Living Jazz

Living Jazz Children’s Program (LJCP)

In 2005, in an effort to help fill the gap in music education in the Oakland public schoolsystem, Living Jazz created the Living Jazz Children’s Program (LJCP), a free music education program with an integrated approach to VAPA standards for 1st – 3rd grades, now serving over 400 students in three schools.  Its two complementary components (vocal and rhythm) teach music through the lens of diverse cultural traditions and history. The  Living Jazz Children’s Program choral component teaches vocal fundamentals, simple body percussion and performance skills for large group ensemble singing, along with the historical and cultural context of the repertoire as it relates to the civil rights movement, Dr. King and its other leaders. Our professional teaching artists compose and arrange compositions highlighting civil rights activists and social justice to be performed in school assemblies and at a major public concert. The Living Jazz Rhythm Program builds on the choral component's exposure to rhythm and body percussion with more complex polyrhythms and the use of instruments. It continues to emphasize the historical context ofmusic via the cultures and history of the African Diaspora, further develops rhythmic coordination, and strengthens the musical skills needed for OUSD’s band/orchestra program. Each season, Afro-Caribbean folkloric specialists are hired to implement this rhythm component. LJCP provides weekly lessons throughout the entire school year culminating in high profile performances and in-school assemblies.