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Rhythm and Blues Music Teacher Resources
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Upper graders listen to the blues. They discuss blues scale, read a description of the blues, and work together to write an original piece. A instructional activity like this ties into American history and African-American musical contributions very well. It also promotes self-expression and creative problem solving.
Students view the AMERICAN MASTERS film "Muddy Waters: Can't Be Satisfied" and research him using the Guided Reading strategy. They examine the influential musician's childhood and trace his journey from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago. They also focus their research on the Great Migration from the 1920s to the 1970s as they create a travel package for history buffs and Blues music enthusiasts.
High schoolers observe that there are myriad combinations of rhythms to choose from when improvising jazz and blues music, and recognize that while the variations seem infinite, they are in fact finite. They notate a 12 bar blues progression using a different combination of notes and rhythms for each of the 12 bars, and then perform it on a keyboard or virtual piano online.