International Jazz Day

International Jazz Day is held on 30 April every year. In 2019, Sydney is hosting the Global Concert. The Arts Unit and the Creative Arts curriculum advisors are working with James Morrison and the organisers of International Jazz Day to provide opportunities for students, teachers and schools to get involved with International Jazz Day.

Teaching and learning materials

Learn how to compose a melody in two modules led by jazz legend, James Morrison.
Students of any age will learn tips and engage in activities directed by James to develop their composition skills and understanding of what makes a great melody.

These teaching and learning modules have been developed from the videos with James Morrison below.

International Jazz Day - Stage 3
Unit duration - 6 weeks
Musical concepts - duration, pitch, dynamics, timbre, structure
Resources - James Morrison International, Jazz Day videos, Vocal Ease MORE (Module 1), classroom percussion
instruments, melodic instruments, recording device.

Content and outcomes

Performing:

  • MUS3.1 Sings, plays and moves to a range of music, individually and in groups, demonstrating a knowledge of musical concepts.

Organising sound:

  • MUS3.2 Improvises, experiments, selects, combines and orders sound using musical concepts.

Listening:

  • MUS3.4 Identifies the use of musical concepts and symbols in a range of musical styles.

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. What makes a good melody?
    Refer to Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 1
  2. .
    Discuss phrasing and complete various activities such as using scarves, ribbon sticks, movement, graphic notation to follow a phrase in a selected piece.

    Use a variety of styles such as jazz (including the example of ‘Autumn Leaves’), folk (such as ‘Waltzing Matilda’), and contemporary such as ‘Over the Rainbow’, ‘Riptide’, or ‘Chandelier’.
  3. How do composers create a melody?
    Watch Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 2.
    Explore call and response using rhythm.
    Start with the example of box conversations from Where the Strange Creatures Roam from Vocal Ease MORE (Module 1).
    Move on to whole class, then pair, then individual rhythmic call and response in this same context.

    Further expand this by using the same call and response techniques using the C major pentatonic scale (C, D, E, G, A).
  4. What notes make a melody?
    Build upon the student’s developing knowledge of call and response using the C major pentatonic scale to then explore the 12 bar blues through the Boogie Woogie Woogie Woogie Woogie in Vocal Ease MORE (Module 1).
    Build up through body percussion to follow the chord structure, then playing the root or chord notes of each chord within the 12 bar blues.
    Improvise with the backing track using only the root (chord name) notes of each scale.
    Expand upon this by looking mathematically at the structure of the chords as are outlined in relation to this piece. Improvise using the notes within the chord.
    Repeat this process, but now add in passing notes as shown through the teaching videos to accompany the Boogie Woogie Woogie Woogie Boogie.
  5. What do real life composers do when they are composing a melody?
    Prepare some questions for James Morrison for the live interview stream on 12 November.
  6. How do composers take call and response and improvisation further?
    Using Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 2, explore the techniques of structure, patterns and phrasing as discussed.
    Explore further improvisation with a partner using either C major pentatonic or C major 12 bar blues patterns.
  7. Bar 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
    Chord I I I I lV IV I I V IV I I
    Note in C C C C C F F C C G F C C
  8. How can I tell a musical story?
    Create stories with a partner. Remember these should be short and have direction. How do they start and finish? Create a melody or even a soundscape to accompany this story.
    Reflect on the musical concepts discussed in the videos and from the K-6 Creative Arts
    Syllabus (2006) duration, pitch, dynamics, structure and tone colour.

    Refine and record.
  9. .What do I need to make my own melody?
    Create individual stories.
    Match this story with a melody.
    Perform, record and refine on whatever instrument you are comfortable with,such as a glockenspiel, recorder or trumpet.
    Do the musical phrases answer each other as suggested through Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 2?
    Repeat this process until satisfied.
  10. How can I improve my melody?
    Perform for the class, discuss and refine.
    Finish with a recording ready to be submitted for the competition.
    Good luck you’ve worked hard!

Assessment

  1. Are the students able to establish a solid rhythmic two bar pattern through improvisation using call and response? Do they need extra time for preparation or are they able to improvise?
  2. Is the student able to apply to melodic concepts discussed to their rhythmic patterns to create a melody using C major pentatonic?
  3. How does the student use the 12 bar blues or other melodic techniques to assist them in their melodic improvisation and composition?

PDF version of International Jazz Day Stage 3 learning program (PDF 35KB)

International Jazz Day - Stage 4
Unit duration - 6 weeks
Musical concepts - Duration, pitch, dynamics, texture, timbre
Resources - James Morrison International Jazz Day videos, classroom percussion instruments, melodic instruments, recording device.

