Testimonials

“Teaching Wynton Marsalis’s book Moving to Higher Ground was a most rewarding experience not only because of his contemplative, engaging prose but also because of the excellent support materials. The Arts, Rhetoric, and Swing Language Arts Study Guide offers a variety of thought-provoking lessons including a study of creative and rhetorical structures, and a list of essential questions, all of which provide a foundation for deeper understanding and appreciation for the connections between art, academics, and humanity. In addition to the extensive pre-reading activities, the curriculum provides summaries and multi-level questions over each chapter and the entire book. My students found Marsalis’s straightforward style and interesting personal anecdotes accessible and inspiring, especially when combined with the supplemental components. Many of the students said that the study guide and the activities opened new worlds for them, evoking a level of thinking they had not experienced before. It is exciting to find such a high-interest book with such user-friendly, insightful, support materials.”
– Michele Fuchs MA, High School English teacher

“The writing style and diction in this book were very educational and thought provoking. The metaphors and anecdotes were my favorite parts that challenged me.’ – Breanna S., High School Student

“Wynton Marsalis’s book, Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life, provides students with a rich opportunity to explore how “style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness and beauty of the text,” a key skill identified in the Common Core English Language Arts Standards. Arts, Rhetoric, and Swing, the accompanying study guide, is also exquisitely written and offers challenging questions and sophisticated writing prompts, while focusing on essential elements and alignment with the Common Core Standards. Perhaps more significantly, the guide makes room for teachers to determine how to make the text, the music, and the supplementary materials come alive in their own classrooms.”
– Dr. Harriet Fayne,Dean, School of Education Lehman College, The City University of New York

“Effective ways to teach across the curriculum? Check. Engaging use of non-fiction? Check.¬†Specifically tied to relevant standards and terminology? Check. Bloom’s Taxonomy–required by many school districts and a favorite of many classroom teachers? Check. This beautifully written teachers’ guide provides ready-to-use discussion points and essay questions along with clearly identified standards and terms. It makes me wish I were a student once again, learning the incredible connections between the arts, coming alive ¬†for the first time to the pulse of life in jazz and the written word.”
– Nancy Nestor-Baker PhD ,Senior Assistant Vice President for Community Engagement , United Way of Central Ohio; Former Director, P-12 Project, The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology

“This book has brought me to see all art, not only jazz, in a whole new way.”
– Demi M., High School Student

“Well beyond a world class musician, Wynton Marsalis proves to be the perfect amalgam of the International Baccalaureate (IB) learner profile; while an ultimate authority of his craft, he remains reflective of his roots, balanced and open minded in his evaluations. He forces readers to consider issues from nuanced perspectives not typically found in our classrooms. As a curriculum coordinator, I am most grateful for Arts ,Rhetoric, and Swing, not only for the clarity of writing and attention to detail that results in students of all levels grasping Marsalis’ thesis, but also for the essential questions that allow students to consider Moving to a Higher Ground with introspection and high level analysis. Thanks to Arts ,Rhetoric, and Swing, Marsalis’s work not only can be clearly integrated into new Common Core requirements, his complexity can also be responsibly demystified while remaining an excellent choice for the rigor required for Group 1, Group 3 and Theory of Knowledge components of the IB curriculum.”
– Trevor Kielmeyer, International Baccalaureate Curriculum Coordinator

“I really appreciated the honesty of this book. It made it seem more heartfelt. I feel the vocabulary challenged me on new levels.
– Katlyn K, High School Student

“Our Contemporary Literature class has just finished reading Moving to Higher Ground, How Jazz Can Change Your Life. I had no idea how soulful and powerful jazz is and how it can be a perfect metaphor for a fulfilling life. After class I researched some of the recommended listening and liked what I heard. Infusing charming anecdotes with an elevated vocabulary and culminating chapters with powerful life lessons kept my interest and made me reflect on my life.”
– Troy E., High School Student

“Oh the blues … one could go on about it forever. I love the way you were able to explain the dichotomy of it in a way that made perfect sense.”
– Amy N., High School Student