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February 1, 2023 / District

Educator presents at state conference

Traducción

Jackson Middle School Vocal Music teacher Sarah Giordano was recently chosen to co-present a session at the 2023 Illinois Music Education Conference. Giordano presented “Ukulele Jam Session” with colleague and friend Paul Marchese, a vocal music teacher at Hadley Junior High.

“It was so much fun,” said Giordano. “This was a jam session, just for the love of playing. We played some basic chords and elaborate pieces like Hotel California, which had all sorts of bar chords. It was a ton of fun to sing, play and harmonize.”

Giordano’s part of the session included a lesson she does with her 8th-grade student musicians called Playin’ the Blues. The three-chord blues progression teaches students some basic skills and is intended to reach a wider audience.

Giordano’s session also included a lesson that Jackson students learn as part of their Jazz Lab with Mr. Koppel, where attendees learned how to “solo” using notes from the A blues scale. “I shared with them the happy notes that would always fit, the blue notes, and the color notes.”

Students at Jackson learn the ukulele as part of their learning experience.

“The District generously purchased a classroom set of ukuleles right before Covid,” said Giordano. “It’s been an enormous addition to our music department. The kids love to play the ukuleles.”

With about 11,000 music educators at the conference, Giordano appreciated yet another opportunity to present. She has previously presented at the conference in 2015 and 2018.

“I don’t mind presenting. As a teacher, we do that every day. But this opportunity really amped me up. I was excited to share my experience with the attendees.”