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Women in Jazz South Florida
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Stewart, William
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Gold Coast Jazz Society
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Gold Coast Jazz Society
Broward County > Cultural Home > Arts Education > AIE Directory > Gold Coast Jazz Society


Phone:          954-524-0805
Fax:             954-525-7880

Services Available: Single Performance


Description of Services

JazzSLAM (Jazz Supports Language, Arts & Math)
JazzSLAM is a fun and interactive one hour presentation with a live jazz quartet utilizing a PowerPoint presentation. Designed to teach Language Arts, Math, & Social Studies, critical thinking, and test taking strategies, JazzSLAM supports teachers' efforts to raise student FCAT and other standardized test scores and teaches academics through the aural, visual, & tactile (multiple intelligence) benefits of music. JazzSLAM motivates students to learn how to express themselves within the confines of a given form. Students participate in a "rhythm orchestra" and come to new understandings of fractions and percentages through subdivisions of a whole (note). From simple field hollers to 12 bar blues, JazzSLAM helps students unlock the magical mysteries of the underlying structures of songs, melodic contours poetry/word families in lyrics and parallel essay writing forms. From the Afro polyrhythms of Swing music to the Afro-Caribbean/South American Clave, JazzSLAM promotes racial harmony and whets students' appetite to continue the lifelong journey of appreciating and understanding jazz, America's unique art form.

JazzSLAM's purpose is to support academics through engaging students in learning about the parallel concepts inherent in music. JazzSLAM (Jazz Supports Language Arts & Math) encourages students to relax while taking tests, trust their innate logic, always imagine themselves as detectives and look for clues in the body of the question they are being asked. It is also our goal to introduce students to migration as an aspect of social studies and geography. We create a timeline showing how Africans brought their polyrhythms and Europeans brought their song forms to the Americas and the Caribbean Islands. It is our goal to help students become even more comfortable with our multicultural society and the fact that most Americans share in the rich history of immigration.

Students soar out of their everyday world into a swinging world of pulsating rhythms as they learn how to subdivide whole notes into halves, quarters, eighth and sixteenth notes. They come to new understandings about fractions and percentages through participating in a "Rhythm orchestra."

It is JazzSLAM's goal to help students unlock the magical mysteries of the underlying structures of songs, poetry/word families in lyrics and parallel essay writing forms. In short, we try to excite students about learning and make their teachers jobs easier because their students are more motivated.

The presentation is very "hands on" requiring much participation in group activities such as singing, clapping stomping and dancing. Students also vie to answer questions into a hand held microphone with their fellow students cheering them on when they answer correctly. For example, students are asked to read the body of a song's lyrics and imagine that there is a multiple-choice question on the FCAT asking, "On what continent is Tunisia located?" They learn to deduce the answer from the lyrics, which refer to desert sands, thus they are able to make an "educated guess" that the answer would be "Africa." Later in the presentation we use the song "This Land is Your Land" to teach about Expository essay form. Students use problem solving techniques to conclude that since the topic of this song is America, the reference to desert sands herein is to US states with deserts, such as Arizona.

We tap into students' "multiple intelligences," all of which are involved in music – aural (hearing the subdivisions), visual (seeing it being clapped) and tactile (clapping and stomping subdivisions.) Students clap rhythms and then see PowerPoint pie graphs of the rhythms they have clapped. They sing melodic contours and then see PowerPoint line graphs of melodies they have just "learned" to read.

Indicators of progress are the enthusiasm and eagerness of students to raise their hands and answer the many questions posed in the presentation. Enthusiasm mounts as the presentation unfolds and students are challenged to "think and then answer" the question posed. Also student attentiveness and ability to quiet down quickly between activities serves as an indication that they are following the material and that we are not "losing" them along the way. In addition, we get feedback on the evaluation forms teachers are required to return after their presentation. Often we will get comments such as a "hard to reach" student was able to stay calm and on task for the remainder of the week after their presentation. Or a shy student surprised everyone by participating in the presentation and in classes after that became less reticent to raise his/her hand and answer questions.

Since we work with 150 students all at the same time for only one hour, we stopped requiring that teachers fill out complicated assessment forms. Teachers are given an evaluation form to fill out that asks them to share success stories and what they and their students felt benefited their students. On the average, we get back about 90% of the evaluation forms. Again this year, they have been 100% positive, and teachers unanimously express their appreciation for our efforts to get their students involved in the learning process.


Grade Level:


Number of Participants:

Min. 125 - Max. 150


1 performance at 1 hour per performance over 1 week


At risk, school-based.


LA.A.1.2, LA.A.2.2, LA.B.1.2, LA.C.1.2, LA.C.2.2, LA.C.3.2, LA.D.1.2, LA.D.2.2, LA.E.1.2, LA.E.2.2, MA.A.1.2, MA.D.1.2, MA.D.2.2, MA.E.2.2, MA.B.1.2, MA.E.3.2, MA.B.2.2, MA.B.3.2, SS.A.1.2, SS.A.2.2, SS.A.3.2, SS.A.5.1, SS.B.1.2, FL.B.1.2, MU.A.1.2, MU.A.2.2, MU.A.3.2, MU.A.1.2, MU.B.1.2, MU.B.2.2, MU.C.1.2, MU.D.1.2, MU.D.2.2, MU.E.1.2, MU.E.2.2


Gold Coast Jazz Society offers a limited number of free performances for schools. Schools can contact the organization for additional information. Fee for presentation is $1,200.



Contact: Phone:          954-524-0805
Fax:             954-525-7880


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