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African and African-American. Traditions in Language Arts by. Biographical Sketch of the Author. Joyce Braden Harris is the co-founder. In a section on African-American art traditions, Michael D.

Date: March. Peterson, who had the worst writing in Confessions and the Ten Commandments of the Judeochristian religious traditions. Harris, Joyce Braden. The Lessons Of The Border War - African Journals Online ajol african and african-american traditions in language arts by joyce braden harris sketch of the author joyce braden harris is the co-founder and director of the black educational.

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Given the complexity of jazz itself as perceived by its diverse practitioners and audiences, several questions arise once we begin to think about the environments in which jazz learning takes place. What has jazz education been like in the past, and what is it like today? To what extent does the history of segregation in American schools affect jazz learning-environments today? Who are the people that make music that they and others identify to be jazz, and why do they perceive the music to be jazz?

What are the, or some of the, key sources of inspiration for modern creators of the music?

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What are the predominant social, economic, and cultural circumstances in which this music is created, and how do they perpetuate, or differ from, those of decades past? How, when, and where do people commonly learn to play and think about jazz today in the United States? In this and the following chapters, I shall address these and related questions in aiming to define the nature of twenty-first- century jazz learning-environments, what lies behind them, and what can be done to make them more productive for the musicians, audiences, teachers, and music itself. What is the Jazz Environment and what does it have to do with Education?

I broadly define a jazz learning-environment as any physical or virtual setting in which jazz-related learning takes place. Situating "jazz education" within its social learning environments serves to facilitate an understanding of jazz-learning that occurs inside and outside of formal institutions.

Conceptually, this education can take place wherever jazz musicians, students, and teachers are making, listening to, talking about, or thinking about music. Such activities occur formally and informally in a variety of places and circumstances. These range from study sessions and apprenticeships to jam sessions, concerts in which aspiring musicians may occasionally sit in with professional artists, affiliations with well-known bands, and formal educational institutions.

In more recent years, jazz musicians have also inhabited a variety of virtual spaces on the internet where they share, learn about, and discuss music. Some of these spaces include artist websites, educational jazz forums, websites that focus on jazz history, social media sites such as Facebook, and video- sharing sites such as Youtube. Private music lessons may also be taken via online video conferencing from services such as Skype. And of course, jazz learning also takes place in simply attending concerts, gigs, and street performances as an audience member, as well as experiencing radio, television, CDs, tapes, records, and other media at home.

Speaking about the "traditional jazz educational system," Paul Berliner explains that "continually drawing sustenance from its fundamental ties to African-American culture, the American jazz community cuts across boundaries defined by age, class, vocation, and ethnicity,"1 and that "young musicians typically find points of entry into their local community within the intersecting domains of neighborhood and public school where they seek out knowledgeable peers who share their musical passion.

Paul F. To define the jazz community, Berliner draws upon Alan Merriam and Raymond Mack's notion of a non-geographically based "community of interest" where musicians "participate to some extent in the occupational role and ideology of the professional jazz musician. They learn and accept at least some of the norms. Race and Jazz Education Formal versus Non-Formal Learning Environments One problematic and under-discussed byproduct of the institutionalization of jazz has been its failure to address racial tensions and disparities.

This coincides with the relatively recent historical disinvestment within black communities in relation to jazz.

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This is a problem because jazz communities have historically been a space for the intimate negotiation of sensitive racial issues and a deeply felt projection of black identity. Despite this disinvestment, African-American musical communities still thrive in which groups of young black musicians aspire to follow in the footsteps of their 3. Merriam and Raymond W. In many cases, the musical ethos in these learning environments can be quite different from that of formal classrooms in which white students predominate. Young African-American musicians may view jazz as "black music" and consider it to be a meaningful style within a broader continuum of black thought and experience.

There is a strong awareness of jazz's roots within working-class black communities, and more generally, of black music's important role during the eras of slavery and Jim Crow.

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In keeping with their sense of heritage, some aspiring musicians figuratively or literally take their music to the streets in order to learn, make some pocket change, and find inspiration. Many of these students might also study music in formal institutions and be well acquainted with academia. Yet, in these circles, formal jazz education is often the subject of negative criticism for its lack of racial diversity among students and educators, and for its teaching methods that are believed inadequately to reflect black American musical traditions.

A smaller group of musicians and writers, drawing from perspectives aligned with Afrocentric and Black Nationalist thought, have wholly rejected the notion of formalized jazz education, or have developed curricular approaches dependent upon the construction of black and Afrocentric identities. Here, essentialized beliefs concerning the performance of black musical culture and its relation to blackness may be privileged over what is viewed as Eurocentric interpretations widely adopted within the academy.

