Our flagship 6th grade Blues & Poetry program, created in collaboration with Youth Speaks Inc, connects academic learning and jazz in the language arts classroom, exploring the artistic parallels between linguistic, spatial and musical expression. It combines interactive musical experiences, opportunities to develop literacy skills, and hands-on technology learning.
Jazz in the Middle
Launched in 2001, the SFJAZZ Jazz in the Middle (JIM) program provides curriculum-based residencies, linking jazz and academic subjects in the 6th, 7th and 8th grade classroom. JIM was created by SFJAZZ in partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) to address the need for arts education in middle schools.
Offered free to public middle schools, curriculum complies with government guidelines and district content standards, and is informed by the most current arts education research. Teacher training sessions provide professional development and resources to participating teachers. The collaboration extends into the classroom, where SFJAZZ Artist/Educators engage students in a process of creative transformation.
What Jazz in the Middle does
The residency’s teaching methodology confers skills, tools, and methods that enable students to negotiate this important transitional period of their lives. Drawing on the fundamental elements of jazz, students are immersed in the concepts of collaboration, improvisation, and transformation in a real-life simulation mirroring the creation of live jazz on the bandstand.
This integrated jazz/history/social science program helps students understand the oral tradition as a means to transmit African history and culture and how this is reflected in the evolution of jazz.