How to Teach Elementary Music Students Blues Improvisation

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How to Teach Elementary Music Students Blues Improvisation: 10 Tips from the Pros
Do you want to know how to teach elementary music students blues improvisation? Here are 10 tips from the pros that will help you get started.

Define the blues

The blues is a style of music that originated in the African-American communities of the United States. It is a type of music that is characterized by a call-and-response format, as well as a 12-bar chord progression. The blues often uses blue notes, which are notes that are played at a slightly lower pitch than other notes in the scale.

One of the defining features of the blues is improvisation. This means that musicians will often make up their own melodies and lyrics as they are playing. Improvisation is an important part of the blues, and it is something that can be taught to elementary music students.

When teaching elementary music students about improvisation, it is important to start by teaching them about the 12-bar chord progression. This progression is used in many blues songs, and it is a good foundation for improvising. Once students understand the 12-bar chord progression, they can begin to experiment with making up their own melodies and lyrics.

It is also important to teach elementary music students about call-and-response. This is another common element of the blues, and it involves one musician playing a phrase and another musician responding with another phrase. Call-and-response can be used to create interesting conversations between musicians, and it is also a good way to get students improvising together.

Finally, it is important to encourage elementary music students to listen to blues music. There are many great blues musicians, and listening to their music can inspire students to start improvising themselves. There are also many instructional materials available on how to play the blues. Listening to Blues music and studying these instructional materials can help elementary music students learn more about improvisation and how to use it in their own playing.

Discuss the history of the blues

The blues is a genre of music that originated in the African-American community in the United States around the end of the 19th century. The term “blues” refers to the feeling of sadness or grief that is often expressed in the lyrics of blues songs.

Despite its name, the blues can be a very happy and upbeat genre of music. In fact, many popular songs that you might hear on the radio today are actually based on the blues. For example, pop songs such as “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones and “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly both contain elements of the blues.

If you’re interested in teaching your elementary music students how to improvise in the blues style, there are a few things you should know about the history of this genre of music.

Explain the structure of the blues

The structure of the blues is simple and easy to remember for young students. The basic form consists of three chords, which are played in a repeating 12-bar pattern. The first two bars are spent on the tonic chord, followed by two bars on the subdominant chord. This is followed by a return to the tonic chord for two bars, then a move to the dominant chord for two bars, before finally returning to the tonic chord to complete the 12-bar cycle.

Introduce the concept of improvisation

One of the best things about music is that it can be completely different every time you play it. You can always find new ways to play the same song, and no two performances are ever exactly alike. This is what we call improvisation, and it’s an important skill for all musicians to learn.

Improvising doesn’t have to be complicated – even elementary music students can start learning how to do it. Here are a few tips on how to teach elementary music students blues improvisation:

1. Start by teaching them the basic blues scale. This will give them a foundation to work from when they start improvising.

2. Once they know the scale, have them practice improvising over a simple blues chord progression. A good progression to start with is the 12-bar blues.

3. As they get more comfortable improvising, you can start adding more chord changes and complexities into the progressions.

4. Listen to a lot of blues music together as a class, and point out examples of improvisation when you hear them. This will help them understand how it’s done in context.

5. Encourage your students to experiment and have fun with it! Improvising is all about being creative, so there are no wrong answers here.

Teach the students a blues scale

One of the simplest ways to get your students improvising is to teach them a blues scale. The blues scale is a 6-note scale that has a distinctly “bluesy” sound. It’s easy to learn and fun to play.

Here’s how you can teaching your students the blues scale:

1. Start by teaching them the major scale. The major scale is the foundation for all music, so it’s important that your students understand it.

2. Once they know the major scale, explain that the blues scale is simply a variation of it. The only difference is that the blues scale has a flattened third, fifth, and seventh note.

3. Give them some examples of songs that use the blues scale, such as “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley or “Cross Road Blues” by Robert Johnson.

4. Have them practice improvising with the blues scale. You can do this by playing a simple chord progression and having them solo over it. Or, you can have them jam with other students in small groups.

Have the students improvise on the blues scale

The blues scale is a great way for elementary music students to learn about improvisation. By using the blues scale, students can create their own melodies and solos.

Here are some tips on how to teach elementary music students blues improvisation:

1. Start by teaching the students the basic blues scale. This scale consists of the notes C, D, E flat, F, G, A flat, and B.

2. Once the students have learned the blues scale, have them improvise on it. Encourage them to be creative and to experiment with different rhythms and melodic patterns.

3. You can also have the students improvise in small groups. This is a great way for them to learn from each other and to develop their own individual style.
4. Finally, be sure to listen to your students’ improvisations and offer feedback. This will help them to improve their skills and to become better improvisers.

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