All Jazzed Up
by Mike Wilson
From the first brass rip to its final fanfare, this driving piece, in a traditional jazz style, will really wake up the classroom, as well as your audience. This song features a full brass section in addition to a standard rhythm section (piano, bass, guitar, drums). Though it may sound complex as a whole, which will appeal to older groups, the unison melody is very easy to learn, making it appropriate for younger singers as well. Feel free to match our singers stylistically. Scooping, for example, is appropriate. It is important to maintain a jazz vocal approach to honor the genre. This is also a perfect time to discuss the "swing" feel. This is indicated at the top of the music in parentheses. Basically, it means that all eighth notes are sung with a triplet feel instead of a duple feel. It may be tough for some kids to grasp the concept, but they can learn by singing and feeling it in the song.
You might also take advantage of cross curricular opportunities regarding the jazz era in general and the role jazz music played in the formation of our country's "personality" during the pre- and post Depression periods, as well as throughout the industrial revolution.
Though the music doesn't call for it, you may find yourself wanting to snap or clap along. Anything to engage your students is good.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.