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Song: My Little Suede Shoes

How I will introduce it: I would begin my introduction to the song by giving the
students an opportunity to hear the original recording. This would allow students to
interpret the song the way it was originally performed and begin making musical
decisions regarding style, articulation, rhythmic placement, and phrasing. Following this,
I would teach the tune using call and response with the drummer playing the groove from
the recording.

How I will teach it: My focus for this unit would be how one can go about improvising
over a ii-V-I progression. To accomplish this, we would, as a class, rehearse voice
leading from V chords to I chords, resolving 7s to 3s, flat-9s to 5s, sharp-9s to 9s and
3rds. We would then repeat this practice, this time applying it to the resolution of ii
chords to V chords. From there, we would, as a class, compose a series of 4-bar solos on
the board that used proper voice leading, good note selection, and rhythms made up of
appropriate jazz rhythmic vocabulary. Following this practice of in-class composition and
performance, students would be assigned with the task of composing their own solos over
ii-V-I progressions and be given the choice of whether or not they would like to perform
them in class.

This unit would culminate in a performance that saw students perform My Little Suede
Shoes with the inclusion of composed material in the form of (a) student-composed
written solos, (b) embellished versions of student-composed written solos, and (c)
backgrounds, created through the adaptation of composed material from students who did
not want to solo. Soloists would also have the option of improvising over the progression,
but do so in such a way that saw them apply the skills, habits, and techniques learned
throughout the unit.

Assessment: For this unit, students would generally be assessed through observation
during in-class activities, with assessment focusing on students ability to echo melodic
lines, make appropriate note choices, engage in musical conversation, and ask appropriate
questions. The summative assessment for this unit would focus on the students written
solos and be graded on note choice, voice leading, and rhythmic variance. This
assessment would be carried out with the subjective nature of musical composition in
mind, using a simple checklist to ensure students understood the concepts and completed
the assignment with class discuss in mind.