Content and outcomes

Performing:

  • MUS4.1: Performs in a range of musical styles demonstrating an understanding of musical concepts

Organising sound:

  • MUS4.4: Demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through exploring, experimenting, improvising, organising, arranging and composing

Listening

  • MUS4.7: Demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through listening, observing, responding, discriminating, analysing, discussing and recording musical ideas

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. What makes a good melody?
    Refer to Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 1
  2. Discuss phrasing and what it means. James Morrison compares musical phrasing with verbal phrasing – as in a sentence. How is a musical phrase similar to a verbal sentence? Create  a short list of the elements that are important in a sentence.
    Discuss how these elements can be used in creating a musical phrase. How long is a good phrase or a good sentence? Do they go on and on or do they tend to be short and concise? What happens at the end of a phrase or sentence?
  3. Context in a melody:
    Refer to Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 1
  4. . Discuss what is meant by context? In music it is the overarching mood or approach taken to the storyline of a song.
    For example, is it a sad or happy story? Is it a story of determination and overcoming adversity? There are many contexts you could consider.
    In class, create a list of possible contexts in which to set a song.
    Listen to two versions of ‘Autumn Leaves’ and discuss how the same melody can sound different when approached in a different context.
    The Cannonball Adderley and Miles David version and Chet Baker and Paul Desmond version are two contrasting versions of this piece. What makes these two versions sound so different?
  5. How do composers create a melody?
    Watch Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 2 Rhythm is one of the most important elements in a melody.
    Discuss how a musical phrase and rhythm work together.
    The silence or pause at the end of a phrase gives us time to hear and understand it before moving onto the next phrase.
    To explore the concept of phrasing, create a circle in class and have students keep a beat together with their feet.
    Going around the circle, each student has two bars to clap a simple rhythm (or phrase) before moving to the next student.
    The key is to keep time throughout and for students to clap a pattern that makes sense.
    To expand this idea, have the students create their two bar phrase that relates or continues
    the idea from the previous student. In this way students begin to create a musical storyline where one phrase links logically to the next – just as a good melody would do.
  6. Adding notes to a rhythm
    Remember or notate two of the two bar patterns from the previous activity that will work together well. Join them together to create a four bar musical phrase.
    Provide the students with a simple scale in which to select notes to add to their rhythm. Some good scales to use include C major pentatonic (C, D, E, G, A), C major (C, D, E, F, G, A, B), or E blues (E, G, A, Bb, B, D).
    To change context consider
    a minor scale sound such as A minor (A, B, C, D, E, F, G#) or A minor pentatonic (A, C, D, E, G).
  7. Melodic structure
    Now that we have created a single phrase, how does this contribute to a complete melody?
    In Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 2 James discusses repetition in a melody using Waltzing Matilda: Line 1 = Phrase 1; Line 2 = new phrase (Phrase 2); Line 3 = Phrase 1 repeated; Line 4 = Phrase 2 repeated. In this way a whole sixteen bar melody has been created with just two phrases.
    Discuss ‘contrast’ and how Phrase 1 and Phrase 2 may be different, and how they may be similar also. Using the methods above have students create another 4 bar phrase that contrasts with their original one.
    Now join together in the manner above for a full 16 bar melody.
  8. Formal structure
    Jazz pieces generally follow two main overall song structures - binary form (AB) and ternary form (AABA). Discuss these with the class.
    In binary form a piece is usually 16 bars (A) then a similar 16 bars (B) with a slightly different ending. In ternary form a piece is usually 8 bars (A), then repeated again (A), a bridge with quite different melodic material (B), then a final return to the original melody (A). Note that the majority of jazz pieces have 32 bars.
    Take a number of jazz  pieces and identify which format each piece falls into. Some suggestions include: ‘But Not For Me’, ‘A Foggy Day’, ‘Don’t Get Around Much Anymore’, ‘Satin Doll’, and ‘There Will Never Be Another You’.
  9. The bridge in ternary form
    What makes the B section (or bridge) different in ternary form?
    Listen to a number of jazz pieces in ternary form and list some elements that make the B section different to the A sections. Some ideas could include: key (does it move to a different key centre), tonality (does it move from major to minor, or vice versa), and rhythm (is the B melody rhythm quite  different from the A melody rhythm)?
  10. Telling a story through sound
    Have students create stories with a partner using ternary form (AABA) as the structure.
    Therefore a main story theme (A), the main theme retold with possibly a slight variation at the end (A), a new theme to the story (B) and then a return to the original main theme once more to finish (A).
    Create a soundscape to overlay the narration of this story. The soundscape can be created with classroom instruments or a digital music program such as GarageBand or Mixcraft. Ensure that the soundscape follows the shape of the structure (ternary form) to match
    the story.
  11. What do I need to make my own melody?
    Listen to a number of jazz songs and decide on which structure you would like to write your melody in – either binary or ternary form.
    Using the methods above, compose a four bar melody and then extend this to an 8 bar melody. This will become your main theme. If using ternary form now create a new eight bar melody using the same process.
    This new melody could still have some references to your original melody. This could be through  rhythm, phrasing, similar intervals. Or it could be a completely different melody.
    Put your complete thirty two bar melody together and perform, record and refine on whatever instrument you are comfortable on.
    Do the musical phrases answer each other as suggested through Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 2?
    Refine, edit and repeat this process until satisfied.
  12. How can I improve my melody?
    Perform for the class, discuss and refine.
    Finish with a recording ready to be submitted for the competition.
    Good luck you’ve worked hard!

