We have such a rich musical heritage and jazz music is a big part of it!
I just participated in a fantastic workshop on introducing improvisation and engaging children in creativity in music classes. As a Suzuki trained teacher, I understand the importance of learning by ear and introducing new musical concepts at a very early age. These are ideas that the Suzuki education and the Jazz music share. However, it always interesting to me to see how the same ideas are used in many different methods of teaching and developing music styles.
This experience made me think that exposing kids to the riches of the jazz music can tap into both kids creativity, culture and literacy.
Jazz is one of the most liberated forms of music-making. It is taught by ear, it involves personal touch through improvisation. Every performance is different and very personal due to the improvisation element. The jazz heritage itself is a mixture of so many traditions and ideas. Same as the society we live in.
The same is true for parenting. We all have ideas. They all change as we need to be flexible with the needs of our child. All parenting is an improvisation on the idea of doing the best we can for our child!
Books Introducing Jazz Music to Children Of Different Ages
Jazz Books For The Youngest Ones Ages 0+
- Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Christopher Raschka
This is a beatutifully illustrated book that will make your child laugh. It is a wonderful read that introduces kids to one of the masters of Jazz music, Charlie Parker. It also exposes kids to one of the forms of jazz, be bop. You may think… should I wait until my child is older to expose them to concepts such as be bop? Research now tells us that early exposure is crucial to the development of a child. We start reading to children before they can read themselves. We also want to expose them to as much as possible at the early ages. This will give them the base to go back at a later point and learn the same material in more depth. Now imagine your child also being exposed to the the musical vocabulary of be bop music? Wouldn’t it be benefitial for both you and your child to listen to this music while reading about the musician?
- What a Wonderful World by Ashley Bryan
Jazz Books For The Children in Elementary School
- Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney
- Journey to Jazzland by Gia Volterra De Saulnier
Books For the Children in Upper Elementary or Middle School
- Who Was Louis Armstrong by Yona Zeldis McDonough (author) and John O’Brien (illustrator)
Have your read the Who Was series? They are a series of books, each telling the story of historical people. The series is not limited to music. I absolutely love it! These books are great for both teachers and parents to have. Wonderfully written, they provide lots of factual information delivered in a fun way. As a parent I would invest in purchasingat least a few of these books! Who Was Louis Armstrong is one of the many wonderful books in the series. The book is a great choice for introducing jazz as well as learning about the life of the great musician.