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Blues Glossary

Blues Classroom

The blues is one of America's greatest musical treasures. A roots music form that evolved out of African-American work songs, field hollers, spirituals, and country string ballads more than a century ago, the blues is the foundation of virtually every major American music form born in the 20th century, including jazz, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and hip hop. As profound as the blues has been to the national music experience, it has only occasionally entered the American classroom, mostly through individual teachers who were committed blues fans and who created their own methods to integrate the music into curricula.

The Blues educational outreach campaign, created by Experience Music Project, provides teaching strategies and resources for teachers to assist in the integration of blues music, culture, and history into American classrooms, with emphasis on grades 9-12.

Explore The Blues Classroom for more information on the blues as a musical form and for assistance in using The Blues educational materials in your school.

Materials include:

  •  Downloadable lesson plans
  •  Blues discography and bibliography
  •  Video clips from The Blues film series
  •  Audio clips of significant blues recordings
  •  The Blues Teacher's Guide CD, comprised of seminal blues songs directly related to the lesson plans (available only to teachers who receive the printed Teacher's Guide)
  •  A printed Teacher's Guide *

* Note: This teacherís guide and accompanying CD was originally distributed to nearly 25,000 high school educators throughout the United States. (Teachers should check with their department heads for access to their schoolís copy.) While additional hard copies are not available, the guide can be downloaded here in .pdf format and requires the Adobe Acrobat plug-in.
Clips from the CD are also on this Web site and require RealPlayer plug-in.

Classroom materials for The Blues have been created with the educational expertise of Experience Music Project and a select group of teachers skilled in the strategies of teaching blues music and culture. A Blues Educational Outreach Advisory Board was created to assist in the development of classroom materials and all lessons have been designed to meet National Education Standards. The Blues educational outreach campaign has been endorsed by The National Association for Music Education, The National Council for Social Studies, and The National Council of Teachers of English.


Experience Music Project


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