Friday, May 29, 2015

Six Degrees of Music Appreciation

published on: 2/28/2003

Contributing Teacher(s): Elise Gutshall

Subject Area: Fine Arts/Performing Arts/Music

Grade Range: High School (9-12)

Materials Needed:

  • access to the computer, Internet and printer
  • PowerPoint
  • magazine pictures of famous people
  • poster board, scissors, and glue
  • markers, glitter, anything used to decorate posters

Objective: To link a contemporary artist/band to a jazz musician popular during the 1920''s, 30''s, or 40''s. This assignment will assist you in visually developing our contemporary artist''s roots in music.--Everyone is connected!

Process Standards:

  • Goal 1.8 organize data, information and ideas into useful forms (including charts, graphs, outlines)
  • Goal 2.1 plan and make written, oral and visual presentations for a variety of purposes and audiences

Content Standards:

  • Fine Arts 4. Interrelationships of visual and performing arts and the relationships of the arts to other disciplines
  • Fine Arts 5. Visual and performing arts in historical and cultural contexts

    Time Allowance: three weeks

    Description: Will assist students in visually developing our contemporary artist''s roots in music.

    Comments: I allowed my students three weeks to complete this assignment. During which I allowed limited time in class, along with one class trip to the library. This assignment is also designed to stimulate self-guided research utilizing our media center and the Internet.

    Classroom Component:



    This assignment is similar to the game entitled "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." Your directions are to choose a contemporary band (it may be your favorite, it may not) and to connect that band, through no more than six connections (no fewer than five), to a popular jazz performer from the 1920's, 30's, or 40's.

    Your presentation should be in diagram form (a chart, a tree, a web-be creative!) and should have a short explanation of how each individual is connected with one another. This project will take time---so be patient and do not procrastinate. Include a bibliography of all resources you used to connect your band (or singer) to a jazz musician. Good luck-and have fun!

    You have until ____________to finish this project.

    My Example:

    1. Alicia Keys
    2. Roberta Flack (Killing me Softly with His Song)
    3. Les McCann (Discovered Roberta Flack)
    4. Gene Daniels (Played with Les McCann)
    5. Dizzie Gillespie (Performed with Gene Daniels)
    6. Charlie "Bird" Parker (Met Dizzie Gillespie in Kansas City)

    With this information, I might make a flow chart using poster board, colored markers, glitter, etc. to highlight important information. I would also include a couple of recordings (maybe one of Alicia Keys, and one of Charlie Parker) to highlight similarities between the artists. Another possibility is to create a PowerPoint presentation using the materials researched. If you choose PowerPoint, please include a paper copy of the presentation. Include a short biography of each "degree" you use. There should be six biographies=six degrees. The biographies and bibliography must be typed if you plan to use them in your flow chart (and typed regardless where you use them for the project).

    Your creativity, neatness and presentation of the final product are worth a significant part of this grade. Include this sheet with your bibliography-it is worth 20 points of your grade!

    Six Degrees of Music Appreciation Scoring Guide



    Date of presentation_____________________


    Points Earned
    Six degrees used 20 points  
    Presentation 20 points  
    Six biographies 20 points  
    Bibliography 20 points  
    Creativity 20 points  
    Instructional sheet included with project 20 points  
    All materials typed 20 points  
    Research (I used on library days) -- are they using their time wisely? 50 points  
    Neatness 10 points  
    TOTAL 200 points  

    Student Sample

    student sample


    For additional information contact :
    Elise Gutshall
    Smithville High
    Smithville R-II
    (816) 532-0405

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