Black History Month

Black History

Have a great classroom activity or lesson plan for Black History Month you’d like to share with fellow music teachers? Send it to to be published. You can also submit lesson plans to the new My Music Class®.

Black History Month Classroom Ideas from NAfME Members

General music classroom ideas include “What Can One Little Person Do?”, celebrating the lives of Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., and  the song “Martin Luther King” shared by Tony Award-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda. 

During Black History Month in February Explore Music’s Rich Role

Music plays a large role in black history. Here are some resources music educators can share with their students. The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) offers a variety of lesson plans, and here are few from other sources.

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz Fundamentals Series

Jazz at Lincoln Center is excited to offer a series of Jazz Fundamentals videos. Join drummer Bryan Carter and his band as they explore, explain, and perform some of the basic concepts of Jazz in a fun and swinging set!




Lesson Plans for Black History Month

February is Black History Month. Explore the many contributions of African-Americans with several cross-curricular lessons, printables, quizzes, and activities below! Utilize these resources for grades K-12.


black history month | Ljupco

How Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement Intertwine

Jazz is the low moan of a saxophone, the growl of a trumpet, or staccato notes on a snare drum. Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) describes the art form as “a mingling of the musical expressions of all the people who came to the United States, by choice or by force; people from Africa, Europe, Latin America, as well as people who were already living in the U.S. Jazz was created by mixing together music from field chants and spirituals, to African rhythms and folk songs.”


Further reading:

John Lewis, “Ten black composers whose works deserve to be heard more often,” The Guardian (London), 2 June 2015.

James Bennett, II, “Black Classical: Composers and Conductors Who Shaped Music History,” WQXR Blog, 13 February 2017.

Brian Wise and the WNYC Data News Team, “Timeline: A History of Black Classical Musicians,” WQXR, 31 January 2013.

Classics for Kids, “Spotlight on Black Composers,” WQXR Podcast, 23 February 2013.

Kara McLeland, “These Seven Black Composers Made Classical Music History,” Nashville Public Radio, 1 February 2017.

Stephen Raskauskas, “9 Living Black Composers You Need to Know,” WMFT, 22 June 2015.

Alex Ross, “The Rediscovery of Florence Price,” New Yorker, 5 February 2018. (A three-day celebration of the little-known life and work of Florence B. Price, an Arkansas native and the first major female African-American classical composer, will be held Feb. 15-17 at the University of Arkansas and the Arends Art Center in Bentonville, as part of Black History Month 2018.)

Share your classroom ideas in the comments below.