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Eckstine, Strayhorn, and the Dorseys: Masters of Swing
What to Know
Teaching Time
Four class periods
Grade Level
Middle School
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
  • History
Historical Period
  • The Great Depression and World War II - 1929-1945
  • Post-WWII Pennsylvania - 1946-1974
Students will investigate the contributions of the Dorsey Brothers, Billy Eckstine and William Strayhorn to Swing Music.


1. Compose a working definition of swing. 2. Develop a timeline of the events in the swing era (1940s). 3. Read selected biographies. 4. Listen to music composed or performed by swing artists. 5. Compare two styles of music – jazz and swing.

Standards Alignment

  • Arts and Humanities

    9.2.12. B. Relate works in the arts chronologically to historical events (Historical and Cultural Contexts).
    9.2.12. C. Relate works in the arts to varying styles and genre and to the periods in which they were created (Historical and Cultural Contexts).
    9.2.12. H. Identify, explain, and analyze the work of Pennsylvania Artists in visual arts.
    9.2.12. L. Identify, explain, and analyze common themes, forms, and techniques from works in the arts.
    9.3.12. A. Explain and apply the critical examination processes of works in the arts and humanities (Critical Response).
    9.3.12. C. Apply systems of classification for interpreting works in the arts and forming a critical response (Critical Response).

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

    1.6.5. C. Speak using skills appropriate to formal speech situations.
    1.6.5. D. Contribute to discussions.

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