Louis Armstrong loved the kids in his neighborhood. Pops’ 21st Century Kids is the way we continue to insure that his music, life story and legacy inspire and impact a diverse generation of young people and their families. Located in Queens, New York, one of the most ethnically diverse urban areas in the world, the Museum provides on-site, online and classroom experiences for K – 12 students and beyond. Programming reaches students throughout the New York city area and our virtual programs are also available to national and international learners.
“Words cannot express the gratitude I have for providing P.S. 92 Queens with such a well-rounded and educational after school program.” MaryAnne Guzman, Teacher Public School 92 Queens
See below for details.
After School Programs
Our after-school programs are offered to grades K-12 across all five NYC boroughs. Students will engage and respond to the newly digitized archives of jazz musician and innovator, Louis Armstrong, one of the 20th Century’s most important artistic figures. Through an interdisciplinary approach, encouraging self-expression and creative thinking, student-artists will discover and share their own capacities for innovative thinking and making. Student groups will take part in hands-on activities that will lead them in the discovery of how Jazz was born, the elements of music making, composition, rhythmic structures and more. Programs can include 12-week residencies, assemblies, as well as pre and post curricula for students, teachers and families. Engagements can be tailored to meet the needs of each learning institution.
Pops is Tops!
Our longest standing program, now in its 37th year, the Pops is Tops series of children’s concerts brings students in grades K – 6 to experience live jazz in the beautiful, Japanese inspired garden of the Louis Armstrong House Museum. Pops is Tops presents a world-class jazz artist each year; past artists have included Jon Faddis, Roy Hargrove, Ray Vega and Alphonso Horne. The program brings these artists who sell out jazz festivals world-wide and win Grammy awards, to Corona, Queens, Louis Armstrong’s neighborhood, to play for local kids. And check out this award-winning film version of Pops is Tops!
Welcome to Pops’ House
Class visits to the historic Louis Armstrong House highlight rare personal recordings of Louis and Lucille Armstrong that can be heard only at the Museum. Visits are designed for students of all ages and can be customized to support specific learning outcomes. The format of the visit includes an introduction to Louis Armstrong and his historic home; a tour of the house; and an interactive presentation led by a professional jazz musician.
The opening of the new Armstrong Center will also offer the Here to Stay Exhibit, a multi-media exhibit utilizing hundreds of items from our digitized collections such as music scores, book drafts, personal letters, collage art and thousands of hours of recordings.
Discussion subjects will include music as a source of emotional expression, the origins of jazz music and its influence on other musical genres, Armstrong’s fascination with technology, his struggle with segregation and role in the fight for civil rights and his ardent support for the cultural quality of life for the children in his home community of Corona, Queens. To inquire about these group class experiences, contact us here.
Pops for Families
Families come together in the Armstrong garden to learn more about Louis Armstrong and jazz at Pops for Families. Family events are listed on our Web site during warmer months and are held on weekends. Events are lead by Louis Armstrong teaching artists who are professional jazz musicians. They are structured as fun and interactive conversations about jazz and the life and influence of Louis Armstrong
In Corona, Queens, almost all music education in elementary schools has been cut due to budget limitations. Our goal is to supplement this need for intensive music education in Louis Armstrong’s neighborhood. Offering one-on-one and small group settings, our classes give students a strong foundation in trumpet, utilizing instruments donated especially for this purpose. This program will reduce the barriers of entry in music learning and performance for students from economically under-resourced families in the Corona Queens community.
International Exchange Programs
Louis Armstrong represented America as a cultural ambassador across the globe, touring in over 62 countries. Following in his footsteps, the new Global Ambassadors program partners with international institutions to bring music and educational programming to countries throughout the world.
In its first initiative, the Museum and the Forum for Cultural Engagement partnered with the US Embassy in Moscow to produce The Real Ambassadors, a jazz musical written by Dave and Iola Brubeck that addresses the power of music to bring us all together. Students across Russia engaged with the guiding principles of this work over the course of 2021. Recently, the Museum engaged in a cultural exchange with students in Wuppertal, Germany and the Frank Sinatra High School in Queens in partnership with the Pina Bausch Dance Company based in Germany. We traveled to Manama, Bahrain in the Middle East to conduct educational workshops in partnership with the State Department’s Art in Embassies Program and the Sheikh Ibrahim Center. The Museum also participated in an international exchange program with the Smithsonian and the International Council of Museums alongside representatives from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Congo and more on the African continent.
Reach out to bring Armstrong education programs to the students in your country.
The Louis Armstrong House Museum welcomes applications for interns during the summer months. Internships are available at the House Museum and at the Archives. Interns at the House Museum have the opportunity to lead House Tours and work closely with our Visitor Services Manager. Interns at the Archives will work with the Museum’s research collections, researchers, and staff at the Archives.
Louis Armstrong Seminar at Queens College
The Louis Armstrong House Museum’s Director of Research Collections Ricky Riccardi teaches a seminar on Louis Armstrong every two years through the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Students spend an entire semester studying Louis Armstrong’s life and music, working with the Archives, transcribing his solos, and reading seminal works on Armstrong. Riccardi brings in musical guests for brief workshops, including Bria Skonberg and Alphonso Horne, and encourages students to immerse themselves in the New York traditional jazz scene.