[Dixielandjazz] Jazz for kids

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Fri Jun 8 16:02:53 PDT 2007

Dear friends,
'Jazz for kids' is a perennial hot topic on our list, but is generally 
aimed at teaching them to play it.
Over dinner at our local Malaysian/Chines restaurant last night, our 
wonderful next-door neighbour (a primary school teacher) asked what 
records she should play to her 2-year-old grand-daughter to introduce 
her, subliminally, to good jazz. Something that our young grand-mother 
mate can also enjoy.
We all know that most young kids have natural timing and the ability to 
'swing and sway' to jazz music.
Watch 'em in front of a live trad jazz band anytime.
But this gift disappears by the time they are five or six from exposure 
to the current pop 'music' (I use the word advisedly), their peers and 
well-meaning teachers.
I can recall, when our kids were growing up, that Sesame Street and 
Play School often used 'dixieland' jazz for some segments in their 
programs, but I've lost touch with the current trend.
So what to put on the player while the younger kids are playing with 
blocks, colouring books and cuddly toys?
The ODJB, Louis' Hot Five, Jelly Roll Morton, Lu Watters, Turk Murphy, 
Bunk Johnson, George Lewis, the Benny Goodman small groups, Graeme Bell?
Or maybe Bob Crosby's Bobcats and Muggsy Spanier's Ragtime Band, who 
lured me into jazz when I was about 14.
Unfortunately, I'm too deeply into the the old stuff to be helpfully 
OK you jazz educators out there. Gimme your thoughts.
Kind regards,

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