A couple of days ago while watching television, I saw a young couple preparing for the birth of their first child. One of their daily rituals was placing a stereo speaker over the women’s abdomen and playing classical music. They figured that in order to get the child used to the ‘finer things in life,” they had to expose him/her to classical music early in order for them to appreciation it. Whether or not they were successful, I don’t know, but it does make sense to introduce the finer things in life to our young ones as early as possible. Maybe during pregnancy is a bit early-after all with all the sounds the unborn might be exposed to (for example the beating of the mother’s heart, the pulsating sounds of arteries in the mother’s abdomen), it might be hard for anyone to hear. But once the child is born, things are different. Early exposure is critical because it allows a cultivation that may last a lifetime. We can do the same with jazz, since we know that it is one of the “finest things in life.”
I recently met a writer at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival who authored a book that allows our young ones to be exposed to and flourish in the medium of jazz. Edward Allan Faine, along with Kristina Leahy Celich who was the illustrator, wrote a board book called Bebop Babies,and it’s a great way to introduce a young child to jazz music. It’s at Amazon, and according to the book’s description, …”This board book features cute babies emulating their idols Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Charlie Parker (saxophone), J.J. Johnson (trombone), Sarah Vaughan (singer), Milt Jackson (vibes), Kenny Clarke/Max Roach (drums) and more!”
As part of this month’s campaign to “ Promote jazz, especially to our youth,” this is an excellent way to get started. And when they get older and want to learn more about this great American treasure, they can then read the ii-V-I: A JassOdyssey series. Both books are great ways to “Promote Jazz, especially to our Youth.” What do you think? You can write and respond. Remember-Take the Test, Take the Journey.