In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe.
From California to Minnesota, Oklahoma to Maine; from Fiji to Lithuania, China to Tunisia, citizens from every corner of the world will celebrate International Jazz Day on April 30. We are encouraging teachers everywhere to “Take 5” – five minutes, that is – and share the positive lessons of jazz music in their classrooms.
Take 5, a developing educational outreach initiative, draws its inspiration from the chart-topping 1959 hit composed by Paul Desmond and made famous by preeminent international jazz ambassador Dave Brubeck. The goal is to have educators of all disciplines – not just music, art and the humanities – understand that teaching and learning about jazz is not only fun but also easy. Jazz is America’s indigenous musical art form that continues to make a global impact today. Appreciating what jazz represents doesn’t have to be a complicated exercise. Bringing jazz into the classroom for five minutes or beyond, whether at the beginning or end of class, can have a positive impact on students regardless of the subject.
Here are some ideas on how to participate:
- Osaka, Japan is the host of the global concert for International Jazz Day 2014. Present a geography lesson on Osaka and discuss how jazz is being celebrated on this special day. Watch the live stream or re-broadcast of the concert.
- Design a record album cover inspired by a field trip to a local record store or a classroom listening session.
- Play jazz recordings or video clips and have students write/share their reflections.
- Discuss how jazz inspires peace, unity, teamwork and communication.
- Organize a jazz-themed performance by your school band or choir.
- Create a class mural or decorate your classroom with jazz-inspired drawings or posters (of instruments, musicians, etc.).
- Research the local roots of jazz in your town or city. What makes jazz in your area unique?
Share the vibrancy and vitality of jazz music with educators and students from around the world on April 30. The day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact.
Take 5 – or more – and celebrate International Jazz Day with your students! Please register your activity and see how others are participating.
For additional ideas, visit our Toolkit.