Source: Jazz at Lincoln Center: "Jazz for Young People: What is New Orleans Jazz?"
Funding for the VITAL/Ready to Teach collection was secured through the United States Department of Education under the Ready to Teach Program.
In this video segment from Jazz for Young People: What is New Orleans Jazz?, famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis returns to his hometown of New Orleans with his band to teach kids about jazz music; specifically, the origins of New Orleans jazz. The piece the band plays in this segment is called the “St. Louis Blues.” The "St. Louis Blues" was composed in 1914 by W.C. Handy, who was known as "the Father of the Blues." Although it was composed in the blues style, a form of music that emerged from the spirituals and work songs of African Americans, it is an important song for musicians of jazz. It was also one of the first blues songs to become an American pop song.
Music, social studies, geography, American history, culture, New Orleans, Jazz
The following Frame, Focus and Follow-up suggestions are best suited for middle school students using this video in an English language arts or social studies lesson. Be sure to modify the questions to meet your students' instructional needs.
What is Frame, Focus and Follow-up?
Frame (ELA) As readers and viewers, we use personal experiences to form opinions and make judgments about the things we read or view. For example, what kind of music do you like? If you heard music by Mozart, how would you feel about it? Do you think you would enjoy it? Would you have any preconceived feelings or opinions about it based on the kind of music you do enjoy?
Focus (ELA) Listen to the band play the "St. Louis Blues.” Based on your personal experiences or preferences for music, was it what you expected or were you surprised? Describe your reaction.
Follow Up (ELA) Discuss your thoughts about the "St. Louis Blues.” Based on the kind of music you typically like, did you enjoy this music? What criteria or checklist do you have for liking a song or type of music? Did the "St. Louis Blues" meet your criteria? Why or why not? How does what you like or dislike about the song compare with your checklist? Discuss how you use personal experiences and likes and dislikes to form an opinion or make a judgment.
Frame (SS) What is pop culture? The "St Louis Blues" is a song that ushered in an era from 1918 to 1929 called the "Jazz Age." What were some of the events and trends happening in American pop culture during that time? Who were some of the famous musicians, writers and innovators of that period?
Focus (SS) By listening to the music, try to imagine what the Jazz Age was like. How is the music in the segment different from popular music you hear now? How does music reflect the times?
Follow Up (SS) Discuss what the United States was like from the end of World War I until the fall of the stock market in 1929. What important products, songs, literature, architecture, attitudes, or trends began then that exist today? Does popular culture of that time impact us today?
MAN: Ok, now we're going to play something entitled "Saint Louis Blues" and I want you all to listen for these things.
"St. Louis Blues."
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.