Swing It, With Mr. Blake was written with the attitudes and can-do spirits of my kindergarten music students in mind. It’s a playful melody that emphasizes the &’s of the beats. In this first lesson of the jazz module I talk about one of the most important aspects of jazz music- the swing feel. Rhythm can be as organic as melody and harmony and can be used to convey just as much emotion. With those thoughts in mind, you must understand that it’s hard to teach swing feel without the student actively listening to swing music in their own time. I highly encourage you all to listen to musicians like Oscar Peterson, Regina Carter, Christian McBride, and Mary Lou Williams. Go and discover these musicians’ music, then look up who they are playing with and branch out from there.
“Annie and her band did a fabulous job of engaging students from all ages of our string feeder area elementary through high school. The students and audience members loved the band’s performance and the high energy they brought to our concert! The students had so much fun learning new songs by rote and the pieces were well-arranged for a variety of levels of playing.”
-Julie Nelson (Orchestra Director, Castle Rock High School)