All That Jazz!

Contributor: Renae Green. Lesson ID: 12971

Do-Dat! Skiddley Do! Learn one of the most fun and exciting types of music that is all about expressing yourself. You'll learn a popular jazz dance move and jazz up your favorite song!


Musical Arts, World Cultures

Fine Arts
learning style
Auditory, Kinesthetic
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Q: What kind of band does not play music?

A: A rubber band!


A rubber band may not play music, but a jazz band plays some of the best music ever!

Have you ever started dancing to music, and you didn’t even realize you were dancing? Maybe you tapped your feet or clapped your hands, or maybe you just bounced up and down a little. Jazz music has that effect on a lot of people!

  • Have you ever heard someone use the word, "jazz?"

Maybe they said they wanted to jazz something up, which means to give it a little sparkle and flair. Or maybe they said they were jazzed about something, which means they were excited.

Jazz is actually an exciting style of music that started in the United States, and it has become famous around the world. It began in and around New Orleans, Louisiana, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and developed from blues and ragtime music. By the 1920s, jazz music had become so popular, that period of time is now known as the "Jazz Age."

One of the most exciting things about jazz is that it doesn’t have a lot of rules. Jazz music takes on the feelings and personality of the people playing it. So as jazz music spread around the world, it began to develop new and distinct sounds. Two people performing the same jazz song might perform it very differently, and both are the “right” way to perform it.

Listen to two versions of the same song below.

  • Would you have guessed that the musicians were both playing the same popular jazz song?
  • What differences do you hear? What similarities?

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Now, let’s take a look at one of the most famous jazz performers of all time: Louis Armstrong.

Louis was a singer, and he also played the trumpet. As you watch the video below, think about Louis Armstrong’s voice.

  • Is it like any other voice you’ve heard, or is it unique and different?
  • Do you think he has a nice voice?
  • Do you think he would have been as popular if his voice sounded like a lot of other people’s voices?

Feel free to get up and dance as you watch When The Saints Go Marching In - live in Australia - Louis Armstrong, posted by tony sando:

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  • How did the music make you feel?
  • Did you find yourself smiling and moving as you listened and watched?
  • What did you think about the lady backup singer? Did it look like she was having fun?

Let’s move on to the Got It? section to hear a fun, rhythmic story about some people who play really fun jazz music!

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