I present workshops to groups of students which introduce kids to the instruments and roles in an improvising jazz group. I also try to incorporate larger 'curriculum based' themes, and use the ensemble as an extended metaphor. Since nobody thinks in complete sentences, or even bullet points, here is a play by play look at an upcoming workshop for K-2nd graders on bullying.
we would love to present at your school / we would love to have you I’ve looked through your website / yes / the older students are learning about bullying, how to avoid it and deal with different / we could do something that relates / relational aggression / sure here are some / can you get back to me with the details / sure you can ask your students how they would / great this will prepare them / perfect / great / see you / then
please welcome / thanks we are glad / going to introduce you to / but also / really important for friends / in a class / in a school / bullying / different types / hurtful / ideas / [many suggestions or very shy or both, moderate] / in a band a group very similar / [they all think about this, connections made, groundwork laid] / so let’s get to work / can anyone tell me / you blow into it / but how can I / with your lips / [try it, doesn’t work, laughs] / no like this / this way / [it works] / oh now how does it sound / great / great I can even play in different / [they listen and appreciate the variety] / let’s talk about my band / my friends / you have groups of well it’s the same / [they nod, some share, raise hands] / listen to how / [other two play, leaving no space for me, laughs, it’s funny but proves the point] / now could I / no / when I tried to / nooooo / that is being excluded / have you ever / yes yes / the opposite is / [hands, ideas, one or two wrong and then they get it] / how could they / ideas / [ideas, I guide them to the most sensible] / now we’ll try / much better, no / yes / [applause, done with that part]
this is what / [hands, they pretty much got it] / what does he / yes, that’s the job / yes / well let’s see if he can join / [comes to play, many stops, loud words and exaggerated unfriendliness] / laughs at exaggerated unfriendliness] / did we include / yes / yes but how / [unfriendliness, to much yelling, they understand that] / being bossy / no good / nooooo / how can we / we can help / ask / let him have ideas / let’s help him with some / [four come up and each take a part, explain part, perform together, gradually give back to professional who can incorporate] / does this work / yes / yes, and now we can / great / great / [applause, now he fits]
now it gets harder because / more subtle / who’s ever laughed at / lots of hands / ideas / [they share, careful to keep them on topic, after appropriate number of] / we can include and let him make his own / sometimes still easy to hurt peoples / watch example / see if you can figure out what and why / [he plays, with us, can’t fit in, tries some things, we make it a point to laugh off his] / was that very / noooooooo / friendly / nooooo / how can we help to / ideas / this is more complicated because we will try / understand / discuss / people to help / three experts / [giggles, this is very exciting for those who get to, give three examples of types, they act them out] / now which seems to fit the best / opinions of experts / he chooses / we try / it works / he’s been able to be part / with help / with his own ideas / understanding feels good no / yes / who deserves to / [all of us] / ok
now we have to talk about / the most important thing / how to respect / ideas / [just a few, this is the big point so stay on topic so you can] / I need a few groups to / now we’re set with friends / friends need to careful / about how they treat others / especially when they’re not / what do we call / [ideas] / rumors / no / yes / ooooh / and it’s easy even for friendly people to / let’s see / let’s talk about his / oh that was really / why do you think / I bet he / no, I bet he / [exaggerated, keep it funny but also a little rough, stop when it gets too] / how do you think he would feel if / how are we all feeling about / next person / [they’ve got the idea, faster now] / feeling good / no / making it easier or harder for us to / harder / yes / last one / [really bad, quicker] / now let’s remember what we learned earlier / did we help to include / remember that he just needed / talking in rumors didn’t help / no / what about / him / [same] / and / [also, now they are getting the connection, bringing it home] / these ways hurt / not respectful / respect means including / respect means helpingrespect means understanding / treating people the right way / not friends with everyone / but with respect / helps us get along / like a band / [now we play, all together, the harmony is outstanding] / next time / think about how you can include / and help if someone / try to understand / and this band / so you know / thank you.