Studying the jazz musical tradition can give students a pathway into American history, according to the creators of a Web-based curriculum sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.
“NEA Jazz in The Schools” is a five unit, multimedia curriculum designed for high school students, available for free at www.neajazzintheschools.org.
The materials, produced by the nonprofit Jazz at the Lincoln Center, cover the birth of jazz at the start of the 20th century through the creative upheavals of the 1960s and beyond, including discussions of social and political changes reflected in the music.
“This curriculum … offers a unique perspective on American history and the multidemensional means to explore that history,” Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts, said in a statement.
Each unit includes an introductory video, a background essay, audio clips, student activities, assessments, and a teachers’ guide. According to the NEA, the curriculum meets national curriculum standards in U.S history, social studies, arts education, civics and government, and geography.