Seattle Second Graders learn about John Coltrane’s childhood 1


The JackStraw Cultural Center, under direction of Joan Rabinowitz, asked me to teach a jazz workshop for second graders.

I suggested we learn about the childhood of John Coltrane.  Educator Joan Hsiao and I spent 6 class sessions with each of two second grade classes at McGilvra Public Elementary School.  We learned about sound, sound effects, different sounds that musical instruments make.  We listened to John Coltane and Miles Davis on “Kind of Blue” – and we learned about Coltrane’s childhood in High Point, North Carolina.

John Coltrane's 3rd Grade Class Photo -- High Point North Carolina - 1934

John Coltrane’s 3rd Grade Class Photo — High Point North Carolina – 1934

After learning about Coltrane’s youth, we assigned the children into groups of 4, in order to write radio plays about Coltrane.

Each group was given a theme – either Segregation, Loss of a parent, or moving from the country to the city

here are a few samples of their work.

remember, these children are 7 years old:

SHORT RADIO PLAYS:

ABOUT LOSING HIS DAD AT AGE 13

https://soundcloud.com/steve-rowland-13/10-loss-3

ABOUT SEGREGATION

https://soundcloud.com/steve-rowland-13/12-segregation-4

AND A PERFORMANCE OF “A LOVE SUPREME” WITH QUOTES BY COLTRANE

https://soundcloud.com/steve-rowland-13/15-a-love-supreme-2


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