Presenting the Chants

Jazz chajits are based on a combination of repetition and learned response. The essential element in presenting a chant is to maintain a clear, steady beal and rhythm.

Initially, the students should «peat the lines of the chant following a model provided by the teacher aa&or the cassette. Once the students are familiar with the material, they should progress from a simple choral repetition of a phrase to giving a group response in answer to a question or statement. This introduces an important new element as the class is now engaged in a dialogue with the teacher. This dialogue may then be transformed into a three or four-part exchange.

Many of the chants lend themselves to role playing, which enables the students to move from the formal structure of the chants to an informal classroom improvisation, using what they have learned in a situational context. These improvisations give the students not only the opportunity to speak individually but to make choices of altitude in their responses. During «he role playing, it is important to make sure that the students retain the rhythm and intonation patterns established earlier.

General Suggestions for Presenting the Chants

STEP 1        .Explain the functional context of the chant, using either the students' native language 01* very simple English. You should clearly explain any vocabulary items or expressions which might present difficulties, and may wish to discuss the cultural implications of the material.

STEP 2        Have the students listen to the first presentation of the chant on the cassette or as read by you.

STEP 3        Have the students repeat any difficult sounds or particularly new or difficult structures.

STEP 4        Have ihe students repeat each line of the chant after you. It is important ю establish a clear, strong beat by counting, clapping, using rhythm sticks, or snapping your fingers.

STEP 5       Have the students listen again to the solo presentation of the


STEP 6        Divide die class into two (or three) groups, each taking a role in the dialogue of the chant. Have each group repeat their lines after you.

STEP 7        Have the students respond to you, taking one of the roles in the dialogue of the chant, without hearing you model it first.

STEP 8        Divide the class again and have them perform the chant without your model. You now serve as a conductor, keeping a solid, unifying beat while bringing in the two sections at the correct time.

STEP 9        Have the class continue to work with the chant by using three or four-part exchanges, pair work, and role play