Instructional Blueprint Template

Topic: Beginning Jazz Improvisation

Subject Area:  Jazz Band

Audience/Grade Level:  Grades 10 - 12

Purpose:  Provide an understanding of the fundamentals of jazz improvisation.


1.  Students will be able to identify Chords Symbols.

2.  Students will add ideas to their "Bag of Tricks"

3.  Students will be able to transcribe a jazz solo at a basic level.

4.  Students will be able to apply the concepts listed above in order to improvise on their instrument.

Essential learning element Number 1


Activity 1- Students will view the video of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker perform the standard tune "Hot House."  Teacher will point out various aspects of improvisation and discuss similarities and differences between the two soloists.


Essential learning element Number 2

Goals & Objectives

Activity 1 - Teacher will explain the goals and objectives for jazz improvisation. Teacher will guide students to assist in creating a list of tasks that should be completed in order to develop improvisational skills.

Present & Guide

Essential llearning element Number 3

Prior Knowledge

Activity 1- Teacher will explain the "Bag of Tricks" and ask students what they already know that can be applied to improvisation.  


URL and description of the role of the Web enhancements in this activity.

Activity 2 - Students will visit the webquest listed below.  Along the journey the teacher will ask students what topics they were already aware of and what was new.  Students can also visit this site to gain information to develop their own "Bag of Tricks."

Guide - This site is a webquest covering the basics of improvisation over a 12 Bar Blues Progression.

Essential learning element Number 4


Activity 1- Students will use the site below to enter the chord progression for a basic 12 bar blues form and then for the changes to "Corner Pocket" by Count Basie, which the band will be playing this Spring.  The site will give them the correct notes to use for the given changes and also has a section to explain how they derived at those notes.

Active Learning - This webpage allows students to enter  notes and it will spell the chords.  It also works in reverse allowing students to figure out what notes will work for a given chord progression.

Activity 2- Students will be divided by sections to create a "Bag of Tricks" of their own by consulting the following website from Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Collaborative Learning - This site from Jazz at Lincoln Center provides a tutorial about the elements of jazz improvisation.

Essential learning element Number 5

Guided Practice

Activity 1- Students will visit the blog listed below to understand the basic principles of transcribing music as it relates to jazz improvisation.  

Active Learning. - This site is a blog with information and links about how to get started with transcribing music as it relates to jazz immprovisation.

Activity 2- Students will select a solo and download it from the site listed below.  They will then transcribe a minimum of 32 measures of an improvisation solo.  After completing this, they will demonstrate the elements from the "Bag of Tricks" that were used.

Active Learning

Essential learning element Number 6


Activity 1-Students will repeat Number 4, Activity 1 with a progression of their choice.  It may be something from a piece the band is rehearsing or something new.

Active Learning

Activity 2- Students will improvise on their instrument over a 12 Bar Blues Progression.

Role Playing

Essential learning element Number 7


Activity 1- Students will upload examples of their improvisation on the site below and they will also comment and critique each other.

Problem Based Learning - Gaggle Group site for my student's Jazz Improvisation.

Activity 2- Students will improvise on pieces of music being performed in class.

Problem Based Learning