Charlie Parker was a pioneering jazz saxophonist and composer, famous for his role in founding the innovative bebop style of jazz in the early 1940s.
Born on August 29, 1920, Charlie "Yardbird" Parker is one of the best-known musicians to come out of jazz-rich Kansas City. The video here (right) is a collection of music by Mr. Parker. Listen while you complete your recording sheet.
What Do You Wonder?
What does it mean to be a pioneer? How does the term apply to Charles Parker?
Why was Parker's life cut short? Read a short biography of Charles Christopher Parker and identify some events that may have led to his early demise.
What is the life of a black man in Kansas City in the 1930s like?
What Do You Notice?
After reading Parker's biography, what do you notice about his childhood?
What kind of choices did he make as an adult?
What does Yardbird's music tell you? Even without lyrics, does his music tell you anything about his moods?
How Saxophones Are Made
Sometimes, when we go to the movies or as we watch a show on TV, we are transported into the plot. Directors understand that their selection of background music can change and enhance a scene.
Now it is time to turn it around. This time, the music comes first. Do not watch the video; instead, let the music lead your imagination. As it plays, allow it to transport you into a scene that has yet to be written.
Then, write the scene.
Looking at all the pictures in the class, is it possible to classify them into categories of like-minded visions?