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Section Section Opener AFRICAN CULTURAL CONNECTIONS TO THE UNITED STATES Fg Introduction In this section students explore the ways in which African traditions have influenced American culture. In a Response Group activity, students learn how four African musical traditions have influenced American music, such as blues, rap, and jazz. Then, in a Writing for Understanding activity, students view images and match them with written information to learn how various types of African traditions have influenced American traditions. Working in pairs, students then write a letter to an African friend explaining which traditions have survived in America, Objectives Students will be able to + identify four African musical traditions in American music; + write a letter describing which African traditions have had an influence ‘on American traditions. Materials In addition to the transparencies, student handouts (which you will copy for the students), and transparency masters (which you will copy onto transparencies) provided in this section, you will need an overhead projector, and a CD player. (© Teacher” Caius oder Africa 115 Identifying African Traditions in American Music Response Group Overview In this Response Group activity students learn about four African musical traditions and how they have influenced American music. Working in groups of three, students lear about and hear examples of four African musical traditions: improvisation, swing thythm, call and response, and variety of sound ideals, Then students listen to recordings of American songs—blues, rap, and jazz—that have been influenced by African musical traditions. For each song, students listen to a portion of the recording and perform how they think the next portion—which reflects the influence of an African musical (radition—will sound, ‘The teacher then plays the next portion of the song to reveal how the tradition was performed. Afterward, students discuss the influence of African musical traditions on American music, Procedures at a Glance Place students in heterogeneous groups of three, Tell students they will leam about African musical traditions and then perform how they think the traditions will sound in several pieces of American music. Project Transparencies 4,1A and 4,1B, and introduce students fo the role of music in African and American cultures. Pass out a copy of Student Handout 4.14 to each student, play CD Track 5, and have groups listen to the information about four African musical traditions. Next, pass out a copy of Student Handout 4.1B to each student, and review Question 1 with them. Play CD Track 6, and have students perform how they think the song—influenced by an African musical (radition—will sound, ‘Then, play CD Track 7 to reveal the answer, Continue this process for CD Tracks 8 through 17 and have students respond to the remaining questions, Finally, hold a class discussion about the influence of African musical traditions on American music, 16 SModem Aten 1 Teachers’ Cusco Ineitte a +] Procedures in Detail I. This activity is designed to introduce students to four African musical traditions — improvisation, swing rhythm, call and response, and variety of sound ideals—and how they have influenced types of American music, such as blues, rap, and jazz, By learni how African musical traditions sound in contemporary American music, students will gain a richer understanding of the ways African culture has influenced American culture. (Note: Because this activity requires students to perform musically in groups, students may feel anxious or uncomfortable. ‘To prepare them, you may want (o have students participate in a musical ice-breaker, such as singing “Row, row, row your boat” in three rounds.) ig 2. Before class, divide students into heterogeneous groups of three. Prepare an overhead transparency that shows students how to arrange their desks. Project the transparency, and ask students to move into their correct places. ‘Tell students they will learn about four African musical traditions and perform how they think the traditions will sound in pieces of American music. Project Transparencies 4.1A and 4.1B—which show African and American musicians, respectively—and use the following information to explain the important role music plays in African American cultures: nd In Africa, music accompanies most human undertakings, from spiritual ceremonies to daily work fo entertainment. For thousands of years, African nusic has been composed for use in ceremonies honoring important occasions, such as births, deaths, initiations, and religious worship. Other forms of African music are spontaneously created during everyday activities, from the rhythmic grinding of millet to the hoarse cries of physical labor. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, many Africans were enslaved and taken to the United States to work on plantations. They brought with them a variety of musical traditions, including improvisation, swing rhythm, call and response, and variety of sound ideals. Over time, imported European musical traditions fused with African ‘musical traditions to create new indigenous American music genres such as blues, jazz, rock and roll, and rap. American nusic owes its existence to musical traditions from both cultures. 4, Tell students they will now learn about and hear examples of four African musical traditions, Pass out a copy of Student Handout 4.14: Information on African Musical Traditions to each student. (Note: In this activity, American musical terms are used to describe African musical traditions.) Play CD Track 5, which introduces students to improvisation, swing rhythm, call and response, and variety of sound ideals. The script of the recording appears in the Teacher’s Guide to Music. Encourage students to participate when appropriate, (© Teachers’ Cursicutum Teste Modem Atvica 117