“Jazz In America” is a new online curriculum that follows the emergence of this musical phenomenon from the cobblestone streets of New Orleans’ French Quarter to concert halls and music cafes across the nation. Sponsored by the Thelonious Monk Institute, the program aims to help students develop creativity, imagination, and a taste for America’s musical heritage. The program defines what jazz music is, explains how one should approach its style, and highlights some of the musicians who have made their mark on its culture. The curriculum focuses on the development of jazz through several lesson plans centered around the music and its place in American city life. Each lesson plan explores the social, economic, and political contexts within which jazz evolved. The 11th-grade curriculum, available on a national basis now, includes eight 50-minute class lessons to be taught as part of each school’s regular social studies or history classes. Programs for grades eight and five will be available in the coming months. In addition to the lesson plans, the “Jazz in America” web site includes a teacher’s manual, assessments, and a comprehensive Jazz Resource Library.

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