Grammy Award-winning musician and composer Esperanza Spalding is the star of a new generation of jazz musicians who are breaking down barriers and introducing new audiences to the world of jazz. Spalding credits her early jazz education with longtime teacher and mentor—trumpeter Thara Memory—with giving her a foundation in the music that has changed her life. His American Music Program continues to prepare young musicians for some of the top performing arts colleges in the country and gives them a deeper understanding of the art of jazz.
On Wednesday, May 29, PBS and OPB are teaming up to talk about the importance and the future of jazz education in our country.
• Where is the next generation of jazz musicians coming from?
• Why is jazz music education important to young musicians across the country?
• Are cuts in music education funding making it harder for students to rise to the highest levels?
Through an online social screening platform called OVEE (Online Video Engagement Experience), PBS is hosting a live online screening of the OPB special presentation, “Masters of Jazz,” followed by an online chat with jazz trumpeter Thara Memory, jazz Professor Ronald Carter and Jazz House Kids CEO Melissa Walker. Considered by the industry as jazz education experts, Thara, Ron and Melissa will answer questions and talk about how jazz has changed their lives and the lives of their students.
On June 1 & 2, the Bay Area Youth Media Network (BAYMN) in partnership with KQED will present BAYMN FEST, a free two-day interactive showcase of media produced by young folks ages 12-24, hosted at the San Francisco Public Library. Through screenings, workshops, a transmedia gallery, a makerspace, parties and networking opportunities, BAYMN FEST will be a place for young artists to share their work, meet their peers, acquire new tools, make their voices heard—and win cool prizes and media-making tools! It is a unique opportunity for youth, educators and the general public to celebrate the work of talented young media makers. We hope you will join us and be inspired.
We received over 300 youth-produced videos through our call for entries in a variety of categories including Science, Technology, & Innovation; Arts & Expression; and Social Justice & Community Engagement; and we have put together an exciting series of shorts programs that will screen throughout the weekend.
This event is open to the public. For educators, we encourage you to schedule time for your students to come and participate… or if you are out of school for the summer, to organize a group of young folks to attend. This event will be a great opportunity for young folks to connect with their peers who are passionate about making media, and it will give you the chance as an educator to immerse yourself in the youth media movement, network with other educators and even acquire some new skills. This festival is funded by Adobe Youth Voices and The AT&T Foundation.
To attend to this event, you must RSVP here -- www.baymnfest.eventbrite.com Below is a breakdown of the festival schedule, workshop schedule, and film program. Please reserve a spot for one of our workshops by filling out this form. Be sure to reserve spots for any or all of the days. And don't forget about the BAYMN BASH reception on the evening of Saturday, June 1! And it's all FREE!
We recently met a group of educators known as the Alphabet Rockers and started jamming to their YouTube videos, including this one called Shape Rap that helps young students learn their shapes, and encourages them to recognize common shapes in the real world.
Each of the Alphabet Rockers videos is accompanied by multiple classroom activities that are designed using principles from the Common Core State Standards. They also do school tours and performances about nutrition, bullying, and other topics that are relevant to today's educational community. Their approach is a perfect example of how art techniques, such as singing and rapping, can be a great way to integrate subjects and help students remember facts in a fun, engaging way.
Check out the Alphabet Rockers web site to find more fun videos, discover their lesson plans and other classroom tools, and find out when they are performing near you.
Kwesi Anku, Kwaku Manu, and Selasi Morgan are performing artists who teach at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond, CA and are members of the Bay Area's West African Music & Dance Ensemble. Originally from Ghana, they came to the states to study dance with their professor at UC Berkeley, Dr. CK Ladzekpo. They stayed in the Bay Area to spread their love of music and dance, and to offer students in Richmond an opportunity to express themselves and to use music and dance as a tool for positive change in their community.
In the latest videos from KQED Arts Eduction, Kwesi and Kwaku discuss the history of Ghana, including its independence from colonizers in 1957. They also introduce the Ghanaian version of the ABC song, the language behind their dance moves, and simple drumming rhythms that can be learned by any budding performer.
Arts educator and recording artist Jahi recently shared an inspiring new video with us that gives an overview of his artist residency at Glenview Elementary School in Oakland, and his philosophy about arts education. He mentions PBS's Art:21 as a resource that inspires his teaching practice. Jahi teaches both visual art and music, and inspires young people to imagine how their art will change the world. Enjoy this moment of inspiration with a dynamic teaching artist.
Looking for ways to invite from teaching artists into your classroom for a virtual visit? Check out our new video series about Bay Area artists who demonstrate concepts and techniques that students can follow along with.
Rashidi Omari is a performance artist, writer and educator at Destiny Arts Center, a violence prevention and arts education organization in Oakland. Growing up, hip-hop was an outlet that helped Rashidi deal with life's challenges, and he works to provide today's Bay Area youth with the same creative opportunities. We stopped by his dance studio to learn more about this dynamic Oakland artist, and find what hip-hop means to him and his students.
After introducing Rashidi to your students, check out these two videos where he teaches us how to beatbox and breakdance. Follow along and add your own b-boy flavor.
Please welcome digital media teacher Matt Koons to EdSpace. We met at a KQED Education event last fall, and I wanted to hear more about his students' music production projects, which reminded me of our inspiring KQED Spark videos about young music-makers such as the students from they Bay Area Unity Music Project, and singer/songwriter Lauren Shera.