Preparatory Lessons

If you are an elementary school teacher who is having an artist visit your school through the Emerson Jazz in the Schools program, Jazz St. Louis has included a collection of lesson plans to accompany the performance. These lessons were created to enhance your students’ experiences by teaching them about jazz and by giving them activities to help focus their listening during the performance. You will find lessons on the instruments they will see, important figures in jazz, improvisation, and much more.

These preparatory lessons are designed to be used by any classroom teacher, not just music teachers, and are broken up by grade levels. You will find that some lessons are suggested to be used with a specific artist or artists, so check to see if the artist visiting your school has a lesson to accompany their performance!

Each lesson contains a downloadable PDF copy of the lesson with any other materials (pictures, worksheets, etc…) you may need. You may also find links to recordings or other media to be used with that specific lesson. Click on the title of the lesson to download.


Preparatory Lessons

Blues Composition

In this lesson, students learn how the lyrics of a blues are structured and write their own song!

Suggested grades: 3-6

Suggested artists to pair with: Dr. Lonnie Smith’s Evolution, Jimmy Greene Quartet, Rene Marie, Clayton Brothers Quintet, Ann Hampton Callaway, and Joey DeFrancesco Quartet


Meet the Band!

Introduce your students to the many instruments that are used in jazz. They will learn the names of different instruments, what instrument families they belong to, and identify what instruments they saw and heard during the in-school performance.

Suggested grades: K-2

Suggested artists to pair with: all!

Other materials (click to download): Instrument Example Cards, Student Worksheet


Imagery in Jazz

Your students will discover ways musicians and composers can use musical techniques to create vivid imagery in their music.

Suggested grades: 3-6

Suggested artists to pair with: Tim Warfield’s All-Star Jazzy Christmas, Clayton Brothers Quintet

Other materials (click to download): Daybreak Express Poster


More lessons to follow!


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