Online Lesson Plan Listen Up! Swinging with some Big Band Music
Lesson Plan by , Coordinator of Music Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Dr. Berke received both her Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music Education degrees from Drake University, and her PhD from The University of Arizona. She taught elementary and middle school vocal/general music in Iowa, Arizona, and Nebraska. In addition to teaching in public schools, she has been teaching music at the preschool level for six years in various settings. She has been a clinician at numerous national and regional conferences. Her current research interests include early childhood music education, music education for students with special needs, the Orff-Schulwerk approach to music education, and the integration of music and the arts within the general curriculum.
Music & Social Studies
|Suggested Grade Level:
Auditory & Kinesthetic
|What are these educational concepts?|
In this lesson, using a listening map as a guide, students will:
- analyze the piece, “Jeep Jockey Jump” for instrumentation, formal structure, and stylistic characteristics.
Students should have read the “Pop Culture Goes to War” under the “Farm Life Section” and Glenn Miller bio found under “A Jeep is a Jeep, right?” in the “Machines Section.”
As we visited the Wessels Living History Farm website we found that “jazz was the most popular form of music during the war.” One of the most famous musicians from the 1940s was Glenn Miller. Today we’re going to explore one of his pieces called “Jeep Jockey Jump.”
Links from within the Wessels Living History Farm site. [Note that clicking on these links will open a new browser window. Just close it and you’ll be back to this page.] Direct the students to these pages.
- Have students read the A Jeep is a Jeep, right? story.Then have them listen to the song “Jeep Jockey Jump” by Glenn Miller (right). Then have them read the biography of Glenn Miller on the song page.
- Then, have students read the Pop Culture Goes to War story.
- Download and print out the Listening Guide for “Jeep Jockey Jump” found here. Note that this is an Adobe Acrobat™ document. You can download the Acrobat Reader here.
- Listen to the piece “Jeep Jockey Jump” and try to identify the instruments you hear. (Saxophone, trombone, trumpet, bass, drum set, clarinet-are all great answers, it’s a little hard to discern everything on the recording.)
- This time when we listen we are going to use a Listening Guide to help prepare our ears for what we’ll hear. (You may wish to do multiple listenings with the guide.)
- Following the use of listening guide, ask the following questions
- What instrument is playing the melody in the A section (Trumpets).
- Why does the A section keep coming back? (It provides structure by giving your ear something familiar)
- What is the purpose of the drum set and bass? (To keep the beat)
- You can omit the number of beat for each section and have students count the beats
- What is the music term to describe what happens at the end of the piece (ritardando)
- Why is the title of the piece “Jeep Jockey Jump”? What is in the music that is reflected in the title?
- Which section might sound different if we heard it played by another jazz ensemble? (C)
Understanding of a piece of music comes from MULTIPLE listenings. To aid in student success, you may wish to play this piece in your classroom several times before you even approach this lesson.
Having pictures of the instruments may be helpful to some students.
Investigate the high school jazz bands in the area. It’s possible that you can have your students attend a live performance of some Glenn Miller Music.
As an extension, listen to another piece by Glenn Miller, such as “Tuxedo Junction.” Have students compare/contrast the two pieces.
Conclusion of the Lesson
Glenn Miller is one of the most well-remembered jazz musicians of the 1940s, and it is exciting to know that someone so famous once lived in nearby North Platte.
You can use the questions for large/small group discussion or have students answer individually.
As a follow up, you can have students create a listening guide for another piece on the site.
Get Published. You can also submit your own lesson plan based on this Web site to us by clicking the button at right. We will review the plan and publish it for you.