The Orchestra Swings
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“Swing” is many things. It’s a distinctive rhythmic feel; a musical era dominated by big band jazz; a style of dance that grew alongside the music; and that elusive but unmistakable feeling that results when musicians are deeply tuned into each other and playing in sync, or “in the pocket.” Though swing is characteristic of jazz, an orchestra can also swing. Through the Link Up repertoire, hands-on activities, and a culminating interactive performance with an orchestra and jazz ensemble, we will explore the elements that contribute to that magical moment when the orchestra starts to swing. A PDF version of the print teacher guide is available upon request for printing purposes only. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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Learn fundamental concepts of music and engage in creative activities through a deeper exploration of the ideas and themes of the Link Up repertoire.
What is Swing?
Learn about the beginnings of swing as a style of jazz music and discover how other genres can also feel what it means to swing.
The Orchestra Swings with Rhythm
How do musicians create swing using rhythm? Students explore the fundamentals of swing rhythm in “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “I Got Rhythm” and create their own rhythm section.
The Orchestra Swings with Form
How does form help musicians swing? Students establish an understanding of form and explore A-A-B-A form in “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” and 12-bar blues form in “Duke’s Place.”
The Orchestra Swings with Improvisation
How do musicians use solo improvisation to swing? Students learn to improvise solos on “Duke’s Place.”
The Orchestra Swings with Communication
In what ways do musicians communicate when they swing? Students explore musical dialogue in “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” and musical conversations within the ensemble in Bernstein’s “Riffs.”