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During lockdown, musicians have not been able to perform Live Music in theatres, halls and arenas and many have taken to performing at home. We have seen orchestras and choirs recording a piece separately and then join it together. Lots of people have also taken the opportunity to listen to music or create music of their own.


I am adding different styles of music to the page and some words that you can use to describe different parts of the music.

Understanding the Orchestra

There are a wide range of instruments in an orchestra and they are grouped in different sections. Below there is a mat showing the different instruments in an orchestra and the clips show an introduction to the different sections and some of the pieces they can play.

What is International Jazz Day?

International Jazz Day is an international event celebrated annually on 30th April. It was declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in 2011. It aims to highlight the role and influence of jazz in uniting people from all over the world. Acclaimed jazz musician and bandleader Herbie Hancock came up with the idea for the celebration.


How is International Jazz Day celebrated?

There are lots of events and performances across the globe in celebration of International Jazz Day. People gather to listen to their favourite musicians, discover new bands and genres and even play themselves.

Plans for the 2020 event include: 


  • A tribute to the renowned singer, songwriter and pianist Nina Simone. The performance takes place in Buenos Aires and will feature interpretations of her repertoire by talented musicians.
  • The Illicit Grooves Radio Show Jazz Day Special. The show will broadcast in the UK and will focus on Jazz from Cape Town and the wider South Africa.
  • The Crooked Tree Arts Center Jazz Jam Session. Students of the CTAC School of Music play Jazz together.
In the Host City of the event, the day culminates with an All-Star Global Concert. This involves over two-dozen jazz musicians from a variety of countries and cultures performing by or around a historical landmark. The Host City for 2020 is Cape Town, South Africa. 

How can International Jazz Day help? 

One of the main functions of International Jazz Day is to promote and encourage intercultural dialogue. Among the groups involved are schools, historians and general enthusiasts. Jazz is a diverse and multi-cultural music. Following in this vein, International Jazz Day aims to unify communities and individuals, promoting human values of peace, equality, freedom of expression and positive social change. It seems only natural that an art form with such a rich cultural heritage should seek such honourable and inclusive goals.


What is jazz?

Jazz is a genre of music that originated in black American communities at the beginning of the 20th century. A blend of lots of styles including blues, ragtime and gospel, jazz became popular throughout the world. Jazz was so popular in 1920s America that the era is often referred to as the ‘Jazz Age’. It has been referred to as “one of America’s original art forms”.

There are lots of different styles and sub-genres of Jazz, but it is generally characterised by improvisation, swing and blue notes. Playing can require great musicianship, and many Jazz musicians are incredibly talented. Instruments used in jazz could include trumpets, piano, trombones and the four types of the saxophone - soprano, alto, tenor and baritone. 

Some eminent Jazz musicians

  1. Miles Davis 
  2. Louis Armstrong
  3. Billie Holiday
  4. Duke Ellington
  5. Ella Fitzgerald


During Lockdown Musicians have been spending time at home too. Some of them have been able to record new material, some are writing songs and some are sending clips of their work which are then put together with other members of their band or orchestra.


My sister-in-law sent a link to an Orchestra she has worked with in New Zealand because they are making lots of videos about music and sound for children. Enjoy finding out more.

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