As a result, strict adherents to these beliefs have failed adequately to acknowledge the role that formal institutions have actually played in transforming jazz. Contrarily, most occupy the grey area in between. For instance, many prominent jazz musicians studied music in formal schools, but continue to assert that jazz cannot truly be learned in the classroom, or that there are major problems with standard jazz curricula. How can divergent views and experiences of jazz and its educational processes exist within the same "community of interest?

Perhaps a deeper understating of certain social and economic factors may help explain why race continues to be a problem within jazz communities. Why are there so few black jazz majors in colleges? Is it because black children do not want to learn how to play musical instruments anymore? Perhaps it is because many black children do not have access to formal musical education or the financial resources to buy instruments.

smudilopes.tk Do colleges offer African-American students the community-oriented way of learning that is reflective of black American musical traditions? By excavating new field study data, reevaluating the historiography of jazz education, and presenting new approaches to teaching jazz, this study promises to expand the paradigm of jazz education beyond apparent musical excellence, to include real cultural competency.

Baker suggested that jazz can act as a vehicle for students to learn a 5. This point is expounded further below. My proposition is that this problem can be solved once jazz is constructively viewed as part of a continuum of musical styles, ranging from, say, spirituals, field hollers, ragtime, and New Orleans jazz to forms of rock, hip hop, and electronic music, and taking place in a variety of sociocultural circumstances. If jazz education is to remain relevant, educators and students will need to understand how jazz intertwines with other forms of art music, world music, and popular culture.

Theory of the Black Musical Continuum Is jazz black music? I have examined a variety of definitions of black music and have found a diversity of concepts. One of the broadest notions is articulated by T. Anderson who said, "Any composition written by a black composer is black music. The qualitative measure of blackness obviously depends on the individual's experience and perception. Jazz education innovator David 6. Samuel A. Music which is based on a constant conflict of rhythms. Floyd offers a programmatic definition, combining observation, interpretation, and even some speculation to establish a scholarly paradigm: "Black music is that which reflects and expresses essentials of the Afro-American experience in the United States.

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Many of the definitions sampled above emphasize the African-American or black experience, but what is the nature of the experience? The idea of one collective black experience continues to be a major area of interest to writers on African-American topics, and usually infers the shared history of slavery and continued existence in a world defined by white domination.

The concept can be identified as Pan-African, definable as "relating to, representing, or advocating the representation of all people of African birth or descent. It would stand to reason that there are many and diverse black experiences. Depending on what part of the world someone is born into, the socio-economic status of one's family, the shade of one's skin, and a host of other factors, a person who either identifies, or is identified to be, black may experience a vast and extraordinarily variable range of things.

I understand black music to be a signifier that is a part of what Neil Gotanda called culture-race. He Baraka, Black Music, Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. See Appendix A. For more on the politics of racialized self-identification vs. The term includes, for example, the customs, beliefs, and intellectual and artistic traditions of black America, as well as institutions such as black churches and colleges.

Although a musician may specialize in and identify with one category of music, he or she is often compelled to become competent with a multiplicity of African-American musical traditions.


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In fact, while studying jazz in black communities, musicians and audience members often told me how important it was that I learn how to play traditional blues. At blues venues, the importance of funk music was impressed upon me. Funk musicians often speak about the interconnection of jazz and gospel music and their impact on funk.

I know several gospel pianists who are obsessed with learning the jazz musical vocabulary. At black after-hours joints—a black American vernacular term that refers to late-night house parties that persist when bars and public houses close—the musical celebration might begin with a recording of the Gap Band, followed by Earth, Wind, and Fire, followed by a rendition of "Stormy Monday" sung by Thus, 'black music,' or more specifically black American music, describes a continuum of musical activity and thought that has its origins in social spaces of people of African descent.

It is comprised of customs and aural traditions with roots tracing back to African slaves in the Americas, and historical and contemporary manifestations perceived by many black community members as representing black identity. This is what I call the black musical continuum. My proposition is that by viewing jazz as a part of an organic, self-aware spectrum of black musical styles and cultural traditions, a spectrum I refer to as the black musical continuum, we can begin to find solutions to the lacuna of cultural competency and narrow vision of jazz that appear to be all too common in formal learning environments.

The black musical continuum provides the basis for a traditionally grounded, but educationally innovative framework for viewing, teaching, learning, and performing jazz that situates it within the true, lived socio-cultural context of black American music. I argue that a renewed and enlightened focus on African-American cultural environments would help jazz educators and administrators better understand how to solve problems of racial disparity and cultural awkwardness or ineptitude within formal programs.

Creative Black Music Creative black music is a term that some jazz musicians use to identify the music that they make. I first became aware of the term from a jazz drummer in Cincinnati, Ohio named Willie Smart. He explained to me that the word jazz was limiting for him and that he preferred to refer to his music as "creative black music. Their conception of black music as a pedagogical framework is similar to my black musical continuum, insofar as they encouraged the mixing of all forms of black music with other musical traditions, including European art music and various forms of music from different world cultures.