazz curriculum to music educators. They provide lesson plans written for different grade levels in conjunction with relevant standards set forth by the National Association for Music Standards and the National Center for History in The Schools. The website provides not only the lesson plans, but downloadable hand-outs, as well as interactive multimedia so that teachers can use the lesson in full in their classroom.

Each 50 minute lesson focuses on different standards and uses multimedia, handouts, and quizzes in such a way that teachers are free to present it as is or manipulate the lesson for their own classroom.

Quantitative/Qualitative Summary

This website is geared towards educators and adults, though I think teens could use it as well for the multimedia. It is easily accessible with large buttons in its headers directing users to the website overview, the lesson plans, and the resources it has available.

The lesson plans are laid out in such a way that they define what standards each covers, and they list the relevant handouts and multimedia each requires. Teachers can print out these lesson plans and handouts directly, and play the accompanying multimedia directly from the website during the class.

Curriculum Tie Ins
The lessons in this website are written to be relevant in US history and music history classes for 11th graders. They would be perfect supplements in either of those classes.

Standards
California State Standards – Music 9-12 Proficient (http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/muproficient.asp)

Role of Music

3.1 Identify the sources of musical genres of the United States, trace the evolution of those genres, and cite well-known musicians associated with them.

3.2 Explain the various roles that musicians perform, identify representative individuals who have functioned in each role, and explain their activities and achievements.

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Jazz — A Film by Ken Burns

Summary
This documentary mini-series is an extensive retrospective on the history of Jazz, spanning from its roots in 1890’s New Orleans to its second century, the 2000s. Broken into ten episodes, the film look at the different periods in the history of Jazz, thematic eras and featuring greats such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis. Ken Burns is a renowned documentary film-maker well known for these types of episodic films that look at elements that define early American culture.

Quantitative/Qualitative summary
These films are generally aimed at older teen to adult audiences, and the format I think really lends itself to the classroom. They aired on PBS as a mini series, so they are broken into episodes that aired nightly, and are now collected into a dvd-set. The series focuses on creating a narrative out of interviews with musicians, historians, and critics, while weaving in relevant historical footage and photographs. The style is accessible to different types of learners.

Curriculum Tie Ins
This would be great in a US History Class, or a Music History class. The series is broken up enough that a class could utilize only small segments of it or the entire series over the course of a semester. It could be used to illustrate more straight-forward texts read in class with its historical examples. Students could be prompted to write critical responses to episodes they’ve seen.

Standards
California State Standards – Music 9-12 Proficient (http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/muproficient.asp)

Role of Music

3.1 Identify the sources of musical genres of the United States, trace the evolution of those genres, and cite well-known musicians associated with them.

3.2 Explain the various roles that musicians perform, identify representative individuals who have functioned in each role, and explain their activities and achievements.

Other relevant info
http://www.pbs.org/jazz –  A companion website to this film series.