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 segment from Jazz for Young People: What is New Orleans Jazz? Wynton Marsalis and his band do a performance that demonstrates the best example of "collective improvisation" in the New Orleans style. Collective improvisation allows musicians to show creative expression through their instrument while simultaneously accommodating the style and personality of the other musicians. We hear how the musicians listen to each other play yet compliment each other's sound. All of the instruments in a jazz band speak and converse with each other through collective improvisation. For more about jazz and collective improvisation, see video segments "Together" and "Musical Conversations".
Music, social studies, American history, geography, New Orleans
The following Frame, Focus and Follow-up suggestions are best suited for elementary or middle school students using this video in an English language arts lesson. Be sure to modify the questions to meet your students' instructional needs.
What is Frame, Focus and Follow-up?
Frame (ELA) Have you ever listened to music without words and thought about how that music makes you feel? Do you think about what is happening in the music?
Focus (ELA) Listen to the band play. Think about what the instruments might be saying to each other and what could be happening in the music.
Follow Up (ELA) Discuss how the music made you feel and what you think the instruments were saying to each other. If the music was telling a story what might the story be about? For example, were the instruments playing a game, eating ice cream or baking a cake?
WYNTON: Check out what happens when they listen to each other and speak at the same time and play and work things out. This is the finest of collective improvisation in the New Orleans style.
(The music plays.)
WYNTON: Alright. Now I want you to notice when Mr. Mayfield was playing he was looking somewhere. He don’t know where he was looking but he was trying to find something. He’s trying to find those ideas and Mr. Gardner, he’s looking too, so they’re trying to find each other out here somewhere and all of the instruments in Jazz speak in conversion with each other.
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.