Jazz Is Elementary

Creativity Development through Music Activities, Movement Games, and Dances, for K–5

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  • Suggested Retail Price: $24.99
  • Format: Book with Online Video
  • Pages: 160
  • Dimensions: 9x12
  • Duration: 29
  • ISBN: 00362046
  • SKU: 9780876392171
  • Publication Date: June 01, 2022

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Use jazz to develop children’s creativity! This book is a collection of 60 jazz-based teaching strategies designed to foster music making, creative movement, and improvisation in the K–5 music classroom. The innovative strategies are grounded in the best practices in elementary music education and partner with a curated playlist of jazz music that is available via streaming audio platforms. These strategies represent the music of nearly 80 iconic jazz artists of yesterday and today (e.g., Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Sarah Vaughan). All teaching strategy concepts were extensively field-tested with children in the elementary music classroom and with teachers around the world.

Designed with music teachers, parents/caregivers, traditional school, home-school, and arts-based community organizations in mind, the strategies in this book can be used to engage children and prompt their creative and original expressions. Strategies include singing, instrument play, body percussion, games, chants, and dances that support both individual and group assessment.

Companion materials are offered online to support the strategies including instructional videos for dances; printable resources such as visual aids, notation cards, movement directives, and color sheets; and artist profiles that provide brief biographies and put each musician in historical and musical context. Foreword by bassist Victor Wooten!

Your students will:

  • Experience the joys of music making and creative expression using jazz as a prompt.
  • Create, Perform, and Respond (individually and with other children).
  • Explore ways to sing and play a variety of classroom instruments including drums, shakers, bells, recorders, and rhythm sticks.
  • Develop critical and creative thinking and apply these skills to make musical decisions and offer original contributions.
  • Listen, analyze, and describe the sounds of jazz music and the music they create.
  • Move and groove as part of original dances, movement improvisation, and games.

“It is never too early to empower young people to express, collaborate, and create. Research tells us that young people engaged in improvisation instruction show greater signs of musical confidence, which can be fuel for student motivation. Dr. Hanley and Ms. Kipp’s groundbreaking work should become part of every music teacher’s library in order that the magical traditions of jazz such as improvisation, collaboration, and expression become part of every child’s experience.”

Dr. Dru Davison, Music Program Leader, Memphis, TN

“Jazz Is Elementary hits all the right notes for introducing the joy of jazz to young people by focusing on foundation, and keeping it fun!”

Bria Skonberg, Award-Winning Recording Artist, Performer, Educator; Co-Founder of New York Hot Jazz Camp (New York, NY)

“If you are ready to engage your elementary students in the world of jazz this is the book for you! With innovative and fun lessons spanning 80 jazz icons there is no way your students won’t be scatting, dancing, moving, and grooving with this awesome National Standards-based learning resource.”

Latoya Lewis, MM, TK-4 Music and Movement Educator, KIPP SoCal Public Schools, Pueblo Unido Lower, Southeast Los Angeles, CA

“Jazz is alive and well! It is never too early to inspire your students through the power of jazz music. In Jazz Is Elementary: Creativity Development through Music Activities, Movement Games, and Dances, for K–5, authors Darla Hanley and Allison Kipp have laid out an excellent resource jam packed with field-tested and standards-based teaching strategies to engage learners at their earliest levels of education. This book is a must have for all elementary music educators and parents looking to engage their students in the historic artform that is jazz music.”

Markeise R. Russell, Instructional Supervisor for Fine Arts, Glenbrook South High School, Chicago, IL (Berklee College of Music ’15)

“Jazz Is Elementary is a comprehensive jazz education resource for teachers in any elementary education setting, as its scope is well beyond the traditional textbook. The authors have designed innovative and culturally relevant strategies to engage learners and foster creativity using jazz as the medium. The depth of the content facilitates robust musical experiences linked to National Standards. This book is a ‘must-have’ for every elementary music educator!”

Dr. Nola Jones (Retired),Director Educational Programs, Conn-Selmer, (former Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools), Nashville, TN


Darla S. Hanley

Dr. Darla S. Hanley, Dean of the Professional Education Division at Berklee College of Music, holds a PhD and MM…

Allison P. Kipp

Allison P. Kipp received both a BME and MME from Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University. She is an experienced music…