Teaching Tools

JSO Teaching Tools contains a collection of syllabi from professors who are bringing jazz into the academy. Explore materials from courses taught at Columbia, Yale, the University of Kansas, and a growing library of curriculum resources for teachers of all grade levels.

  • In the 20th Century, improvisation in the contemporary arts has served as a symbol of new models of social organization that foreground agency, history, memory, identity, personality, freedom, embodiment, cultural difference and self-determination.

  • This course explores 20th century cultural history through the music, ideas, and image of pianist/composer Thelonious Monk. We are particularly interested in how Monk has been "constructed" by critics, fans, writers, visual artists, the music industry, the media, etc., and how Monk himself helped shape his public image. After all, Monk became a major icon for Beat generation poets, surrealist artists, and emerging avant garde jazz musicians, despite the fact that he neither identified nor engaged these creative artists directly.