Jazz It Up
Most people celebrate Black History Month by honoring civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and W.E.B. Du Bois, but I also take time to appreciate the musical side of black history. Blues and jazz have had a tremendous impact on the history of American music, so take a little time to learn about some of the greats.
A good place to start is the History of Jazz with Wynton Marsalis at teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bhistory/history_of_jazz.htm. You'll learn how jazz developed from blues and follow its evolution into modern forms. Of course, learning about jazz requires listening to jazz, so be sure to play all of the audio clips as you go.
Once you've completed your mini-course in jazz history, check out more music at Pandora, pandora.com/#!/genres/jazz. Pick a station such as Cool Jazz, Swing or Bebop to get started. After you've explored the different kinds of jazz, make your own custom radio station based on your new favorite artists and styles.
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