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Early Years students learn to improvise Jazz!

The sounds of 5 year old students scat singing a Jazz standard echoed through the happy hallways of the early years campus on Friday.

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Students in Year 1 had the Juilliard Creative Classroom (JCC) core work "Blue Monk" brought to life through classes on note reading in Jazz, drum kit, vocal improvisation, keyboard and even Ukulele. The school's suite of iPads were upgraded to have the latest version of GarageBand with students performing on the virtual double bass. Watch below for the highlights video.

In the lead up to the workshop all classroom teachers were introduced to the JCC and delivered a lesson on "Blue Monk" and an introduction to Jazz

All students learned what a 12 bar blues sounds like, how the chords are ordered and to improvise a melody using both a blues and pentatonic scale over the structure. The workshop was modeled on the lessons in the online learning platform JCC that was developed in collaboration with Nord Anglia Education. Six half-hour workshops involved the use of sheet music, videos and lesson plans from the JCC. In being true to the JCC lesson style the core work was shown in full to the students in the plenary by a live performance of "Blue Monk" by the 8 musicians forming a large Jazz Band. Director of Performing Arts, Mr. Jaime Gibson, performed on Tenor Saxophone alongside the band members who are all part of the 16 strong Music staff at The British School.

Mr Gibson said "my highlight of the day was seeing students walk out of lessons singing the main melody including the chromaticism in the melody and the modulation over the chord changes. It showed all involved what being ambitious in our choice of advanced repertoire could bring out of our early years children."

Jaime Gibson

Head of Music