:: NEA JAZZ IN THE SCHOOLS
NEA Jazz in the Schools is a web-based curriculum designed for high school teachers and students to explore the history of jazz, integrating that story with the sweep of social, economic, and political developments in the United States. The free, cross-disciplinary curriculum, produced in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, is available online at www.neajazzintheschools.org. The units meet lesson objectives and national curriculum standards in five subject areas: U.S. history, social studies, arts education/music, civics and government, and geography.
NEA Jazz in the Schools provides five flexible units, each of which can be taught in a day or expanded into a more comprehensive series of lessons: The Advent of Jazz: The Dawn of the Twentieth Century; The Jazz Age and the Swing Era; Bebop and Modernism.
Each of the five lessons contains an opening essay, video, music, photographs, discussion questions, and other resources. The curriculum's multimedia content enhances the learning experience, providing teachers with various tools for student participation, such as an interactive timeline featuring events from the lessons that can be viewed by multiple categories: culture, technology, music, history, and geography; and separate pates on all the major jazz artists with brief biographies, audio clips, and related resources.
An excerpt from chapter 4 of the online curriculum, New Frontier to the New Millennium: Free Jazz, is below -- to see all that NEA Jazz in the Schools has to offer, go to www.neajazzintheschools.org.
The pop music landscape was permanently transformed, however, on February 7, 1964, when a rock and roll quartet from Liverpool, England, landed in New York. Although the Beatles’ arrival in America—just three months after the assassination of President Kennedy—gave the traumatized country a much-needed jolt of innocent fun, it also heralded some dark days for jazz. Within weeks of the group’s famous appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, Beatles records claimed the top five spots on the national pop charts and their records accounted for an astonishing 60 percent of all singles sold in the United States.
Other U.K. bands—most notably, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Who—followed the Beatles’ lead, and soon the British Invasion, as this phenomenon came to be known, inspired a legion of new American bands (including the Grateful Dead and the Byrds) to create their own innovative variations of rock music. Fueled by the already potent buying power of teenage baby boomers (the generation of children born shortly after World War II), rock music emerged as one of the primary cultural forces of the era and became the de facto soundtrack of the 1960s. As the rock revolution gathered momentum, sales of electric guitars boomed while trumpets and saxophones gathered dust on music store shelves. Some jazz labels folded, some jazz clubs went out of business, and many jazz musicians found themselves scrambling for any jobs they could get.
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