Black History Month Music Lessons: Louis Armstrong & Scatting
Looking for some quick Black History Month music lessons for your classes? Here’s a quick jazz music lesson based on Louis Armstrong and scatting.
Introduction to Louis Armstrong
- Louis Armstrong had a rough start in life. If he had not been introduced to the cornet at the home for boys, things might have turned out quite differently for him.
- At the time that Louis Armstrong’s career as a musician took off, in the 1930s, it was common for black musicians to be treated differently. Louis Armstrong was the first black musician to have it written in his contract that he would not perform at any hotel that would not also allow him to stay there as a guest.
- Louis Armstrong: Meet One of Jazz’s Most Influential Musicians | BrainPOP – YouTube (Primary & Junior grades)
- Louis Armstrong: Broke Down Barriers for African American Artists | Biography – YouTube (Junior & Intermediate grades)
Introduction to Scatting
Scatting Teaching Points:
- Louis Armstrong was not the first person to scat-sing, but he is the person who made it famous.
- Scatting is a style of singing that does not use words. Instead, the singer uses their voice to imitate the sound of jazz instruments.
- Louis Armstrong “Dinah” (scat singing) – YouTube (all ages)
- Children’s Read Aloud. When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat – YouTube (Primary Grades)
- “Scat Cat” featuring Sam Payne (Cool Tunes for Kids by Eric Herman) – YouTube
- Scat Singing Explained and Example – YouTube (Junior – Int Grades)
- Fun Jazz Vocal Exercise with Scat Syllables – “Softly As In The Morning Sunrise” – YouTube – echo exercise for students to try scatting
- ‘N Sync & Phil Collins – Trashin’ The Camp (Official Music Video) – YouTube – mainstream example of scatting from the soundtrack of the animated “Tarzan” movie
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