Assessment

  1. Are the students able to establish a solid rhythmic two bar pattern through improvisation. Do they need extra time for preparation or are they able to improvise? Are they able to expand this successfully to a four bar pattern?
  2. Is the student able to apply to melodic concepts discussed to their rhythmic patterns to create a melody? What success do they have and are they comfortable using the set scales. Do they explore beyond one or two notes to include a whole scale? Which scale?
  3. How does the student use the concept of structure to support their composition? Are they able to incorporate their melodic structure into a formal musical structure? Which structure do they chose and why? Can they explain their choice?

PDF version of International Jazz Day Stage 4 learning program (PDF 40KB)

Overview

International Jazz Day
6 week unit
Musical concepts - duration, pitch, dynamics, texture, timbre, structure
Resources - James Morrison International Jazz Day videos, classroom percussion instruments, melodic instruments, recording device.

Content and outcomes

Performing:

  • MUS5.1: Performs repertoire with increasing levels of complexity in a range of musical styles demonstrating an understanding of the musical concepts.
  • MUS5.3: Performs music selected for study with appropriate stylistic features demonstrating solo and ensemble.
    awareness

Organising sound:

  • MUS5.4: Demonstrates an understanding of the musical concepts through improvising, arranging and composing in the styles or genres of music selected for study.

Listening:

  • MUS5.7: Demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through the analysis, comparison, and critical discussion of music from different stylistic, social, cultural and historical contexts.

