[Dixielandjazz] Jazz for kids

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Thu Nov 6 13:38:19 PST 2003

In a message dated 11/6/03 9:55:04 AM Pacific Standard Time, bbiffle at swcp.com 

> Steve, we have an elementary school assembly to play this month.  What kind
> of program do you do at one of these?  Do you do interactive stuff with the
> kids ("Who knows what this instrument is called?, etc.")?
> I'm thinking of talking a little about OKOM and about how all of music is
> made up of rhythm, melody, and harmony (with short demos of each).  Also
> thought we'd play Rubber Ducky from Sesame St. for them.
> Help is always appreciated.
> Bill Biffle
> Duke City Jazz Band

Hi Bill:

Yes, interaction is very good with them, since we are a marching band, we 
actually come in through the back of the room and play right through the kids to 
the stage or front of the room.  They love it and are blown away by it.  We 
ask them if they like parades, and tell them that we do to and Everyday is a 
Parade day for us.

We always ask them if they like to dance?  Then explain how this music was 
invented for people to dance and get good exercise and have fun.  Not all people 
are lucky enough to play an instrument, but almost everyone can tap their 
feet, clap their hands and learn to dance and enjoy the music which makes the 
musician play better and enjoy the music too.

We tell them we are lucky to have such a good job that lets us make other 
people happy when they are sad, or feeling bad, how music helps people deal with 
their emotions and that at different times we like different kinds of music.

We let them know that this is mostly happy music which is why we like to play 
it We all like to be Happy don't we boys and girls?

Encourage them to tap their feet, snap their fingers to the rhythm, or clap 
their hands, they love it.  If you do a couple of kid songs, ask them to sing 
along, you will be instant stars :)

Sometimes the local teachers will bring rhythm instruments to the assembly 
and you can get the kids to play along on a number or two.  Drive em all nuts by 
giving out some Kazoos.

It is a risky thing to do but on the last number you could ask the kids to 
all stand up and dance, they will love it, but the teachers may hate you for 
getting them all riled up and then they have to calm them down to go back to 
class.  This works very well if you can get the teachers to cooperate.  What I do 
is get them to all line up and do the bunny hop behind the band out of the 
auditorium to the play ground and tell them before that it is a tradition in New 
Orleans called Second Line, sort of like their bunny hop dance.  Easier to get 
the teachers to allow this one Usually.

Kid have such open minds almost anything that is not boring they will 
gravitate to, leave the tedious lecture stuff to the teachers, and the music teachers 
they already have, just entertain the kids and show them how to have fun with 


Tom Wiggins

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