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Jazz Today, Jazz Tomorrow


1. National Center for History in the Schools, UCLA

2. NAfME: The National Association for Music Education

3. For information on ordering The Instrumental History of Jazz 2-CD set, click here.

4. Student handouts can be downloaded from the Jazz in America website and photocopied.

5. Any material from the Jazz in America website may be downloaded, printed, and/or made into a PowerPoint slide as the instructor sees fit.


  1. Jazz Today
  2. The Future of Jazz

National Standards for United States History1

Historical Thinking
Students should be able to:
  1. Reconstruct patterns of historical succession and duration in which historical developments have unfolded, and apply them to explain historical continuity and change (Chronological Thinking Standard 1F).
  2. Draw upon the visual, literary, and musical sources, including (a) photographs, paintings, cartoons, and architectural drawings; (b) novels, poetry, and plays; and (c) folk, popular and classical music, to clarify, illustrate, or elaborate upon information presented in the historical narrative (Historical Comprehension Standard 2I).
  3. Draw comparisons across eras and regions in order to define enduring issues, as well as large-scale or long-term developments that transcend regional and temporal boundaries (Historical Analysis and Interpretation Standard 3D).
Historical Content
Students should understand contemporary American culture (Era 10: Contemporary United States Standard 2D). Therefore, the student should be able to:
  1. Explain the influence of the media on contemporary American culture.
  2. Explore the international influence of American culture.

National Standards for Music Education2

Artistic Process - Creating: Imagine, Plan and Make, Evaluate and Refine, and Present Music
  1. Generate musical ideas for various purposes and contexts. – Improvise rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic ideas, and explain connections to specific purpose and context (such as social, cultural, and historical) (MU:Cr1.1.5a); Generate musical ideas (such as rhythms, melodies, and accompaniment patterns) within specific related tonalities, meters, and simple chord changes (MU:Cr1.1.5b).
  2. Select and develop musical ideas for defined purposes and contexts. – Demonstrate selected and developed musical ideas for improvisations, arrangements, or compositions to express intent, and explain connection to purpose and context (MU:Cr2.1.5a); Use standard and/or iconic notation and/or recording technology to document personal rhythmic, melodic, and two-chord harmonic musical ideas (MU:Cr2.1.5b).
  3. Evaluate and refine selected musical ideas to create musical work(s) that meet appropriate criteria. – Evaluate, refine, and document revisions to personal music, applying teacher provided and collaboratively developed criteria and feedback, and explain rationale for changes (MU:Cr3.1.5a).
  4. Share creative musical work that conveys intent, demonstrates craftsmanship, and exhibits originality. – Present the final version of personal created music to others that demonstrates craftsmanship, and explain connection to expressive intent (MU:Cr3.2.5a).
Artistic Process - Responding: Select, Analyze, Interpret and Evaluate Music
  1. Choose music appropriate for a specific purpose or context. – Demonstrate and explain, citing evidence, how selected music connects to and is influenced by specific interests, experiences, purposes, or contexts (MU:Re7.1.5a).
  2. Analyze how the structure and context of varied musical works inform the response. – Demonstrate and explain, citing evidence, how responses to music are informed by the structure, the use of the elements of music, and context (such as social, cultural, and historical) (MU:Re7.2.5a).
  3. Support interpretations of musical works that reflect creators’/performers’ expressive intent. – Demonstrate and explain how the expressive qualities (such as dynamics, tempo, timbre, and articulation) are used in performers’ and personal interpretations to reflect expressive intent (MU:Re8.1.5a).
  4. Support evaluations of musical works and performances based on analysis, interpretation, and established criteria. – Evaluate musical works and performances, applying established criteria, and explain appropriateness to the context, citing evidence from the elements of music (MU:Re9.1.5a).
Artistic Process - Connecting: Synthesize and Relate Musical Ideas
  1. Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make music. – Demonstrate how interests, knowledge, and skills relate to personal choices and intent when creating, performing, and responding (MU:Cn10.0.5a).
  2. Relate musical ideas and works with varied context to deepen understanding. – Demonstrate understanding of relationships between music and the other arts, other disciplines, varied contexts, and daily life (MU:Cn11.0.5a).

The student will:
  1. gain a fundamental understanding of:
    1. what is occurring on the jazz scene today
    2. what is likely to occur on the jazz scene in the near future
  2. explore how today’s jazz reflects American culture

  1. computer logged onto www.jazzinamerica.org
  2. LCD projector and screen
  3. CD player (optional)

  1. The Instrumental History of Jazz (IHJ)3 – optional
    1. two CDs
    2. accompanying booklet
  2. Student Handouts4 (one per student)

The instructor will:
  1. distribute student handouts5
  2. discuss the styles of jazz that are being performed today and are likely to be performed in the near future
  3. discuss today's jazz with regard to American culture and society
  4. play various jazz recordings of current jazz artists

The students will:
  1. participate in a class discussion regarding:
    1. today's jazz
    2. where jazz is likely heading
    3. jazz as a part of current American society and culture
  2. listen to jazz recordings of current jazz artists
  3. follow and interact with the animated student handout entitled "Journey #8: Jazz Everywhere: Past & Present" (click on the Student Handout button on the left-hand side of your screen)

A Test Bank is provided that includes questions in the four formats listed below. At the teacher's discretion, all of the questions in each test bank may be used, or a few questions from each format may be selected to compile a shorter test.
  1. Multiple Choice
  2. Fill in the Blanks
  3. True / False
  4. Matching

The following topics and activities are covered in the Student Handout:

  1. Destination and Dates:
    Jazz Everywhere
    past and present
    radio and television
  2. Historical Events:
    The Cold War
    Voice of America
    Civil Rights Movement
  3. Vocabulary:
    Black Entertainment Television
    Civil Rights Movement
    Cold War
    hip hop
    hybrid car
    National Public Radio
    satellite radio
    scat singing
    Soul Jazz
    stereophonic sound
    Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz
    Voice of America
  4. Experience the Music
    Found throughout each student handout, this section provides students with an activity to help them Experience the Music firsthand.
    SING: Students scat sing to a familiar melody.

    IDENTIFY STYLES: Students listen to a recording and identify a particular jazz style.
  5. Jazz Artists:
    Terence Blanchard
    Terri Lyne Carrington
    Willis Conover
    Ella Fitzgerald
    Dizzy Gillespie
    Vince Guaraldi
    Marian McPartland
    Doc Severinsen
    Nina Simone
    Dr. Billy Taylor
    Clark Terry
    Joe Williams

the Herbie Hancock institute of jazz
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