Professional Development

Use the Blues to Improve Literacy & Help Close the Achievement Gap:
Music as a Second Language



• Teachers, Principals/Administrations, Superintendents,
• Local School Council Members, Parents
• Participants don't have to be musically inclined to benefit from this experience.

• Talent Buyers


Ideal For:             

• Teacher Workshops and Workplace Team Building



• STEAM         
• Literacy
• Discipline
• Drop Out Prevention
• Digital Learning
• Music Education

• Youth Symposiums
• Cultural Relevant Teaching Strategies


Presenter: Fernando Jones 

• Blues Ensemble Director, Columbia College Chicago

• Blues Kids Foundation, Executive Director

• Founder of Blues Kids of America

• Author of “I Was There When The Blues Was Red Hot”   

• Chicago Blues Hall of Fame Inductee

• "Keeping the Blues Alive Award" recipient



This hands-on, interactive and entertaining seminar is designed  to give life-long learners (including but not limited to administrators, pre-K through university instructors, parents and community leaders) strategies to engage non-traditional learners in the classrooms and community using America's roots music. Culturally relevant teaching strategies will also be demonstrated and supported by statistics, the integration of technology and live music. Strategies to help improve literacy, attendance and discipline will also be demonstrated through best practices. Participants don't not have to be musically inclined to benefit from this experience. Some may even receive harmonicas.


Fernando Jones has been invited to lecture and facilitated team building seminars throughout the continental United States and Hawaii by institutions and corporations including the Smithsonian, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame + Museum, the LA Unified School District(s), the Annual NABSE Conference, the Conservatory in Pescara, Italy, and Nike.


Learning Outcomes
For educators to be able to:

• Take strategies learned in the session back into their classrooms/districts.
• Improve literacy, attendance and help close the achievement gap.
• Design team-building exercises with their students.
• Present a collaborative project at the end of the session.


Pre-Session Activities (30 Minutes)
• Background Music Plays Softly
• Presenter Meets & Greets Participants
• Slide Show of Past Sessions

Professional Development Session Outline (60 - 90 Minutes)


Part I: Introduction
A.    Proctor Introduces FJ (1 Minute)
B.    Overview (2 Minutes)


Part 2: What Do You Already Know About this Subject?
C.    Ice Breaking Exercise (2 Minutes)
D.    Strategies: Characters - Social Studies + History (5 minutes)
E.    Stats +  Music and Cognition Connection to Test Scores (2 minutes)
Part 3A: Brain Teaser | Zinger

Part 3B: Cultural Relevant Teaching Strategies
(Joe-Nathan: Understanding is the Greatest Thing in the World)
F.    Dr. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory and Music Connection
        Musical Learners (3 minutes)
G.    The Historical Importance and Cultural Relevance (5 minutes)
H.    Hands-on Activity: Jones Technique w/Harmonicas (5 Minutes)
Part 4A: Brain Teaser | Zinger

Part 4B: Collegiality: Peer Teaching / Peer Collaboration Exercise
I.     Breakout Collaboration Activity (3 - 5 groups 15 Minutes)
J.    Group Presentation of Song (10 Minutes)
K.   Recap / Benefits of Roots Music in the Classroom (3 Minutes)


Part 5: Conclusion
(What Have You Learned?)

L.   Comments, Q & A, and Meet the Presenter (10 Minutes)
M.  Book Signing


Photos by Fernando Jones & Glenn Kaupert