Blues News

KTBA Infuses Jazz into Middle School Band

Quest Charter AcademyThis week, Keeping The Blues Alive wants to tell you about a school in Taylor, MI called Quest Charter Academy!  The school is located just southwest of its neighboring major city – Detroit, and boasts a young 5th-8th grade student body comprised of students from many different neighboring communities.  On a good day, their parents can drop them off; On a bad day, when they can’t afford the tank of gas to get there, the students are excused.  The students are brave, they are courageous, and are exposed to many life-altering circumstances that we all know children should not have to endure.

However, when these kids come to Ms. King’s music class, they are seemingly transported into another dimension where their opinions matter, their worries are lifted, and they are free to express themselves.  The students really care about learning to perform music; Ms. King enrolled them in the district Solo and Ensemble Adjudication Program, where her students received Division 1 and 2 ratings!

When faced with the task of trying to find suitable music to teach these children, Ms. King turned to jazz music.  Why Jazz?  In a nutshell, jazz music is performed using a set system of standard progressions and cadences, BUT easily yields to improvisation which is why so many different instrumentalists have been able to excel in this particular artform.  Pianists, Drummers, Bassists and pretty much every other instrument except harmonica (know any jazz harmonica players? Tell us!), know that at one point in their musical career, a teacher taught them the basics of jazz, 7th chords,The Circle of Fourths/Firths, or any combination of them.

In order to get these kids started, Ms. King needed some equipment so the students would not need to be financially responsible for providing their own gear for such specific tone qualities.  The equipment consisted of a GSRM20 Mikro Short-Scale Bass Guitar (to accommodate for their small stature at this age level), an instrument cable and the standard Ultrabass BXL900 90W 1×12″ Bass Combo (the fundamentals).

Upon reviewing the information submitted by Ms. King about the project cost, Keeping The Blues Alive AND Ms. King allocated money to fund her project, and the students will be receiving the music equipment very soon!

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would whole heartedly like to thank you for taking the time to view my [Magnificently Musical Middle School Students] project and also personally make a contribution towards it. Your support and generous funding has allowed my students to receive their first school bass guitar and amplifier for our school jazz band.  I know they will be thrilled to hear how it impacts our sound and enhances the ensemble.   More importantly this organization and your support helps reinforce the idea that hard work and perseverance achieves success and a positive outcome.  I look forward to watching their faces light up when they see and hear the bass guitar during our rehearsals.  I hope you look forward to your upcoming thank you letters.  Once again thank you so much for taking the time to support music education and making a difference in students lives.”       – With gratitude, Ms. King

We would like to thank our donors for supporting this project – Scott, Judy, and our donors the past week!

To donate to the next music project, CLICK HERE TO DONATE!

THANK YOU for keeping music and arts in our schools!

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