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. What makes a good melody?
    Refer to Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 1
  2. Discuss phrasing and what it means. James Morrison compares musical phrasing with verbal phrasing, as in a sentence.
    How is a musical phrase similar to a verbal sentence? Create a short list of the elements that are important in a sentence. Discuss how these elements can then be used in creating a musical phrase? How long is a good phrase or a good sentence? Do they go on and on or do they tend to be short and concise? What happens at the end of a phrase or sentence?
  3. Context in a melody
    Refer to Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 1
  4. Discuss what is meant by context? In music it is the overarching mood or approach taken to the storyline of a song. For example, is it a sad or happy story? Is it a story of determination and overcoming adversity?
    There are many contexts you could consider. In class, create a list of possible contexts in which to set a song.
    Listen to two versions of ‘Autumn Leaves’ and discuss how the same melody can sound different when approached in a different context. The Cannonball Adderley and Miles David version and
    Chet Baker and Paul Desmond version are two contrasting versions of this piece. What makes these two versions sound so different?
  5. Creating a melody with context
    Using the ‘Happy Birthday’ melody change the context from major (buoyant) to minor (melancholy). Experiment with the melody in the key of C major (C, D, E, F, G, A, B) and C harmonic minor scale (C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, B). In the key of C major use 3 chords to accompany your melody: C major (chord I – C,E,G); F major (chord IV - F,A,C) and G7 (chord V – G,B,D,F). Experiment to find the most
    suitable chord for the melody at specific points. For the minor version use the chords C minor (chord I – C, Eb, G); F minor (chord IV - F, Ab, C) and G7 (chord V – G, B, D, F). Again, match chords to fit your melody. Discuss how these changes of context affect the melody.
  6. How do composers create a melody?
    Watch Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 2. Rhythm is one of the most important elements in a melody. Discuss how a musical phrase and rhythm work together.
    The silence or pause at the end of a phrase gives us time to hear and understand it before moving onto the next phrase. To explore the concept of phrasing, create a circle in class and have students keep a beat together with their feet. Going around the circle, each student has 2 bars to clap a simple rhythm (or phrase) before moving to the next student. The key is to keep time throughout and for
    students to clap a pattern that makes sense.
    Then have the students create their 2 bar phrase that relates or continues the idea from the previous student. In this way students begin to create a musical storyline where one phrase links logically to the next – just as a good melody would do.
    You can do this exercise with percussion instruments also.
  7. Adding notes to a rhythm
    From the exercise above remember (or notate if possible) two of the 2 bar patterns that work well together and join them. This creates a four bar musical phrase. Provide the students with a simple scale in which to select notes to add to their rhythm. Some good scales to use include: C major pentatonic (C, D, E, G, A); C major scale (C, D, E, F, G, A, B); E Blues scale (E, G, A, Bb, B, D).
    To change context consider a minor scale sound such as A minor (A, B, C, D, E, F, G#) or A minor pentatonic (A, C, D, E, G).
  8. Melodic structure
    Now that we’ve created a single phrase, how does this contribute to a complete melody? In Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 2 James discusses repetition in a melody using ‘Waltzing Matilda’: line 1 = phrase 1; line 2 = new phrase (phrase 2); line 3 = phrase 1 repeated; line 4 = phrase 2 repeated. In this way a whole sixteen bar melody has been created with just two phrases. Discuss ‘contrast’ and how phrase 1 and phrase 2 may be different. How they also similar?
    Using the methods above have students create another four bar phrase that contrasts with their original one. Now join together in the manner above for a full sixteen bar melody.
  9. Formal structure
    Jazz pieces generally follow two main overall song structures – binary form (AB) and ternary form (AABA). Discuss these in class. In binary form a piece is usually sixteen bars (A) then a similar 16 bars (B) with a slightly different ending. In ternary form a piece is usually eight bars (A), then repeated again (A), a bridge with quite different melodic material (B), then a final return to the original melody (A).
    Note that the majority of jazz pieces have thirty two bars. Take a number of jazz pieces and identify which format each piece falls into.
    Some suggestions include: ‘But Not For Me’; ‘A Foggy Day’; ‘Don’t Get Around Much Anymore’; ‘Satin Doll’; and ‘There Will Never Be Another You’.
  10. The bridge in ternary form
    What makes the B section (or bridge) different in ternary form? Listen to a number of jazz pieces in ternary form and list some elements that make the B section different to the A sections. Some ideas could include: key (does it move to a different key centre?), tonality (does it move from major to minor, or vice versa?), rhythm (is the B melody rhythm quite different from the A melody rhythm?), rhythm or phrasing (does the B melody move faster or slower than the A?).
  11. Take me to the bridge – creating a bridge melody
    A bridge (or ‘B’ section) melody contrasts with the ‘A’ melody. In point 3. above there are examples of musical elements that can create a contrast. From the melody construction exercises above create a 2 bar and then 4 bar melody that is in contrast to the main ‘A’ melody. You can then double this melody with a slightly different finish to the first 4 bars and you now have a contrasting ‘B’ section.
  12. Telling a story through sound
    Have students create stories with a partner using ternary form (AABA) as the structure. Therefore: a main story theme (A); the main theme retold with possibly a slight variation at the end (A); a new theme to the story (B) and then a return to the original main theme once more to finish (A).
    Create a soundscape to overlay the narration of this story. The soundscape can be created with classroom instruments or a digital music program such as GarageBand or Mixcraft. Ensure that the soundscape follows the shape of the structure (ternary form) to match the story.
  13. What do I need to make my own melody?
    Listen to a number of jazz songs and decide on which structure you would like to write your melody in – either binary or ternary form.
    Using the methods above, compose a four bar melody and then extend this to an eight bar melody. This will become your main theme.
    If using ternary form now create a new 8 bar melody using the same process. This new melody could still have some references to your original melody. This could be through rhythm, phrasing, similar intervals. Or it could be a completely different melody. Put your complete thirty two bar melody together and perform, record and refine on whatever instrument you are comfortable on. Do the musical phrases answer each other as suggested through Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 2? Refine, edit and repeat this process until satisfied.
    12. How can I improve my melody?
    Perform for the class, discuss and refine. Finish with a recording ready to be submitted for the competition. Good luck you’ve worked hard!

Assessment

  1. Are the students able to establish a solid rhythmic two bar pattern through improvisation. Do they need extra time for preparation or are they able to improvise? Are they able to expand this successfully to a four bar pattern?
  2. Is the student able to apply to melodic concepts discussed to their rhythmic patterns to create a melody? What success do they have and are they comfortable using the set scales. Do they explore beyond one or two notes to include a whole scale? Which scale?
  3. How does the student use the concept of structure to support their composition? Are they able to incorporate their melodic structure into a formal musical structure? Which structure do they chose and why? Can they explain their choice?

PDF version of International Jazz Day Stage 5 learning program (PDF 42KB)

Videos

Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 1

Composing a melody with James Morrison - Lesson 2.

James Morrison at a recording

Contacts

Julia Brennan
K–6 creative arts advisor
02 9244 5831

Cathryn Ricketts
7-12 creative arts advisor
02 9244 5255

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