Check out this article in the Wall Street Journal about a class of second graders in Queens who were introduced to the music of John Coltrane by their teacher, Christine Passarella. Apparently, Passarella wanted her students to explore different kinds of intelligences. She began “mixing great works of art with classical music; and over time [she] introduced rock, the blues and jazz.” The kids took to Coltrane immediately, enjoying even the jazz great’s “more avant-garde recordings, such as ‘Interstellar Space.'”
The kids also learned that Coltrane’s home on Long Island, where he composed, among other things, A Love Supreme, was in danger of being demolished. Along with a long-time jazz enthusiast, Ms. Passarella’s students launched a grass-roots campaign to save the property. As a result, in 2005 the town bought the property and turned it into a landmark. However, it still needs extensive renovations, and the kids have taken it upon themselves to raise funds by holding raffles, cake sales and a book fair. To contribute to the campaign, visit www.the coltranehome.org.
It’s always cool hearing about things like this. Visit their website for sure, then check out one of my favourite Coltrane tunes – “My Favourite Things” – below: