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    Blues and Beyond (formerly Creative Jazz Improv)

     
    Course Description:
    Blues and Beyond is open to all 9-12 grade students who play ANY instrument (or voice).    Blues and Beyond is an ENTRY LEVEL course, but advanced students who desire to learn how to improvise and study American blues music, and other contemporary Students need to have some degree of at least beginner proficiency on their instrument, and an open mind to learning how to perform and read music to some degree.  While music reading proficiency is not important at the beginning of the year, all students will have better music reading skills by the end of the year.  Listening, imitating (transcribing), and improvising over blues music, melodies, and chord changes will be stressed in the first semester, while longer forms, chord changes and scales will be studied in the second semester.  All students will do some composition of their own melodies over existing chord changes.  Students will have weekly playing quizzes on melodies, scales, and melodic patterns.  There is also a large listening component that comprises weekly listening days encompassing the history of the blues, jazz, and more contemporary music genres such as Latin, Fusion, Funk,  and Rock.  Students will be tested periodically on listening day material.
    Blues and Beyond may be utilized as a performance ensemble that would perform on jazz band concerts and events.
     
    Enduring Understandings:
    1)  Artists communicate sensibility and meaning through visual and performing arts.
    2)  Artists manipulate their medium to construct meaning.
    3)  An artist's ability to listen and interpret affects his or her ability to understand the art form.
    4)  A level of proficiency is necessary to communicate an artist's intent.
    5)  An artist's use of skills and techniques is a continual, repetitive learning process.
    6)  Artists present finished products or performance.
    7)  The critique process can lead to heightened awareness of aesthetics.
    8)  Critiques promote the use of art vocabulary.
    9)  The critique process is a valuable analysis of what takes place intuitively.

    Essential Questions:
    1)  How do form, content and context express and influence meaning?
    (Assessment Prompt:  Support with evidence how form, content and context express and influence meaning.)
    2)  How do ELEMENTS AND PRINCIPLES function in facilitating the creative process?
    3)  How do we use critique to inform our art?
     
    Course Academic Vocabulary:
    1)  Reading and interpreting written music and musical terms
    2)  Performance of music in small group and individual form.
    3)  Critique of rehearsal and performance (student - based, teacher-based) 
     
    Course Units / Topics of Study:
    Blues, blues chords, major, Dorian, Mixolydian scales, various chord-scale patterns, AABA form melodies (I Got Rhythm, etc....), rhythm and melody note reading, arpeggios, computer music work, Blues, Swing, BeBop, Jump, Stomp, Bossa, Samba, Afro-Cuban, Cool, Free, Fusion/Rock,  Avant Garde, and Contemporary listening and performing.